|Art Pollard seated in race car|
On June 6, 1936, Pelham opened a Photostat shop where he made professional copies of documents for local businesses. After receiving a phone call from a friend who was interested in buying a camera, Pelham added camera sales to his business. His camera sales grew exponentially, and Pelham soon developed his own interest in photography.
|Jimmy Clark in Victory Lane|
In addition to his Indianapolis 500 photography, Pelham was interested in airplanes and frequently photographed local aviation events. Some of these include the Johnson Field dedication ceremony (which featured a speech delivered by Vice President Richard Nixon), and the Endurance Flight (in which two local pilots set a record for 22 consecutive days in flight). He also photographed Eleanor Roosevelt’s meeting with the Endurance Flight Pilots.
In his later years, Pelham retired from camera sales; however, he never lost his love of photography and enjoyed sharing stories of his days as a photographer. He participated in an oral history with the Ball State Archives and Special Collection in 1994 and 1999, and also created an autobiographical video in which he describes events from his life and career.
In addition to Pelham’s Indianapolis 500 collection, the Digital Media Repository also hosts the Ralph J. Satterlee Indianapolis 500 Photographs.