wishing you soaring joy: the camera man’s gifts

I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO GIVE YOU for the holidays, and so I went window-shopping up and down the aisles of the internet, where suddenly I found just the right thing: the uplifting images by “the camera man” Leslie Jones, from the Boston Public Library’s massive collection. Consider this slideshow my holiday card to you.

Jones (1886-1967), who modestly called himself “the camera man,” worked for “The Boston Herald-Traveler” newspaper from 1917-1956, creating a photographic history of Boston—both the mundane and magical—that now seems to transcend any specific place. The Leslie Jones Collection of about 34,000 photographic plates lives on the 5th floor of the Boston Public Library. Read more about the treasure trove, which was donated by Jones’s family in the early 1970s.

the slideshow

Click on the first thumbnail to start the show, then toggle from slide to slide using the arrow keys on your computer or the arrows beside each caption. May your holiday season be filled with soaring joys. May the preposterous come true as it does in these images selected from Jones’s legacy.

browse the vast collections

All photos Copyright © Leslie Jones. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

more, more, more

Still hungry for more? Remember the slideshow I did of botanical Louis Prang chromolithographs from the BPL collection? Or the Edward S. Curtis photos of Quentin Roosevelt, youngest son on President Theodore? Or the story of little-known Chicago street photographer Vivian Maier? Enjoy. (It’s OK to stray from horticulture this week, I think, isn’t it?)

Categorieswoo woo
  1. Kate says:


    Wishing you health, wealth (both the material and non-material kind), and much happiness in 2012.

    Thank-You for the true blessing that you are and for bringing much needed light and laughter into our lives.

  2. Norma Nelson says:

    Merry Christmas to you too! It was a joy seeing all those wonderful images. Thank you
    Wishing you joy and happiness in the coming year:)

  3. Dorothy says:

    Have a glorious holiday and new year. Thank you for the wealth of knowledge, images and humor that you share with all of us.

  4. LINDA L SMITH says:

    Margaret Roach
    How do I thank you for your blog that enriches my life every day !
    Many blessing and many more plants for 2012

    Linda Smith

  5. daisy marshall says:

    Ah! Margaret your wondrous mind! I haven’t opened my e mail in days still swearing this is my last season in retail. When I did today it was my wish that there would be a new one from you. What a joy! One I will share. Thank you! It’s so good to be a part of your world. That all you give return to you twenty fold! Looking forward to yhe New Year. Good health to you and yours! My best, Daisy.

  6. Karen Budnick says:

    Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year! I’m snuggling on the couch with your book today (knit, read, knit, read some more…) my darling husband bought it from you for me for Christmas. I thanked him and now I thank you…


    1. Margaret says:

      How sweet of you to come say hello, Karen. Thank you (and thanks to your husband as well!). Enjoy it. See you soon again, I hope.

  7. Nancy says:

    Margaret, thank you so much for the wonderful, giddy images! Just before opening your e mail I was looking back through my journal and listing the most impressive and moving books I read in 2011. And I Shall Have Some Peace There heads the list.
    Thank you once more for all you give to us, and may your new year be filled with all the things you so richly deserve!

    1. Margaret says:

      Oh, Nancy, you can be my new best friend. :) That is a very nice comment to mark the close of a very hectic and crazy year, thank you. How very kind. (Selfishly I ask: Go tell Amazon with a “review” that you love the book!)

  8. shashe says:

    I LOVED this! Thank you, Margaret, for a wonderful year of all-things-gardening and for the hope and joy in this post today. Happy new year!

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