• The Mississippi: A Visual Biography by Quinta Scott

    "Great book and great blog - thanks for the first book I have seen that addresses the contemporary river, headwaters to gulf." Dan McGuiness, Audubon, St. Paul, Minnesota

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TheEadsBridge.com: A new web site and a new approach to marketing photographs

The Eads Bridge with Coal Barge at TheEadsBridge.com

My interest in the Mississippi River goes back to fifth grade, when a remarkable teacher, Ruth Ferris, taught me, my classmates, and several generations of fifth graders about the river, and left us all with a deep appreciation of “The Strong Brown God.”

Back in the 1970s I was the photo editor of a small bi-weekly newspaper in St. Louis. Editorial meetings were informal affairs. No one was really in charge. We reached decisions about what to publish by consensus and then picked what we wanted to write about. For the issue on the Mississippi I wanted to photograph the train deck of the Eads Bridge. I had seen a Charles Guggenheim’s film, made for Laclede Gas, that took the viewer across the train deck, the inside of the great steel arch bridge. I wanted to go there. I called up Terminal Railroad, the owner of the bridge, made arrangements to do so, and made the first of a series of photographs of the structure of the bridge. I also made friends with the guardian of the bridge, who would let me down on the deck at will, something that would never be allowed today.

I published the first photographs of the bridge under the title, “Captain Eads’ Erector Set,” based on my husband’s observation of the photographs. Then I pulled the images together into a book, The Eads Bridge: Photographic Essay by Quinta Scott: Historical Appraisal by Howard S. Miller.

Today I put up a new web site, TheEadsBridge.com,  in order to market images I made of the Eads Bridge for my book:  I will be marketing them one at a time, putting up a new one every month or so. Visit over and over.

Robert M. Vogel, Curator at the Smithsonian Institution said, “The Eads Bridge photographs are as comprehensive but artistic a graphic treatment of a major structure as I’ve ever seen. They could fairly be regarded as definitive, as on par with the best architectural-structural photography I know of.”
George McCue, Architectural Critic of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said, “Scott’s photographs of the intricate structure of the Eads Bridge are like dissections of the muscles of a behemouth, but they are also a kind of American poetry.”
Copyright © 2011, Quinta Scott, Photographer. All Rights Reserved.

4 Responses

  1. What a wonderful photograph, and what a wonderful introduction to the bridge and your book. (By the way, I found your work referenced in the Wiki for the bridge.)

    I love bridges. My own special bridge was a Melan arch span in Waterloo, Iowa, which I remember walking across with my grandfather. It was completed in 1894 and was a concrete/steel combination – one of the first Melan arch bridges in the country. I’m presuming the Eads is all steel, apart from the supports, but I’ll learn about that soon enough.

    If all goes as I hope, there will be a little post on my site in the next month or so highlighting your book. I have a title – nothing left now but the research.

    I’m just coming back from a hard drive failure that’s kept me from from a few projects, including scanning some stamps. We’ll be getting that done this weekend. 😉

  2. Enjoyed and appreciate the Eliot reference. If I could take only one bit of poetry off to that hypothetical desert island, the Four Quartets would be it.

  3. Oh my you recognize Eliot.

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