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Synopsis

It was nearly the turn of the century. Not only was the century changing but the ways of life were changing. Many new inventions were making life easier. Electricity was becoming more and more available. Travel was becoming more comfortable and convenient. The awareness of the plight of the Native American Indians was more widely known. The Wounded Knee Massacre was a recent occurrence. As more and more people were exposed to the manner in which Indians were treated, attitudes changed. The Indian population had declined to its lowest ebb at the turn of the century. The Trans-Mississippi Exposition in Omaha was an opportunity to show off many of the new inventions and to help the rest of the country be aware of the riches West of the Mississippi. One Frank A. Rinehart, the premier photographer in Omaha, was appointed the Official Photographer for the Trans-Mississippi Expo. At the last minute, it was decided to bring about 500 Indians to the Expo to show attendees the human side of this misunderstood people. Rinehart had the unique opportunity to produce photographic portraits of each of the Native Americans in attendance. "The Edge of Extinction" not only highlights some of those portraits of this handsome race, but also gives a view of life in Omaha, the commentary of the national press concerning the Trans-Mississippi, a look at the man who was Rinehart and more so as to help understand this time in the history of the Midwest.

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