Wow! Look at those colors -- blue, orange, yellow, and even some purple! Hine's picture was dull, dull, dull, but a Glencoe illustrator has made it right. While no competent teacher would tolerate such fraud, Glencoe's colorized fake will certainly delight the ignorant and childish teachers who constitute Glencoe's corps of customers. I'll bet that the Glencoe illustrator laughed aloud as he applied his paint, confident that those teachers would neither know nor care that he had corrupted a classic historical document. Glencoe's customers don't care about historical documents, but they love blue and orange and yellow and purple.

I'll bet that Glencoe's caption-writer laughed aloud too. The caption for the fake photo bears the rubric "Visualizing History," but the caption is history-free. It doesn't explicate what the photo shows, it doesn't tell anything about the people whom the photo depicts, and it doesn't tell where or when the photo was taken. The caption's only hint of historical information is its reference to "the late 1800s," and that reference is false. (As I've noted above, Hine made his famous photo in 1905.) Teachers who buy "history" books from Glencoe don't care about historical information, but they love blue and orange and yellow and purple.



William J. Bennetta is a professional editor, a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, the president of The Textbook League, and the editor of The Textbook Letter. He writes often about the propagation of quackery, false "science" and false "history" in schoolbooks.