Nov. 18, 1903: The hazards of photography

Posted on October 28th, 2009 – 7:10 PM
By Ben Welter

From the St. Paul Globe:



Photographer Hurt While Tak-
Ing Flashlight Picture

F.B. Chapman, photographer, 438 Wabasha street, and Byron Gibbs, his assistant, 228 East Seventh street, were seriously injured last evening by the explosion of a carbide tank used by Chapman in taking a flash light picture of two bowling teams at Chris Miller’s bowling alley, 221 East Seventh.

When the tank exploded Chapman held it in his hand and his thumb and fingers were nearly torn off. The injury is considered serious, as the flesh is burned from the palm and the inside of the hand.

Gibbs was struck in the head with a flying piece of tin, and his face was badly cut, the laceration extending from the chin to the forehead. His forehead was laid bare, the tin plowing off three square inches of skin and flesh. Both Chapman and Gibbs were knocked unconscious and remained in that condition for over fifteen minutes.

The tank broke through a wooden partition in the rear of the alley, and after crashing through a window, in the rear of the building, fell in the back yard. It was torn and shattered by the force of the explosion of the contents.

The members of the two bowling clubs posing for the photograph were badly shocked by the explosion, and several were thrown to the floor.

The police ambulance was summoned by telephone, and Dr. G.A. Moore, police surgeon, dressed the wounds of Chapman and Gibbs. They were then able to go to their homes.

A bowling alley in Lake City, Minn., in about 1900. Note how the two subjects positioned themselves far from the dangerous flash mechanism. (Photo courtesy

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