U.S. Navy Reveals Dozens of Rare Spanish-American War Photos

The U.S. Navy published a series of glass-plate photographs from the Spanish-American War, after the rare find was rediscovered this year.

Photographic archivists from the Naval History and Heritage Command have revealed a series of approximately 150 glass plate photographs covering the Spanish-American War of 1898 and the Philippine Insurrection. The rare find was discovered earlier this year in a box that may have been hidden from public eye for more than a century, according to a navy press release.

Above, the U.S.S. Petrel in action, 1898.

Apprentice boys aboard the U.S.S. Olympia.

"The plates were individually wrapped in tissue paper and include full captions and dates, which were likely prepared by the photographer, Douglas White," Lisa Crunk, the Naval History and Heritage Command’s photo archive branch head, said in the release. "The glass plates are in perfect condition and housed in a large wooden box with a leather strap, which likely allowed for it to be carried by the shoulder."

Above, the wreck of the Spanish cruiser Castilla.

The U.S.S. Boston in action, 1898.

The crew of the Spanish cruiser Reina Cristina in prayer before battle on April 24, 1898.

The discovery was made by archivists Dave Colamaria and Jon Roscoe in a storage space during the survey phase of a major renovation project. The entire collection is being rehoused into new archival enclosures and shelving units.

Above, the Spanish Fleet in the Suez Canal.

Capt. Dennis Geary of the Calif. Heavy Artillery, in Cavite, Philippines.

"Once it was realized what they had uncovered, there was tremendous excitement amongst the staff, especially the historians! The images are an amazing find, though they were never really lost - they were simply waiting to be re-discovered," Crunk said in the release.

Above, the U.S.S. Raleigh in action, 1898.

U.S. Adm. George Dewey became a national hero after defeating Spanish forces and inflicting heavy casualities at Cavite during the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898.

The wreck of the Spanish armed transport Cebu.

Plans for the rediscovered collection include high resolution digitization, cataloging and eventual exhibition on the organization's website. Nearly 50 images have already been made available on the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Flickr page.

Above, old shellbacks Dave Ireland, Purdy, Tom Griffin, and John King.