If you are the type of person, who likes to find unusual non-touristy places the Photo Antiquities Museum in Pittsburgh is a great place to visit. The museum is located on the North Side of Pittsburgh on Ohio Street. It is in the middle of a bunch of downtown stores and at first, glance looks closed. But, the trick is that you have to walk two doors down to the camera store and pick up your personal tour guide. This fantastic museum only gives guided tours but, the knowledge they impart is outstanding.
We spent a good hour getting the most extensive history of how photo development has progressed over the years. We viewed Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, Tintypes, and Albumen Prints. Our highlights were the Victorian, Civil War, mug shots, and post-mortem photos.
As we followed our tour guide further back in the museum, we were treated to more surprises. A natural atrium room filled with vintage cameras. There were cameras everywhere we looked. We even tried to find our cameras on the wall stacked with the modern versions.
The biggest reveal was the complete collection of the only known pictures of Shantytown, Pittsburgh from the 1930’s. The wall was filled with astonishing photos showing what life was like living in wooden shacks in the Strip District. A photographer for the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, Ed Salamony, took the photos but, never published or even developed them. He donated the negatives to the Photo Antiquities Museum where they were developed and are now displayed for those willing to tour this amazing museum.
The next big exhibit is one I am planning on going back to visit. It is a complete display of Abe Lincoln. They will even have the last document that Lincoln signed, a check made out to Cash to himself. This exhibit is supposed to open sometime in May so, keep your eyes open for it.
Have you been to a museum that you would recommend to others?