New Twain Exhibit Shares A Rare Look Into Quarry Farm

August 08 2017
Category: Twain

Photo from new exhibit titled, "Mark Twain's Elmira: Through the Lens of the Langdons"

The community is invited to view a new exhibit titled, “Mark Twain's Elmira: Through the Lens of the Langdons,” on display through September 8 in the Gannett-Tripp Library.

Prepared especially for the recent Center for Mark Twain Studies' 8th International Conference, "The Assault of Laughter," the exhibit features reproductions made from negatives found at Quarry Farm, Twain’s summer retreat which overlooks Elmira and the Chemung River Valley.

The images depict the Elmira social life, landmarks, and family activities that would have been familiar to Mark Twain between 1889-1891. The photos were captured by members of the Langdon family with the earliest point and shoot camera, George Eastman’s Kodak Series 540 camera. At the time, Kodak marketed the camera with a simple slogan, “You push a button, and we do the rest.”

Also on view are a Kodak No. 2 "Brownie" camera, circa 1902 (similar to the camera that the Langdon’s used) and the Quarry Farm Cart, a small two-wheeled, two-seat vehicle that was used by the Langdon children and is shown in several of the reproductions.

The exhibit is on display during regular library hours in the Mark Twain Archive and Reading Room, located on the second floor of the Gannett-Tripp Library.

The Mark Twain Reading Room in the Gannett-Tripp Library