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The American South has been documented by legions of photographers and others seeking to capture its unique visual appearance. John LeRoy Hensel came to Columbia, South Carolina from Ohio during World War II as a bomber pilot instructor. He grew quite fond of the region and he returned after the war's conclusion to open a photography business. Over the next few years, he took hundreds of photographs documenting building construction, social gatherings, schools, and a range of other places and activities in town. All told, the archive has over 2,000 photos that visitors can browse at their leisure. The topical headings here include People, Buildings, and Aerial Photos. This last area has over three dozen remarkable photos that document the city and surroundings before the massive growth that happened in the 1960s and 1970s.
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