In memoriam: Ira Current
Ira Current, who grew up on the Colorado Springs Westside and took many photos of life here that have since been preserved by historians, died in Rochester, N.Y.,
his hometown for most of his life, May 19 at the age of 98.
The cause of death was medical complications related to congestive heart failure issues, according to information from Brian Current, one of his sons.
Mr. Current was born in Colorado Springs Oct. 30, 1910, to Park and Anna Current. He had begun photography with still and moving images by 1924 and worked at Stewart Brothers photofinishing in Colorado Springs beginning in 1928.
According to another son, Michael, “by 1929, the year he finished high school, Ira was filming an 'epic' of the 'downhill racers,' [hand-built vehicles also called 'soapbox derby cars'].” The movie was called Four Wheels” and included “stunts, multiple camera angles, [and] a 'fall to the death' or two,” Michael added.
Following graduation from the University of Colorado with a degree in chemistry in 1934, Mr. Current began working at Agfa Ansco in Binghamton, N.Y., as head of various standards and quality control departments.
During World War II, he served as head of the technical department of the Naval Photographic Science Laboratory in Anacostia, DC.
He served in the US Naval Reserves for several decades, retiring with the rank of commander. He returned to Ansco, then called GAF, in 1946 and retired as head of the Industrial Photo Division in 1972.
Mr. Current joined the faculty of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in 1972 and served as staff chairman of the Professional Photography Department.
He married Ellen McGarry of Providence, Rhode Island, in 1944. He is survived by their four children and their spouses, and by his brothers and sisters, Richard, Eugene, Maloa Read, Irma Hilfers and Grace Ball.
Westside Pioneer/press release