J.W. Nara, a Finnish Immigrant to Michigan’s Copper Country in the lat 1800′s, imprinted many of his photos with his name, but many more were not marked. Hundreds of prints have come to be part of various collections and archives which sometimes do not use his name in conjunction with the photos. At other times, the photos have been used with the permission of (and credit given to) the archive or collector. Sometimes not even the collection is credited. Still more copies of Nara’s photos continued to circulate around the area in the possession of families and individuals who were the subjects of those photos, as well as others who recognized their historic value and became collectors.
This book is an attempt to present what Deborah K. Frontiera and J.W. Nara’s grandson, Dr. Robert Nara, consider to be the best of his work, so that when people see these photos elsewhere, they will know that the original photographer was J. W. Nara. Anyone seeing displays of historic photos of the Copper Country, and especially the Calumet area, (between 1894 and 1934) should be aware that the chances are above 90% that photos not marked J.W. Nara may also be his, no matter who the collector or producer of prints for sale. It is hoped that we will all appreciate more fully the importance of the record of life in that era that Nara left us through his artistic eye.