Percy Suydan (Syd) Wilson (1897 - 1992) was a Councilman (1955-60), the first official Glen Ridge Historian, and the rescuer of the Nathan Russell photographs. Russell, a turn-of-the-century realtor, photographed his listings from about 1890 until his death in 1917. When he died, the pictures remained in his house at 216 Ridgewood Avenue. The day before the demolition began for the new high school, Syd Wilson commandeered his good friend Tom Booth to cart out thousands of photos (annotated in Russell's hand) and 5" x 7" glass plate negatives, each weighing a quarter of a pound, a herculean task. The Russell Collection is now in the Glen Ridge Public Library.
The photos in this gallery are from the Russell Collection of houses in Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, and Montclair, most of them scanned from the negatives, some (where noted) from photographs.
This Russell web collection is a cooperative project between the Historical Society of Bloomfield, the Glen Ridge Public Library, and the Glen Ridge Historical Society. Special thanks to Jennifer Breuer, Director of the Glen Ridge Public Library and to John Sitnik, former Director for helping to preserve this collection and for graciously sharing it and to Sally Meyer, Glen Ridge Historian and Kevin Sherry, Glen Ridge native and resident for helping to identify and catalog the photos.
Digitization, photo enhancement, concept, and web production by Rich Rockwell.