Solomon D. Butcher: Photographing the American Dream

John E. Carter, Author, Solomon D. Butcher, Author University of Nebraska Press $60 (142p) ISBN 978-0-8032-1404-0
Dugouts and sod houses were the only shelter for homesteaders in the 1870s and '80s on railroad and government land grants of the Nebraska plains. Twenty years later, there were frame houses, farm machinery, even automobiles and an emerging Main Street here and there. S. D. Butcher, a self-confessed pioneer failure who, happily, was successful at photography, recorded it all. In this vibrant collection of Butcher pictures from the University of Nebraska files, we see, for the most part, family portraits with farm and ranch backgrounds, but there are also schoolchildren, skating parties, rodeos, pretty cowgirls, and pelts nailed to the barn door. Carter's text, and quotes from regional authors, retrace the story of heartland America. The high quality of the reproductions from antique glass negatives helps make this a superb portrait of a bygone time. December 6
Reviewed on: 10/01/1985
Release date: 10/01/1985
Paperback - 152 pages - 978-0-8032-6038-2
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