Tennessee v. John T. Scopes Trial: The seven scientists asked to testify for the defense standing in front of the Defense Mansion.

Description: Back row, left to right: Horatio Hackett Newman, Maynard Mayo Metcalf, Fay-Cooper Cole, Jacob Goodale Lipman; Front row, left to right: Winterton Conway Curtis, Wilbur A. Nelson, William Marion Goldsmith. The Defense Mansion was a Victorian house where the defense team and witnesses stayed during the trial. July 1925


Creator/Photographer: Watson Davis


Medium: Black and white photographic print


Dimensions: 3 in x 4.25 in


Culture: American


Geography: USA


Date: 1925


Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives


Collection: Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes Trial Photographs - During 1925, Watson Davis (1896-1967), Science Service managing editor, took numerous photographs while covering the State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes trial as a reporter. In what was dubbed "The Trial of the Century," Scopes was tried and convicted for violating a state law prohibiting the teaching of the theory of evolution. William Jennings Bryan served on the prosecution team, and Clarence Darrow defended Scopes. Almost eighty years later, the nitrate negatives, including portraits of trial participants, and images from the trial itself and significant places in Dayton, were discovered in archival material donated to the Smithsonian by Science Service in 1971. Marcel C. LaFollette, an independent scholar, historian and Smithsonian volunteer uncovered these rare, previously unpublished photographs of the 1925 Tennessee vs. John Scopes "Monkey Trial" in the Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA). In 2005, SIA restored fifty-two of the negatives with funds granted by the Smithsonian Women's Committee. Included here are thirty-nine of the images. All images belong to the Record Unit 7091: Science Service, Records, 1902-1965 collection of SIA. All photographs were taken by Watson Davis, Managing Editor of Science Service, while he was in Dayton, Tennessee, June 4-5, 1925, and July 10-22, 1925. LaFollette identified and dated each of these images, and has published a new book highlighting these and other images from the trial entitled, Reframing Scopes: Journalists, Scientists, and Lost Photographs from the Trial of the Century, University Press of Kansas, 2008.


Accession number: SIA2008-1146


Persistent URL: siarchives.si.edu/collections/siris_arc_308416


View more collections from the Smithsonian Institution.


Related blog posts:

Scientists Arrive in Dayton and Find a Mansion



  • profsportster 7y

    One can't help but notice the absence of any sign of air-condioning units from these scenes. Looking at shots of men in long sleeves during a July trial in Dayton truly highlights the changes wrought on us in the last 83 years.
  • kd1s 7y

    This is wonderful. And yet today we still fight the battle over and over again. Look at the states where the religious wingnuts are trying to puch Intelligent Design or Creation Theory as real science.
  • Neil 7y

    Perhaps the reason we are still fighting the battle Kd1s is because there are still some people silly enough to believe in the fairy tale of evolution.
  • PeacockDesigns 7y

    look at how thin these older men were,,, no fast food around ,no junk food...
  • Tom Stallard 7y

    Ah yes - right up there with the fairytale of gravity. I have to clamp myself to the ground daily.
  • victortan47 7y

    great shot
  • Neil 7y

    why did gravity evolve to Tom? Sheesh the fairy tail is worse than I thought. Hey man if you pop down to your garden pond and kiss a frog it may turn into a princess lol.
  • Lú_ 6y

    This image has been used in the indicommons.org post Tennessee v. John T. Scopes.

  • Lú_ 6y

    This photograph is part of the Indicommons.org post And that was July … across the Commons.

  • Smithsonian Photography Initiative 5y

    See a blog post featuring this photograph at THE BIGGER PICTURE.
  • Smithsonian Institution 4y

    Learn more about the witnesses in the trial from the Smithsonian Archives research associate who discovered this collection:

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