By the mid 20th Century, cameras were getting lighter and film was getting easier and cheaper to process. Photography was evolving out of its status as a niche and expensive craft and an explosion of photographs and photographers emerged from this wake.
Photographer Ferd Brady was one of the first to take full advantage of these new technologies, being able to capture timely events like festivals and disasters in a quick and comprehensive way that was simply not possible with the bulky and slow technology of yesteryear. This new style of journalistic photography produced far more images than the previous era, which was largely focused on the decorative quality of photos. Brady became one of the most prolific photographers to have ever graced Fidalgo soil, though it would not take long for his main competitor in that field to emerge. Wallie Funk, inspired by the advent of lightweight cameras took as many as 50,000 journalistic photos between the years 1950 and 1964.
The first aerial shots ever taken of Anacortes. A feat unthinkable just decades prior. - Bower & Brady\
The first proper publication of historic photos was probably Glenn Davis and Wallie Funk's reproduction of 125 historic images of Anacortes in the early days. These became the Anacortes Museum’s premier exhibit, 1958's Pioneer Pictures. This exhibit brought Anacortes’ creation myth to the public eye, one of intrepid dreamers building a city in the wilderness with great dreams of becoming “The New York of the West.” For the first time ever, people were transported into a stunningly vivid simulation of what life was like for their ancestors from a generation ago. This exhibit provided the foundation for what would go on to become the Anacortes Museum, while also establishing the beginnings of an Anacortes photographic canon.
The Opening of Pioneer Pictures at the Anacortes Museum - 1958