About the Collection

On September 29, 1938, five tornadoes swept through the South Carolina Lowcountry, two of which ravaged parts of downtown Charleston, causing several fatalities and injuries and two million dollars in damages. The tornadoes damaged or destroyed almost everything in its path, particularly on Market Street, Broad Street near Church Street, and State Street. As with other significant natural disasters that Charleston has experienced, scenes of the aftermath were documented by photographs.

This collection consists of a total of thirty-seven silver gelatin photographs. Thirty were taken by an eyewitness, Ernest Losse, and processed by Jacobs Photo Service in Charleston. Each photograph measures 4.25″ x 2.25″ and is printed on 5″ x 3.25″ deckle-edged paper.

The photographer of the seven additional photographs is unknown; however, “W.M. Muckenfuss” is stamped on the backs of each photograph. They measure 3.5″ x 5.75″.

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