Margaret Bourke-White packs her camera gear for Russia trip in 1941

In 1941, Margaret Bourke-White returned to the Soviet Union accompanied by her husband, writer Erskine Caldwell. Bourke-White describes what she decided to take along on the trip.

“I spent the entire month before departure planning my equipment and taking lessons in elementary mechanics so as to repair cameras when I was beyond hope of assistance. … My quota of supplies included three thousand flash bulbs, peanut variety, a large supply of film packs, five cameras, twenty-two lenses, four portable developing tanks, bottles of Dk21 fine grain developer, several papers of dressmaker pins, duplicates of every screw found in all the minute parts of my lens mounts and synchronizing magnets, a synchroscope, and a jeweler’s screw driver and pliers. In addition, I carried twenty-eight paper-bound detective stories.
My husband packed one small suitcase with his old corduroy jacket and a few shoes and got an extra ribbon for his portable typewriter. His professional equipment weighted seventeen pounds. My equipment weighted six hundred pounds. “

In Hong Kong on the way to the USSR, she had a shoemaker make custom leather cases with zippers for cameras, flash guns, reflectors and filters.

shortly after they arrived in the USSR, Nazi Germany attacked.

from The Taste of War, Margaret Bourke-White

great book by a great LIFE photographer


Robert Smalls 1839-1916 Statesman and former slave

At the start of the Civil War, he was the 23-year-old pilot of The Planter, a shallow-draft, steam-powered side wheeler that delivered arms and supplies to Confederate troops. Smalls stole The Planter from Charleston harbour, picked up his family and the families of two other slave members of the crew and escaped to Union forces. Smalls was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, Company B, 33rd Regiment, United States Coloured Troops and fought in 17 engagements. He learned to read and was promoted to Major General in the South Carolina militia. He was elected to the US House of Representatives and served five terms. After leaving Congress, Smalls was duty collector for the port of Beaufort. The bronze bust stands in front of the Tabernacle Baptist Church at 907 Craven Street. Smalls is buried in the churchyard. (Beaufort, South Carolina)

I found this church and the statue of Smalls when I visited Beaufort in 2002.