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Monday, June 25, 2012

Traveling Photographers in Bennington, Nebraska

Railroad towns at the turn of the century represented the main travel corridor through the country.  Travel by horse and buggy or even by early cars was anything but fast or luxerious.  The railroad allowed businesses to access and expand into areas that otherwise couldn't support their survices full-time.  

Normally, a building owner or existing business in town would rent out a room or space on a part time bases.  These businesses would travel the railroad curcuit and be available on a scheduled day of the month or possibly the week. 

For instance, a century ago a dentist and photographer serviced Bennington residents this way.   The Dentist might be in Irvington on Monday, Bennington on Tuesday, in Washington on Wednesday and so on.  If you had a tooth ace you either just waited until he arrived in town or you rode your horse or buggy to where he was. 

Initially photographers either set up studios in large cities or travelled the country side by wagon trying to find business.  The railroad provided much easier, more dependable travel and increased their cliental.  There simply wasn't enough demand in a small town and even in Omaha in those early years it might have been hard to make a businesses of it. 

Stories suggest a photographer frequented Bennington periodically but we never have seen any evidence; that is until now.  Violet Christersen was going through some of her old photographs and ran across these.  She doesn't know who the young man and girl are but noticed where the photos were taken; here in Bennington.  We now know that Marian and Henington were at least two photographers who visited Bennington.   
Old Photographs taken in Bennington, Nebraska

Thanks Violet for sharing!! 

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