This page by Jon Kennedy
Alfred Eisenstaedt's Nanty Glo collection
One of the most enjoyable and educational aspects of working at the Nanty Glo Journal was browsing through the bound archive copies of the paper from its founding by Herman Sedloff over 40 years before I began working in the office. But the best archive at the Journal office in those days was a private stash of Nanty Glo photographs that had been given to Mr. Sedloff by one of America's all-time greatest photographers, Alfred Eisenstaedt.
Eisenstaedt, who is best known for his doumentary work for Life Magazine, had been sent to Nanty Glo to document an article for Time magazine on the decision of the Miners' Union to go on strike during World War Two, in violation of an act of Congress passed specifically to outlaw such labor actions during the war. Eisenstaedt had given Herman an 8x 10" copy of each photo he'd taken in Nanty Glo as a token of his appreciation for Mr. Sedloff's assistance. But of course every photo had a rubber-stamped copyright notice on the back, warning against unauthorized use or reproduction. We couldn't print any of them, and the prohibition probably extended even to having them framed and displayed on the office walls. But no prohibition can prevent my writing about them, though this is the first time I've done so.They were dozens of scenes of everyday life in Nanty Glo circa 1945: miners on their way in and out of the mine, cars parked and driving on Roberts and Lloyd Streets (I never realized what Welsh street names th! ese were until now), children playing, the bare-wood frame houses and muddy yards that were common in that era, a coal-blackened miner sitting naked in a galvanized washtub having his back scrubbed by his wife, another common sight in homes without bathrooms in the '40's, when even Heisley Mine didn't have a shower room.I'd love to see them again, but don't know if the Journal even still has the collection; maybe Mr. Sedloff took it when he retired (I certainly would have, but I guess if Herman had been sentimental like me the photos wouldn't have been stashed away in a manilla envelop in a back-office drawer for decades). Maybe Eisenstaedt or his estate gave duplicates to the Smithsonian. It's certainly a great waste if they're not in a museum somewhere.
May 28, 1998 &nbs! p;
Has Life Magazine article on Nanty Glo
In reference to the article from Life Magazine, my grandfather (Mabrey "Boots" Evans) is the miner in the tub. I have had several original copies of the May, 1943, magazine.
I, like yourself, would love to see the entire set. I know there is at least one other photo of my grandfather. I do still have one copy of the atricle. I have always found it interesting that of all the mining towns in the country that Life chose Nanty Glo for the feature story. This has been my hometown all my life and I find your home page to be very interesting.
C. Jay EvansWebmaster's note: My recollection is that Herman Sedloff told me, around 1962 or '63, that Eisenstaedt was in Nanty Glo on assi! gnment for Time magazine, though his work usually appeared in Life. Can anyone verify whether some of these photographs might have appeared in both (not unlikely as they are under the same ownership)?
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