Amateur Photographs of Czolgosz’s Crime
“Johnny with his camera” got in his
work yesterday on everything pertaining to President McKinley.
He really started the day before,
and two or three self-possessed snap artists were fortunate enough
to secure pictures of the President and Czolgoz just after the latter
had committed his cowardly attempt at murder.
These pictures will be melancholy
souvenirs of one of the greatest crimes and news events which has
ever startled America. Whether the President lives or dies, they
will always be valued highly by those who succeeded in getting the
pictures, and in case death should ensue from the assault their
value will increase many fold.
FIRST OF THEIR KIND.
This is the first great crime of
the sort in this country, if not in the world, which has ever been
successfully snap-shotted. Both Lincoln and Garfield, the two Presidents
previously assassinated, were struck down in the presence of large
crowds, but amateur photography was practically unknown twenty years
ago, at the time of the assassination of President Garfield, and
when President Lincoln was struck down in 1865 it was an art unheard
The development of amateur photography
in the past ten years has made it a popular amusement and the instantaneous
film carrying camera an almost necessary adjunct to a successful
outing. Hundreds of cameras are brought on the Exposition grounds
eveery [sic] day and a few of these hundreds happened to be within
the Temple of Music when President McKinley’s would-be assassin
fired the shots. Still less of them were at such vantage points
they could be used, and still less of those were in the hands of
operators with sufficient presence of mind to press the button at
the crucial moment.
GOOD PICTURES VERY SCARCE.
Another thing which makes the successful
picture of greater value was the condition of light. Such a picture
as the attempted assassination of the President could be taken in
no other way than instantaneously. The light was very poor for such
purpose and this accounts for the number of failures standing out
against the two or three good pictures.
Many pictures were taken of President
McKinley the previous day when he was the especial guest of honor
at the Exposition. These pictures are now highly prized, although,
of course, they do not have the value of those few which show the
President in the group with his startled attendants and the [?].
No pictures are known to have been
taken of President McKinley after his removal from the Temple of
Music. When he emerged from the hospital it was too dark to make
picture-taking possible, and since he has been in the Milburn home
no one has seen him save Mrs. McKinley, the doctors, and a few of
his political advisers.
MILBURN HOME SNAP-SHOTTED.
While no pictures of the President
could be secured yesterday, everything in any way connected with
his visit to Buffalo and with the great crime was photographed many
times. It is no exaggeration to say a thousand pictures were taken
of the Milburn house. The first photographers appeared on the scene
at daybreak. These were for the most part representing local and
outside papers, all of which were anxious to give their readers
a pictorial presentation of the crime at the earliest possible moment.
A little later the amateur photographers
began to come, and they came all day. The roadway of Delaware Avenue
was roped off for a block either side of President Milburn’s house,
but the sidewalk was clear, though guarded at the corners by policemen
and by others strung along through the block. These did not offer
serious objections to pedestrians passing along the side of the
street opposite the Milburn house, and while no one was allowed
to loiter in the block, the police permitted the camera fiends to
stop long enough to take a snap or two.
SNAPS OF CELEBRITIES.
A few snaps were taken of the house
showing pictures of Mark Hanna, Senator from Ohio, and members of
the Cabinet, standing in front of it, but most of the kodak [sic]
artists did not have the good fortune to get anything except the
No. 1 Police Station, Police Headquarters,
was another much photographed building. The reason for this is,
of course, that Leon F. Czolgosz, the would-be assassin of the President,
is imprisoned there.
At the Pan-American grounds the Temple
of Music, the building in which he was shot, was photographed by
probably every camera on the grounds, while negatives were taken
of every building which he visited in his inspection tour the day
Nothing possible to photograph connected
with President McKinley and the all but tragic ending to his visit
to the Pan-American Exposition has escaped. When collected and classified
later these pictures will form an interesting and authentic history
of the greatest crime which ever stirred Buffalo.