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DOCUMERICA Returns to the Rockies

2013 March 6

Side by side, Documerica’s photos reveal both the innocence and the danger of human choice. The images of 1970s Colorado are no exception. Bill Gillette, Boyd Norton, and David Hiser each contributed their own incredibly different views to this documentary. The following photographs are just the beginning.

DOCUMERICA: Waste water containing radioactive materials is allowed to settle at Union Carbide Uranium Mill, 05/1972 by Bill Gillette.

DOCUMERICA: Waste water containing radioactive materials is allowed to settle at Union Carbide Uranium Mill, 05/1972 by Bill Gillette.

DOCUMERICA: Aspen Residents Help U.S. Forest Service Personnel Plant Seedlings at Marron Lake Campground, 12 Miles North of Aspen, 05/1972 by David Hiser.

DOCUMERICA: Aspen Residents Help U.S. Forest Service Personnel Plant Seedlings at Marron Lake Campground, 12 Miles North of Aspen. The Native Aspen Trees in This Popular Camp Area Have Been Dying of a Root Disease. The USFS Did Not Have Enough People for the Replanting Job So Citizens Volunteered Their Services. Snow Covered Peaks in Background Are the 14,000 Foot Maroon Bells, 05/1972

DOCUMERICA: John Bayliss, president of the Solaron Corporation, the first publicly owned solar energy company in the nation, 05/1975 by Boyd Norton.

DOCUMERICA: John Bayliss, president of the Solaron Corporation, the first publicly owned solar energy company in the nation. The firm used a hot air heating system comprised of flat black aluminum plates behind double glass panels. An insulated bin filled with rocks two inches in diameter is the heat storage system. It is designed for the basement of the average home while the collector panels are fitted to the roof. The corporation is now manufacturing the solar heating and storage system for the mass market, 05/1975 by Boyd Norton.

Decades ago, the day-to-day moments captured by all of Documerica’s photographers created a powerful statement about our country and our way of life in the 1970s. Photography took place in all states and some territories – a wide net was cast document our environment in vastly different places across the United States.

These elite photojournalists, hand chosen by Gifford Hampshire and his team, achieved something remarkable that we attempt to be match today through its public progeny: State of the Environment.

The level to which Documerica’s vision is met, is up to you.

Documerica Returns Traveling Exhibit in Denver, March 4-15, 2013

We celebrate Colorado’s photographs and invite you to visit our Traveling Exhibit:

U.S. EPA Region 8 lobby
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver CO 80202-1129

Documerica Then and Now

Share what Colorado looks like now with State of the Environment. Take a photograph that can stand next to a Documerica scene back then for our Then and Now Challenge. You can find Documerica photos from anywhere in the United States by following this easy guide.

Browse additional photos from Colorado on Flickr or search the complete collection through the National Archives OPA Database.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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