Author Archives: Beth Fortson

About Beth Fortson

Beth Fortson is an archivist with the Still Picture Branch of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Polar Pack: Your Favorite Arctic Explorers in Trading Card Form

Beef up your knowledge of polar exploration by taking a look at these trading cards from Hassan Cork Tip Cigarettes found in the Brainard Collection of Arctic Exploration, DLB-AA. The set of 49 cards depicts portraits of explorers, scenes of Inuit … Continue reading

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Spotlight: The Pilgrimages of Gold Star Mothers and Widows

This past Sunday marked the 81st observance of Gold Star Mother’s Day in the United States.  On June 23, 1936, a joint congressional resolution was passed that designated the last Sunday in September as Gold Star Mother’s Day – a … Continue reading

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Spotlight: Construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway

This week’s post highlights photographs from RG 30, Records of the Bureau of Public Roads (BPR). These images come from series 30-RW and depict the construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway from the clearing of land to paving. The series … Continue reading

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Engraving, Inking, Trimming: The Production of Paper Currency in 1914

Previously we shared a blog post about counterfeiters and briefly mentioned how the artistic gifts of some were used to counterfeit money. This installment will discuss the creation of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and how currency was legitimately … Continue reading

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Faces of Counterfeiters Past: Mugshots from the United States Secret Service Collections

Last year marked the sesquicentennial of the establishment of the United States Secret Service, the federal law enforcement agency assigned to protect the nation’s highest elected leaders and investigate and prevent counterfeiting activities. However, when the agency was formed on July … Continue reading

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Original Costume Sketches for a Production of Pinocchio, 1939

This post was written in collaboration with Kelsey Noel.   “This is the lesson of the penny. Some have too many,  Some have too few, But share with those who haven’t any.”                 … Continue reading

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Christmas on Base: 13 Images of Our Soldiers at Christmas

This post was written in collaboration with Kelsey Noel. Kelsey is an Archives Technician with the Still Picture Branch in College Park, MD. This week we are highlighting images from RG 111-CCS, the General Subject Photographic Files of the Office of … Continue reading

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The Lost Paintings – The Schloss Art Collection

A few years ago the Still Picture Branch accessioned two 19th century French gold tooled albums that contain photographs of a portion of the Schloss art collection. Regarded as one of the last great Dutch art collections to be assembled in … Continue reading

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