Time Capsule From the 1970s Emerges

A photographic documentary on environmental changes in the USA captured in the 1970s by the Environmental Protection Agency reemerges as thousands of photos captured way then, turns into a collection 70s culture. Available as a hardcover titled Searching for the Seventies, by Bruce I. Bustard has been the curator of many exhibits, and first director of the EPA, while running and maintaining the DOCUMERICA project. His project has turned a time capsule of 20,000 images from 70 photographers has turned up at the Smithsonian as 90 beautifully colored landscapes and portraits.

Waiting on auto emission inspection. Credit: National Archives

I love seeing old school, vintage photos from the past, a time that began a music, style, with its trends familiarly seen influencing today’s culture. Like many others, you may also find it exciting to see your mom and dad’s photos from their childhood. Laugh at their platform shoes, bellbottoms, disco gear, funny suits and haircuts, and then raid the attic or vintage shops looking for leftovers.

National Archives, Records of the Environmental Protection Agency

The archives contains many photos of what seems like ruins from a post fallout—an apocalyptic journey into man’s nature to fuel a path of self destruction. Thankfully the people out there who are helping to keep this world clean and sustainable, are also providing an additional bonus of turning those efforts into another benefit in visual art.