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Willard B. Jackson Yacht Photography

June 4, 2012

The MIT archives may be one of the best resources for traditional New England history.  After coming across a beautiful photo of a yacht under full sail, I dug around to find its background and was quickly turned onto Willard B. Jackson.  Thanks to the MIT archives, I was able to get a glimpse at thousands of his photos and I was immediately fascinated by his work.

Jackson’s weapon of choice was a speedboat named Alison that was fitted out with a tripod and his camera.  He was known to circle his subjects until finding the perfect composition among his subjects.  Most of his photographs were created from large glass plate negatives (between 25-30 inches), offering pin-point detail in the final images.

A fixture in the waters off of Marblehead, Mass. from 1898 to 1937, Willard B. Jackson’s passion for sailing is clear in his photography.  His attention to detail are what I feel make his photographs so much better than the thousands of others that exist.  He paid attention to the sails as much as the sailors offering a unique and  incredibly artistic view into yachting during the early 20th century.

These and thousands of other images taken by Willard B. Jackson are available at the MIT Archives.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    June 5, 2012 00:07

    The full sail photos are truly fascinating!

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