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The Alessandra Collection; Starting in Whitby, Capt. Cook 7 Continents...

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Dominic Alessandra's book entitled "Kippers in The Smoke House" covers his photographic journey in the 1970's to the town of Whitby, England. The leather bound book is on display at Crowell Homestead in Hyannis, MA.  Dominic is available this season on Cape Cod to give folks a tour of the property and discuss his life's work in relation to Sea Captains Row.

 

                       Click on any image to view the book in online reader format.

$25 Donation, for a signed 8 X 12 of these photos and others. Shipping and packaging is separate.  Also, larger sizes are available. 

Dominic traveled to Whitby, because of his enthusiasm and interest in old Whitby and in particular the photography of Frank Sutcliffe, was given a box camera in need of repair to restore and use in 1971 by Bill Eglon Shaw,  owner of the Sutcliffe Gallery. He was told the camera once belonged to F.M. Sutcliffe one of the greatest Victorian photographers of that era. Soon after completing the restoration with the help of Hugh Islip., a local craftsman, the first photographs he took were thought to be original Sutcliffes’ by the local newspaper editor. As he discovered Whitby, many scenes remained unchanged from the days of old.  A controversy soon arose over the photographs and the authenticity of the camera. How could an “American” visiting in town wind up with F.M. Sutcliffs’ camera, a local historical and national treasure? He owes that and the start of his career in photography to the original generosity of Bill Shaw, also a member of the Whitby Historical Society. The provenance of the camera in the end was left to the claim of a local antique dealer who had since deceased.

During one of the most prosperous periods during the 1800's, Whitby, was one of the principal ports of England, renown for shipbuilding and whaling. James Cook began his seafaring career from here and all three ships he used for his explorations, scientific studies and circumnavigation from 1768-1780 were built here. Whitby shipyards had a reputation for high standards and quality  ship building at this time. Whitby ships were preferred by the British Admiralty because of their proven seaworthiness. They fulfilled the necessary requirements for long sea voyages that would take Cook from Whitby across to South America, to Patagonia and Antarctica, to New Zealand and Australia, Tahiti to the Hawaiian Islands, Pacific Northwest, along the eastern Asian Coast and Japan, returning around the Cape of Good Hope. The inventor of the Crows nest, Capt. William Scoresby, arctic explorer also hails from Whitby.