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WHILBR - Western Maryland

About this collection

This collection of photographic negatives of the stone bridges over the Antietam Creek in Washington County was made availble by Bob Savitt of the Washington County Historical Society. Bob was lent the negatives by x of Burkittsville who found them in their attic.

The photographer was initally unknown, but it was soon realized that the photogravures were those used by Helen Ashe Hayes in her book Antietam and its bridges, printed in 1910. John C. Artz of North Potomac Street, Hagerstown, was listed as the photographer, though in 1905 he was included in the Hagerstown City Directory as selling icecream and in 1910 he was a confectioner living at 34 N. Potomac, Hagerstown.  He died of congestion of the lungs August 22, 1911.

John C. Artz was not known as a professional photgrapher. An article in the Baltimore Sun in April 1911 describing the Washington County Free Library as a center of literature and arts and culture in Hagerstown: "More interesting, perhaps, than any other of the pictures that adorn the walls is a complete series of the 14 old stone bridges of Washington county, the work of John C. Artz, an amateur photographer, whose skill with the camera is the envy of many professionals. " In a Sun article from August 1911 he was praised for his ablitly to take photographs of flashes of lightning. He had also been commended by the Washington County Historical Society for his fine photographs of historical subjects. 

 
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