The Navy finds a historical treasure trove

A series of glass slides depicting images of the Spanish-American War has been uncovered in the archives of the US Naval History & Heritage Command.  Federal News Radio reports:

Lisa Crunk, lead archivist at NHHC’s photographic archive, told Federal News Radio that her office at the Washington Navy Yard was preparing for a renovation. Two archivists cleaning out one of the back rooms discovered a pair of wooden boxes.

“[They] brought them into one of our main offices and said, ‘Hey, I think we found something pretty interesting here that we were not aware that we had,'” Crunk said. “We opened up one of the boxes and we found all these wonderful glass slides, all of which were wrapped in very, very thin tissue paper.”

USS Raleigh in action during the Spanish-American War

Each of the glass slides featured images dating back more than a century. Some of the descriptions with the slides suggested they may have been used in a presentation about the war. The images would’ve been projected on the wall with light from a lantern.

“There are over 300 slides,” Crunk said. “Most of them are the Spanish-American War. You’ve got various scenes. You’ve got ship scenes, ships at sea, ships at port on the Philippine Islands, various individuals involved.”

US sailors pose for a photograph

The photographs provide a glimpse of what naval life was like in the 1890s and shed light on a critical point in American history.

There’s more at the link, plus a gallery of some of the rediscovered images, some of which are shown above in reduced size.  Highly recommended viewing for military history buffs.



  1. The Olympia is tied up to the wharf in Philly. I went on board several times as a kid.


  2. Interesting how old those sailors are! You'd never see someone that age today who wasn't an admiral.

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