Mar 8

H.H. Jalbert

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 12:01 AM


One of the perks of being a photo researcher is getting to interact with professionals at museums and news agencies around the world. To find inspiration for my blog posts, I scour the USNI Archives for forgotten photo albums or unusual images. In January I discovered an album belonging to H. H. Jalbert of the Naval Air Station in Queenstown, Ireland, during World War I. It appeared to be missing three photos, which had been kept by the donor D. M. Jalbert—a family member, perhaps? Later that month, I found a collection of photos of the Naval Oil Reserve in Teapot Dome, Wyoming. The owner again was listed as D. M. Jalbert.

As a history aficionado, I was well aware of the infamous Teapot Dome Scandal of the 1920s, and I wanted to learn more about the original photographer of these images—and their mysterious donor. Unfortunately, the records of donations made in the 1980s were limited, so all I could surmise was that a David M. Jalbert did make several donations. With contact information that was approximately 30 years old I took to Google, where I found a 2014 record for someone of that name with an email address listed. A week later I received a phone call: I had found the right man.

David explained he was the son of H. H. Jalbert, who had worked as an editor at USNI for several years in the 1950s. He followed up with a copy of his father’s obituary, which provided additional biographical information. But perhaps the best surprise was a couple weeks ago, when he sent the three missing photos, and we were able to reunite them with his father’s collection.

Below are few of the photos David generously donated to us. Please enjoy.

The three photos, David Jalbert return for the album.

The three photos, David Jalbert return for the album.


Donations by David M. Jalbert.

Donations by David M. Jalbert. (Photographed by Melissa King)

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