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Russell H. Heffley Photograph Collection, 1924- ca. 1950s, AIS.2009.05
Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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The Russell H. Heffley Photograph Collection contains 283 images dating between 1924 through the 1950s. All photographs were taken by Heffley, a photographer who lived in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The images document downtown Johnstown, local businesses, advertising, parks, and daily life in this city.

What's in the entire collection

The collection, held by the Archives Service Center (ASC) at the University of Pittsburgh, is broad. The entire collection consists of 648 images: 313 black and white negatives (6.5" x 8.5" and 8"x10"), 67 black and white prints (8"x10"), and two bound albums containing 268 black and white prints (8"x10"). All of the photographs were taken in or around Johnstown, Pa., and feature images of the downtown area during its industrial peak from the 1920s until the 1950s. These images include views documenting city terrain, street scenes, prominent buildings, churches, and several interior prints of the Johnstown High School featuring students at work. Also presented are images taken immediately after the Johnstown flood of 1936. Heffley also took photographs of several coal mines in Cambria and Somerset counties, photographs of automobiles from the 1920s, and billboard advertisements.

About Russell H. Heffley

Russell H. Heffley was born on Sept. 22, 1897 to Samuel A. and Sarah (Homer) Heffley in Johnstown, Pa. As a young man, Heffley was a self-employed photographer. During World War I, he enlisted in the Army Air Force serving as a Sergeant first class in aviation. He was stationed at Kelly Field, Texas, and later at Payne Field, Mississippi. After returning home, Heffley became part of Morton and Heffley, a photography studio. He became the sole owner of the studio in 1924. He practiced as an independent commercial photographer, forming Russell H. Heffley Commercial Photography, located at 140 Market Street in Johnstown. In the mid-1950's, he formed the Heffley Studio Corp. Heffley was married to Catherine Seigh in 1920 and had six children: Russell H., Jr. and Dorothy, Paul, Kenneth, Phyllis, and Joanne. Over the course of Heffley's career, his clients included Swank Hardware Company and the Bethlehem Steel Company.

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