Molly Maguires, 1967


"I think we should mention about the Molly Maguires, the pictures I took for Paramount. When Paramount came into this area to do a movie, they selected Eckley as one of their prime shooting places. And when Joe Boyle and I -- Joe Boyle was the editor of the Times News in Jim Thorpe at the time, in fact he owned it with his sister Gertrude -- we decided to go up one day to see what they were doing. They were in the process, then, of digging up the streets, and taking down all the wires and everything else to make this into a 1870 mine-patch town. And I started photographing the town, as it evolved into a movie set. And when Paramount came up, and they started to shoot up at Eckley, I took some pictures, and came home, printed them, a few days later, took them back up. And I saw the PR guy, and he said, "Well, these are nothing unusual. Our photographer could do things like this." I thought, "Well, yes he could." So, I went home. I had a grain screen -- it's a screen that you put down over your print, as you're making it -- it gives it a real dirty old look, a rough look. So I printed up a dozen or so, and took them back up, and then he said, "Well, now these are different." And as they were shooting the different scenes up at Eckley, I was able to get on close to the set. From that group of pictures, I compiled enough pictures so that I was able to put a book together, a couple years afterward. This was in '67, I think. I put the book out in '69."

George Harvan included most of the following photographs in The Time of Mollies (Lansford, 1969). He coupled many of the photographs with lines from contemporary ballads and poems that he found in the Mauch Chunk Democrat, Mauch Chunk Coal Gazette, the Pottsville Chronicle, the Lansford Leader, and the United Mine Workers Journal. Harvan's pairings of text and image are reproduced in the exhibit that follows.