Education: Johnstown Flood Museum

Johnstown Area Heritage Association
Primary Source: Photo Gallery

Illustrations from magazines and newspapers

Artist-reporters imagine the Flood

In 1889 most printing presses were not able to print photographs. Printing photos was very expensive, so only books contained photographs. Newspapers and magazines used drawings to illustrate their stories. Artists engraved the drawings on plates. The plates held ink on the printing press.

Sometimes magazines and newspapers sent their artists to a news story, just like they sent reporters. Other times the artists worked from photographs. Everyone was too busy running away from the Flood to take pictures! Artists illustrating the Flood listened to eyewitness stories, then imagined how it must have looked. Below are what some artist-reporters imagined.

Click on the images below to view a larger image. To help you see as much as possible from these photographs, use the tool "Reading a Photograph."

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