CAPTION: ( )The pursuit of life's necessities and the style with which people occupy their time have changed very little over the last 150 years - that is, if we are to believe the evidence presented on these pages. Picture 1, The Comedian, Bain Collection, ca. 1910. Library of Congress; Picture 2, Family in Summer, Arnold Genthe, ca. 1910. The photographer's shadow can be seen in the lower left of this rare autochrome from the collection of the Library of Congress. Library Congress; Picture 3, Boston Streetcar Strikers, 1912, Bain Collection. (far left) The strikers won. Library Congress; Picture 4, Hester Street, New York, 1890s. A Public Housing Service clerk labeled this photo "Push Cart Market (Fish)." But the vendor's Old-World, worn face might well be titled "Survival." National Archives; Picture 5, Unbuilding a bridge, Records of the Panama Canal, 1904-40. (below) There was no explanation of why the bridge was unbuilt - possibly it was suspended for construction purposes only, and, it appears from the photo, that particular part of the canal had been finished. Note the workers seated atop the suspension cables. National Archives; Picture 6, "Sandman's Coming," single picture file, Library of Congress, ca. 1905. Filed in a section marked "railroads," this photo combines two conflicting attitudes toward turn-of-the-century rail travel: that of the working Pullman porter vs. the privileged mother and daughter. Library Congress; Picture 7, "Municipal Lodging House. Weapons and other articles taken from lodgers," records of the Public Housing Administration, ca. 1895. (right) All the objects are not entirely visible, but there are at least three revolvers, daggers, a billy club and brass knuckles among the wallets, watches, keys, photos, push cart licenses, Salvation Army IDs and playing cards carried by the men of the street. What is being protected from whom or who from what is a tossup. National Archives; Picture 8, "Cuspidor Washing and Sterilizing Room," Treasury Department Records, ca. 1900. The Treasury Department produced "lantern slides," black and white glass plates with color added by hand, as a source of public information. No aspect of the Treasury's daily routine was deemed too mundane by the department's editors and photographers. National Archives; Picture 9, "Avery on the Log," 1853, daguerrotype by Platt D. Babbitt. (above) History records Babbitt as probably the first practitioner of a classic photographic con game. He clandestinely photographed the backs of tourists watching the falls and then proffered the finished daguerrotype as they left. It was a way to make a living - and by coincidence earned Babbitt a place in photojournalism history with one of the first you-are-there disaster photographs. The story of "Avery on the Log," begins on the evening of July 18, 1853. Avery and his companion Hanniman are sailing for pleasure on the upper Niagara River when their boat is caught in the current and pulled into the rapids that separate the upper river from the American Falls. Hanniman is immediately washed over the falls and to his death. Avery somehow holds on to a log wedged between two rocks as pictured above. Clinging to his precarious perch, Avery passes the night. As the dawn comes up, we pause to observe the Niagara regulars - the tourists and entrepreneurs of New York's natural wonder. Avery is spotted and rescue begins. For Platt D. Babbitt, daguerreotypist, it is business as usual. On this day all eyes are on the hapless Avery and the rescue attempts - all eyes including Babbitt's, who makes an image of the sailor. Finally, the rescuers have bested the 18-20 m.p.h. current and a boat is let down near Avery. A contemporary newspaper account describes the scene: "The boat almost touches the [log], and the man rises and is ready to step in. But my God! The force of the current dashes her against the [log] and he is thrown into the current! Strike out for your life! Cross but one rod of stormy water and you are safe! Alas! he swims but faintly, he despairs, and throws himself backward, and a dark spot is seen hurrying toward the fall. As he reaches the verge, with a spasmodic effort he raises breast high from the water, and the poor sufferer, whom we have watched so long, will be seen no more on earth." Library of Congress; Picture 10, New York, ca. 1900, Detroit Photographic Co. Detroit's photographer captured newsboys pitching pennies, adults lounging, a hurrying dandy and, by the way, made a good case for registering trademarks. Library Congress; Picture 11, "Pig in Cellar," Public Housing Administration records, 1898-1903. (right) How many housing code violations occur in this pig's understairs abode (one of a photo survey of New York City tenement conditions), is anybody's guess. National Archives