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