High Summer Harvest

Photographs by Ernest K. Thomas

One of our recent projects was the inventorying of the collection of a prolific but little-known Rhode Island photographer, E.K. Thomas. While sorting through several hundred photographs spanning several decades (all which will soon be accessible to RRC patrons), we were captivated by much of what he captured on film.
Ernest K. Thomas (1884-1975) was an author, professor, and landscaper who, long before serving as Superintendent of Parks of Providence and Chief of Forests, Parks, and Parkways of the Rhode Island Department of Agriculture & Conservation, was at the forefront of the School Garden Movement in Rhode Island, wherein he served as an administrator, teacher, and photographer.  His early passion for gardening and education launched a wide-ranging career in the field of horticulture.
The RIHS collections staff also put together a great display featuring Thomas’s images along with canning and garden pamphlets from our printed collection. This exhibit will be on display until early fall!
~ Owen Gibbs, Collections and Curatorial Assistant

2 thoughts on “High Summer Harvest

  1. In this collection, would there be a 1916 Arbor Day pamphlet issued by the superintendent of schools? It would have included a description and illustration of the Albion school gardens which I believe may have been provided by Professor Thomas. I am seeking any and all photos and documentation that Prof. Thomas would have developed for the Albion school gardens, as well as the mill worker gardens.

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