Provenance: The Ohio Historical Society acquired the Frank W. Jennings Photograph Collection as a gift of Nancy Gates, Carolyn Milliken, and Elizabeth Nybell, his great-granddaughters, in January 1975. Kathleen McIntyre processed the collection in October 1983.
Property rights: The Ohio Historical Society owns the property rights to this collection.
Copyrights: Copyrights have not been dedicated to the public. Consideration of the requirements of copyright is the responsibility of the author and publisher.
Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the Ohio Historical Society.
Citation: Researchers are requested to cite collection name, collection number, and the Ohio Historical Society in all footnote and bibliographic references.
Biographical sketch: Frank Washburn Jennings was born in Logan, Ohio, on March 11, 1868. His parents were William Henry Jennings and Caroline Frances (Allen) Jennings. Jennings's family moved to Columbus, Ohio, when he was five years old. He graduated from Central High School in Columbus in 1886, and attended the Ohio State University for two years, leaving to take a position under his father with the Hocking Valley Railroad Company.
The early years of Jennings's professional life exclusively were devoted to railroad work. He served as rodman and transitman for the Hocking Valley, Kanawha and Michigan, and Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad companies from January 1885 to January 1893. After a short period with the Toledo and Ohio Central Railroad Company as resident engineer, and with the Kanawha and Michigan Railway Company as assistant engineer, he rejoined the engineering staff of the Hocking Valley Railroad Company as assistant chief engineer of preliminary and location surveys. He occupied this position from October 1894 to November 1897 after which he served four years as assistant chief engineer for the Columbus Northwestern and the Detroit and Toledo Shore Line Railway companies. From 1901 to 1903 he was assistant chief engineer of the West Virginia and Kentucky Railroad Company.
In November 1903, Jennings left railroad work to open a private business in Columbus. He organized the firm of Jennings and Lindsay which engaged in general engineering and specialized in railroad and municipal engineering and surveying. Later the firm name was changed to Jennings, Lawrence and Lindsay, and subsequently to the Jennings-Lawrence Company. Jennings held the position of president in the firm until his death on September 28, 1938.
Source: The American Society of Civil Engineers, Transactions, n.d.
Scope and content: The Frank W. Jennings Photograph Collection consists of 126 cyanotype (blue paper) prints occupying one-quarter cubic foot. Although the prints are undated, the cyanotype process was popular from ca. 1885 to ca. 1910. The collection, therefore, probably dates from the late 1880s to mid-1890s when Jennings worked for the Hocking Valley Railroad and recorded the valley's development in these photographs. The material is arranged into three subject areas: town buildings and houses, mines, and railroads. The majority of images are not identified and some illustrate more than one subject area (e.g., a railroad station with town buildings in the background). Researchers, therefore, are advised to check all files thoroughly for complete information.
Folders one and two contain twenty-five prints of town buildings and miners' housing. The pictures of miners' housing include individual houses and what appear to be company houses. Many of the prints also show the buildings' surroundings.
The forty-nine photographs in folders three to six pertain to mining operations and include prints of furnaces, coal bins, and the exteriors and interiors of mines. Pictures of the furnace at Gore in Hocking County, and of another furnace tentatively identified as the one at Winona, also in Hocking County, are in folder four.
Photographs in folder six depict miners and equipment in the mines. Two pictures of a young boy in a mine also are located in folder six.
The fifty-two photographs in folders seven to ten pertain to railroads. Nine of the twelve railroad station photographs in folder seven, identified by the station sign, depict stations at Athens, Buchtel, Carbon Hill, Carroll, Gore, Groveport, Nelsonville, Salina, and Straitsville. Folder eight contains six prints of covered railroad bridges.