Reading Nature, Observing Science: Examining Material Practices in the Lick Observatory Archives and Kenneth S. Norris Papers

Onsite labor

At each site, months of labor--from the unloading of cargo and washing of dishes to the construction of the Schaeberle instrument and its precisely timed manipulation--went into the production of the final images.

The images in the archive document the multiple roles of women at the eclipse sites, taking care of not only the domestic side of the expedition but also actively participating in the construction and operation of the equipment. The same is true of Indigenous Australians at Wallal and plantation workers at Flint Island. It is unclear to whether these individuals were paid for their time, and if so, how much. The archives also provide little insight into the experience of the locals in any of these places.

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