Houston, TX: 1946.
Hardcover. Very good. Black buckram album, 10" x 13", containing a one-page printed introduction by Preston and 60 gelatin silver prints by Waddell inserted into pre-cut corners, rectos only, each with a fairly detailed typed caption underneath. Very good condition. According to the Introduction, Clyde Waddell was Chief Photographer for the Houston Press before entering the Army, where he was attached to the Public Relations Staff of the Southeast Asia Command. After two busy years on documenting action on the Burma front, Waddell took the photographs in this album while on leave in Calcutta. "By the time he completed this project, which brought him into some of the remotest out-of-bounds areas," writes Preston, "he was flooded with requests from Americans and Britishers for copies of his photographs. That is how this album came to be....As a documentary of Calcutta, it's tops." The album includes wonderful views of the city and its people, including many bustling street scenes, buildings (Hindustan Building, Karnani Estates, American Red Cross Burra Club, Jain Temple, Nimtolla Mosque, the Stock Exchange), billboards, street vendors and performers (among them a snake charmer) and shops and markets--including a wonderful shot of American GIs browsing at a book stall. There are also scenes of poverty and struggle, including striking tram workers, homeless people sleeping in the streets, an opium den, and a woman dying on a sidewalk as people walk by, indifferent to her plight. The captions are chatty, offering both information and Waddell's personal commentary on the scenes. This particular copy of the album belonged to Lyle Oberwise (1908-1993). Like Waddell, Oberwise was a an American Army photographer, assigned to the China-Burma-India theater of operations. But he is better known as a prolific Milwaukee street photographer whose work was discovered only upon his death. More than 43,000 slides he shot in Milwaukee between 1945 and 1993 now reside at the Milwaukee County Historical Society. There is a photo of Oberwise in his military uniform mounted on the verso of the title page of this album. Also tipped in or laid in are a Red Cross Guide Book to Calcutta, Agra, Delhi, Karachi, and Bombay (93 pp, with folding maps); tickets and programs for two American Red Cross-Burra Club tours of parts of Calcutta; An American Red Cross Guide to Calcutta for Servicemen (4 pp, including a double-page map); and an uncredited 8" x 10" photograph of the Taj Mahal.