Monday, October 12, 2009

Little Ways to Change the World

Today I read the obituary of one Marty Forscher, a repairman.

Of course, I read it in the New York Times.

Why was a repairman memoralized in the Gray Lady?

Here's why...

Mr. Forscher opened a professional camera repair shop in New York City right after the Second World War. He had been working on cameras to make money before the war, and during it worked in the Navy photography shop (run by the famed Edward Steichen!)

Mr. Forscher was a native genius and inventor - see the obituary for a small sampling of examples - but in the 1960's, he started collecting discarded cameras from magazines, fixing them, and sending them to aspiring photojournalists in the South for use in documenting the Civil Rights movement. When they were soaked by fire hoses, or smashed by police, he would fix them right up and send them right back. The images produced by the cameras were published all over the world.

The pen is mightier than the sword, but the camera is also a fearsome weapon for truth: by arming these men and women, Mr. Forscher played a small but vital role in their dangerous work. As the evil and the furtive have been learning since Leopold's day, the evil that flourishes in darkness and ignorance will not survive the light. Well done, Mr. Forscher, well done.


Link courtesy of James Pomerantz at


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