Documenting an experiment. A quick department photo. A chance moment on the factory floor. Some pose for the employee newsletter and others simply demonstrate machine operations. For nearly a century, the photographers employed at Springfield Armory captured the daily life of the factory and the community on film with thousands of snapshots. In a world before camera phones, the Armory photographers adjust their cameras, wield their creativity, and compose a routine photograph with an eye toward the artistic. What began as mere documentation in black and white now comes alive as compelling and vivid art. The lifeblood of Springfield Armory now comes into focus, bringing the historic Armory back to life in this montage of individual portraits.

All the images on exhibit are reproduced from the museum’s archives of historic negatives and prints. The short descriptions are those given by the Armory photography lab at the time the photograph was taken. The images are presented as closely to the original as possible, altered only by adjusting light levels, cleaning up slight imperfections, and slight cropping to fit a selected frame size. The photographer’s perspective allows us to look through a window in time, composed and arranged by a visual artist at a precise moment. How do these images speak to you? Can you hear the noises? What do you smell and feel? What do these images tell us about life at Springfield Armory? Immerse yourself in the photograph and enjoy the art in the everyday.