Cape Gazette

Agriculture photograph collection exhibit opens at Delaware Archives

Mar 28, 2012
Source: Submitted Delaware Public Archives Director Stephen Marz, left, and Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee review the new Delaware Public Archives shadow box display featuring the Board of Agriculture Glass Negative Photograph Collection. The display will run through the middle of June.

A new exhibit featuring the Board of Agriculture Glass Negative Photograph Collection is now on display at the Delaware Public Archives. Running through the middle of June, the exhibit focuses on the photographs of Roydon Hammond, a seed analyst with the Delaware Board of Agriculture, who took more than 2,000 photographs of scenes throughout the First State during the 1920s and 1930s. Hammond believed the glass negative process of photography would provide him with the sharpest images, and this exhibit is a confirmation of Hammond’s belief.

The 1920s and 1930s were a period of great change in Delaware’s agriculture. The once great peach industry had reached its lowest point, while the improvement of the highway system had stimulated the production of truck crops and dairy products. Delaware’s most important agricultural activity, broiler chicken production, was developed at this time and experienced rapid growth that helped soften the effects of the Great Depression on the state’s farmers.

In addition to agricultural subjects, Hammond also photographed other areas of Delawarean life in the 1920s and 1930s. A wide range of topics included business and industry, churches, city and town scenes, historic markers and monuments, houses, portraits, public buildings, recreation, schools and transportation. Because the photographs were used for promotional and tourism purposes, scenes depicting the Great Depression are not present. To view the entire Board of Agriculture Glass Negative Collection online, go to

For more information about the Delaware Public Archives, go to, become a follower of the Archives Facebook page ( and read the Archives blog ( to learn more about events and other items of interest at the Archives.

The Delaware Public Archives is at 121 Duke of York St. in Dover. The Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Room is open to the public Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. On the first Saturday of every month the research room is open from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

The Delaware Public Archives, an agency of the state of Delaware, is one of the oldest public archives programs in the United States. DPA serves the citizens of Delaware by identifying, collecting and preserving public records of enduring historical and evidential value; ensuring access to public records for present and future generations; and advising and educating interested parties in the creation, management, use and preservation of public records.


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