Photography collector visits Coast to share collection
The Gulfport Museum of History Historical Society held a program meeting today to view the collection of photographer Willis Vail.
Willis is a well-known photographer born in Quakertown, New Jersey in 1868. Willis’ photography is known for recording the period of rapid grown in Gulfport in the early 1990s.
Vail’s glass plate negatives were discovered in a barn at his Quakertown home in 1970.
Historical Artifact Collector Paul Jermyn purchased the collection of more than 200 plates.
Jermyn then digitally restored and printed the negatives to share with the world. “I enjoy them. They’re really exciting. I look through them all the time. You always see something else that you didn’t notice the first before in his images. I was born and raised in Handsboro, if you know where that is, and my great great grandfather moved there in 1843 and so I started collecting old images of Handsboro and postcards and it kind of escalated from there.”
Of all the plates Jermyn owns, about 100 of them are of the Gulfport area.