Photos by Michael Philip Manheim/U.S. National Archives
The National Archives has a Flickr account that’s a pretty hit-and-miss mix of photos and documents, but I’m really into this one collection called the Documerica Project, where freelance photographers across the country were commissioned by the government to document “environmental problems, EPA activities, and everyday life in the 1970s.” (Can you imagine such a project now in our cash-strapped times?)
A set from Michael Philip Manheim features photos he took in 1973. His assignment was “to document the noise pollution crises in the East Boston neighborhood around Neptune Road. Manheim captured powerful images of the deteriorating community, illustrating its uncomfortable proximity to one of the nation’s busiest airports and the plight of residents living under the landing path of jets on the approach to Logan’s busy runways.”
These photos of the planes above the neighborhood are eerie and cool. Having never that lived close to an airport before, I can’t imagine the noise and sight of planes constantly overhead. How completely jarring. They seem like they could almost just drop out of the sky.