Historic Hood River
Mouth of the Little White Salmon
This Alva Day photo from October of 1930 shows the mouth of the Little White Salmon River with the railroad dike separating it from the Columbia. This full negative shows the inscription Alva Day made with his “Autographic Camera”. The camera has a small flap on the back to allow access to a strip of film next to each exposure. The film had a carbon layer which the photographer would write on, leaving carbon on the film. He would then “flash” the strip of negative with light to expose an image of the carbon into the film, so when it was developed the notes could accompany the negative. As we see here he marked the time and date, as well as “LWS” for Little White Salmon.
While Alva Day made extensive use of this film and camera system, he was apparently one of the few. It was eventually discontinued, and Day too to inscribing his negatives with white paint. If he hadn’t taken the care to do this we wouldn’t know nearly as much about his collection as we do.