Leavenworth Photograph Collection Lansing, Michigan

Jack Carlos and His Arabian Knights, May 11, 1927

Click Jack Carlos and Band – Large image to view an enlarged version of the image.

In the 1920s, Lansing residents danced to jazz bands from Michigan and across the US. These included James C. Dimmick’s Million Dollar Sunny Brook Orchestra, Nate Fry and the Gold Diggers, Wilson’s Serenaders, the Waltz Wizards, the Masqueraders, the 10 Musical Senators, and Alma Morrison and the Original Society Syncopators. Many of these bands played at the Armory, Lansing’s most popular dance venue. It was located on Michigan Avenue at Marshall Street.

This month’s images feature Jack Carlos and His Arabian Knights Orchestra, a band native to Lansing. The band’s venues included the Armory, Hotel Olds, and the Country Club. Their name typifies the orientalism that was the rage in the United States throughout the 1920s, following the enormous popularity of The Sheik (1921) with Rudolph Valentino. Lansing theatres replayed The Sheik throughout the decade along with its sequel Son of the Sheik (1926) and other exotic “desert romance” films such as Lady of the Harem (1926).

These images are part of the Leavenworth collection, a landmark acquisition for the Archives of Michigan. Taken by Leavenworth Photography in Lansing, this collection is the largest and most comprehensive historical photograph collection of Lansing in existence. An estimated 200,000 negatives trace Lansing’s history from the dirt roads of its pre-capital days through its boom into a major industrial city and automotive capital, and throughout the twentieth century. The collection is particularly strong in industrial photographs, but its true hallmark is its wide scope.

Negatives in the Leavenworth collection have been deteriorating, and work has begun to digitize the images. An exhibit of the collection will open at the Michigan Historical Center in May 2008. The Archives looks forward to sharing this exciting collection with the public and raising funds for its preservation.

Another view of Jack Carlos and His Arabian Knights (January 3, 1928)

Click Archives of Michigan to visit the Archives of Michigan home page.

Click Image of the Month Archives to access former Image of the Month pages.

Archives of Michigan
Michigan Library and Historical Center
702 W. Kalamazoo Street
Lansing, MI 48913
Phone: (517) 373-1408
E-mail: archives@michigan.gov

Written by: Lisa Sparks.

Published by Mark Harvey

State Archivist of Michigan harveym@mi.gov www.michigan.gov/archivesofmi AIM: archivesmich GoogleTalk: archivesmich@gmail.com Also on: Facebook, LinkedIN Interests * Birding * Flyfishing * Historic buildings * Macs * Archives of course! Favorite Movies * River Runs Through It; O Brother Where Art Thou; Matewan; too many to list. Favorite Music * Classical * Bluegrass * Americana/roots; Currently Listening to: OCMS; Wilco; Richard Buckner; Sufjan Stevens; Neko Case. Favorite Books * The River Why * Brothers K * Currently Reading: “Eat This Book” by Eugene Peterson.

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