A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

01 May 2013 7:50 AM Posted by Brenda L.


Are you looking for just the right historical picture to place on your blog that is in the public domain?  Look no further than the website America As It Was.

The May/June 2013 Issue of Family Tree Magazine has an article written by Lisa Louise Cooke on Family History Freebies.  I was happy to see a section on photos and images that are in the public domain.  I am always looking for photos or images to include with my blog posts and now I have a list of them to go to.  Thanks, Lisa.

My list which I saved to a Blog Resources board on Pinterest includes 14 websites, all from the Family Tree Magazine list.  Take a look at all the free resources that are available.  You will find clip art; postcards; images from old, rare or classic books; photographs from World Wars, the Great Depression, and Child Labor; vintage posters; art; fashion; United States History and more.

The first website I went to was America As It Was.  This website is a "directory of non-profit websites that feature vintage postcards", as it states on its' home page.  Take a minute to read the website information.  Then, scroll down to a list of states and click on the state you are interested.

I started with Michigan, my home state and home to all of my great grandparents.  There were four choices:  Detroit, Manistee County, Mason County (currently a broken link) and Copper Country (Northern Michigan).  I could not have been any luckier.  My father grew up in the Detroit area, my mother's family lived in Manistee County, and my paternal grandparents and paternal great-grandparents were from Northern Michigan.

The first section I went to was Manistee County.  There are historical postcards as well as more current photo's on the page.  I did notice that the photo's had a copyright notice at the bottom of the page, so I would ask permission before using.  Photo's of churches, schools, businesses and more are included.  I liked the logging photo because my Great Grandfather, J. August Fredrich, was an early pioneer in Manistee and worked in the logging industry.  I contacted the person for permission to use the picture, but didn't hear back from her.




Next, I visited the Copper Country page.  I clicked on "Image Gallery" and was delighted to find photographs of other Upper Penisula railroads.  I got to see a picture of a 1910 engine from the Duluth, South Shore, and Atlantic railroad.  My great-grandfather, David Watt, was an engineer for this railroad in 1910.  He even had an accident and was trapped under the engine.  That was one big engine.  It is true what they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words".

The next time you need a picture for your blog or just want to see America's past through photo's, check out America As It Was and the other websites from Family Tree Magazine, which I saved on Blog Resources on Pinterest.

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