Entertaining the Troops at Farragut Naval Training Station -- Published By Famed Winter Photographer Ross Hall
Extremely rare pictorial map of the area around Lake Pend O'Reille, drawn by Stan Gelling and published by The Ross Hall Studio.
The map is a marvelous mix of whimsical (and sometimes provocative) images, intended to amuse naval personnel training at Farragut Naval Training Station (including a topless woman at Maiden Rock).
The map is curious for utilizing the title "Hysterical Map", the trademark name of maps by the Lindgren Brothers of Spokane, Washington, 60 miles to the southwest. We can only imagine that Gelling's use of the name Hysterical Map was intended to trade on the Lindgren brand.
While the map shares a title similarity with Jolly Lindgren, the artwork is much more people-centric, and seems to be consistent with Gelling's known work, post-card artwork relating to the WW II Naval Training Center at Lake Pend Oreille.
During World War II, the south end of the Lake was home to Farragut Naval Training Station, the second largest naval training ground in the world and the largest "city" in the state. Built as a result of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the training station is now Farragut State Park. The lake's Large Scale Vehicle Range is still used by the Navy's Acoustic Research Detachment for sonar testing with large-scale submarine prototypes on the Pend Oreille Calibration Station.
The map was printed by famed photographer Ross Hall in 1944. Hall attended Illinois College of Photography n the 1920's. the only fully accredited photography college in the country. Several years after graduation, Ross moved to Sandpoint, Idaho. There, upon recommendation of the Eastman Kodak Company, he was hired by the widowed Nellie Himes to manage the Dick Himes Studio. Ross first received national attention for "The Forest Christening" which was published by the New York times in 1933. Subsequently, his work went on to be featured in National Geographic and Life, as well as most of the other major periodicals of the day.
By the 1940's, Eastman Kodak recognized Ross Hall as one of the top ten scenic photographers in the country. At its pinnacle, The Ross Hall Studio employed nearly one hundred people and accounted for over 600,000 large format negatives, some sizing up to ten square feet.
The map is previously unknown. The only entry we could locate was for this example, which was previously owned by Murray Hudson.
We found precious little about Stan Gelling. He seems to have been a postcard artist in Idaho.
The Yuba County Historic Resources Commission currently has a project described in is July 23, 2019 Annual Report as:
- Collections of vintage photographs and a collection of drawings from local cartoon artist and writer Stan Gelling