Clarence Snyder

Photographer, Visual Artist

1920 – 2005


Who was Clarence Snyder?

Clarence Snyder was an industrial photographer for 44 years at Bethlehem Steel. He gained national recognition for his for pictures of the skyscrapers and ships it built. A collection of his photographs is on display at the National Canal Museum at Two Rivers Landing in Easton, Pennsylvania.

The museum has more than 1,000 photographs documenting the prominence of Bethlehem Steel, according to Lance Metz, the museum's historian. Snyder's photos featured such memorable events as the completion of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and Madison Square Garden, and showed ships carrying iron ore, skyscrapers under construction, and molten steel being poured.

His photo of a silhouetted staircase rising inexplicably into the sky from a construction site appeared in Life magazine and was subsequently used by Frank Zappa for the cover of the album Stairway to Heaven.

Snyder was also an avid ham radio enthusiast, and was involved with Northampton County's emergency management/civil defense since the early 1950s, according to Nick Tylenda, the county emergency management director. The American Red Cross honored his contributions to communications during emergencies, most notably the 1955 Hurricane Diane flood in which he was the contact between rescue workers and victims of the raging Brodhead Creek in Monroe County.

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on July 23, 2013


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