America’s First Female Photojournalist, Jessie Tarbox Beals, With Her Cameras

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Here’s a photograph of Jessie Tarbox Beals, America’s first female photojournalist, with her camera on a street a century ago. While most female photographers of her time shot photos from the peace and safety of photo studios, Beals ventured into the world of photojournalism and made a name for herself through her tenacity, self-promotion, and freelance news photos.

The portrait above is a slightly cropped version of this photo from the collections of the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute:

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Here are some more historical photographs showing Beals with her various cameras:

A portrait of Beal captured around 1905

A portrait of Beal captured around 1905

Beals at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904

Beals at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904

Beals at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904

Beals at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904

Beals at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904

Beals at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904

Beals posing outside the White House with her camera

Beals posing outside the White House with her camera

Beals as seen on the cover of Jessie Tarbox Beals: First Woman News Photographer by Alexander Alland, Sr.

Beals as seen on the cover of Jessie Tarbox Beals: First Woman News Photographer by Alexander Alland, Sr.

Here are some of the photographs captured by Beals over the course of her career:

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The Library and Congress has a great biographical essay you can read if you’d like to learn more about Beals’ life and work.

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