via NPR’s Picture Show - Bringing Springfield’s Photos Back To Life
The first photography staff at the Illinois State Journal carried heavy, clumsy and slow Speed Graphic cameras. They shot on glass plates, and only had a few precious exposures to use throughout their day.
After their images were published in the 1920s and ’30s, the glass plates were boxed up and effectively lost in the newspaper archives. Stories vary about how they were saved from a wrecking ball, but the plates eventually wound up at the local Springfield library, which is where Rich Saal found them and began the monumental task of bringing them back to life.