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Reno Power, Light and Water Company

Date of photo: 1920s
Photographer: Roy Curtis

Source: Reno Gazette Journal

Tags: lightandwatercompany, reno, renopower,

Available Sizes: 800x452 | 1024x578 | 1800x1017

Nevada Historical Society


The inside of the Reno Power, Light and Water Company office after a break-in in the 1920s. The office was at 21 Front Street (now First Street). City Hall now sits on this site.


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Date Uploaded: May 11, 2024

Permanent Link: http://wnhpc.com/details/photo1719

Source: Reno Gazette Journal

Source URL: https://www.rgj.com/picture-gallery/life/2015/02/09/photos-vintage-reno/22535381/

Source Caption: Broken glass at Reno Power, Light and Water Company office, 1920s. The company office was located at 21 Front Street. The nature of the event documented remains uncertain, but the scene has the appearance of vandalism. Instead of a mundane document, photographer Roy Curtis transformed the scene into a powerful psychological drama that intermingles light and dark in the best film-noir style (although this cinematic style was, was of course still in the future). Curtis placed his bulky, tripod-mounted 8x10 camera in the darkness at the rear of the office. His lens looks out on the demolished office and the shards of broken glass gleaming in the morning sun. To the right, a mysterious shadow-shrouded staircase, covered in dully-glowing glass fragments, ascends into the unknown. Dimly, through the street-side picture windows, one sees the face of a man on the sidewalk peeping into the office. Does this mysterious stranger represent the perpetrator returning to the scene of the crime, or does he represent the voyeuristic spirit in all of us? Through Curtis's transformative vision, this ordinary scene becomes a symbol for crime scenes and our fascination with them.

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