Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Black, J.W. (1825-1896) The Breakwater

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05111.01.0452 Author/Creator: Black, J.W. (1825-1896) Place Written: s.l. Type: Photograph Date: circa 1861 Pagination: 1 albumen : b&w ; 38.8 x 48.3 cm.

Summary of Content: Image of two men standing on a breakwater that leads to a light house. Several sailing vessels are visible in the water. A typed note on the mount indicates that the photograph was taken by "Black," referring to James Wallace Black, a noted Boston photographer. The mount also includes the address of Black's studio in Boston, "163 & 173 Washington Street," which he owned in partnership with fellow photographer John G. Case.

People: Black, James Wallace, 1825-1896

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: MaritimeLighthousePhotographyBostonGeography and Natural HistoryInfrastructureMassachusetts

Sub Era: The American Civil War

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources