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➔ Early logging photos show the taming – and tarnishing – of Washington state’s old-growth forests

Darius Kinsey, who left his home in Missouri at the age of 20, found his niche in Washington’s burgeoning economy as the preeminent photographer of logging industry and culture. A diminutive man by all accounts, Kinsey had started out in the hotel and mercantile business upon arriving in Washington in 1889. But photography piqued the young man’s interest, and soon he was lugging a massive glass-plate view camera to remote logging camps, making portraits of men who, like him, had come west to seek their fortune. Such settlements at the time were notorious for their lawlessness and vice?—?unregulated prospecting fostered a libertine spirit. Sustainability was not part of the vocabulary.

Horses hauling a spruce log 30 feet in circumference, Washington, 1905. (Darius Kinsey/Library of Congress)
Horses hauling a spruce log 30 feet in circumference, Washington, 1905. (Darius Kinsey/Library of Congress)

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