F.E. Matthes photographs of Mount Rainier, 1910-1911  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Matthes, François, 1874-1948
F.E. Matthes photographs of Mount Rainier
1910-1911 (inclusive)
98 negatives (1 box) : nitrate ; 95 3"x5"; 3 2"x3"
Collection Number
Photographs of Mt. Rainier, Matthes, his wife Edith, and his assistants camping and mountain climbing
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Entire collection can be viewed on the Libraries’ Digital Collections website. Permission of Visual Materials Curator required to view originals. Contact Special Collections for more information.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Francois Emile Matthes (1874-1948) was a Dutch-born topographer/geologist/glaciologist who immigrated to the United States in 1891. He studied civil engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned his degree in 1895. After a year working as an instrument and draftsman in Rutland, Vermont, Matthes went to work for the United States Geological Survey, first as a topographer and then as a geologist/glaciologist. His association with the USGS lasted for 51 years, until his retirement in 1947.

From 1907 to 1913, Matthes served as an Inspector of Maps for the USGS. In 1910, he was assigned the task of mapping Mount Rainier National Park. He made his first ascent of the mountain in 1910 but, because of subfreezing temperatures and high winds, accomplished little. Poor weather and forest fires hampered his second ascent, in 1911. As a result, Matthes completed little more than a fourth of the map. The map was completed by others in 1913.

Matthes is best known for his detailed topographic maps of the Bighorn Mountains, the upper Grand Canyon, and Yosemite National Park. His text, Glacial Sculpture of the Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming, published in 1899, is still a standard reference.

Matthes made these photographs while on assignment to map the topography of Mount Rainier as part of his duties as Inspector of Maps for the U.S. Geological Survey. These photographs were made during the field seasons in 1910 and 1911. His wife, Edith, whom he had married in June 1911, accompanied Matthes on the second field visit.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection includes photographs a Mt. Rainier mapping expedition including F.E. Matthes, his wife Edith, and his assistants camping and mountain climbing.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View the digital version of the collection

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
1 1-2  South side of Mt. Rainier viewed from Pinnacle Peak (Matthes 6a-6b) September 1910
1 3  South side of Mt. Rainier from Sluiskin Falls (Matthes 7) October 1910
1 4-8  Ice cascades of Nisqually Glacier from near McClure Rock (Matthes 8a-8b, 9a-9c)
Items 4-5 dated 1910; items 6-8 dated September 1910
September 1910
1 9  Ice cascade and lateral moraine of lower Nisqually Glacier (Matthes 10b) 1910
1 10  Ice cascade of Paradise Glacier (Matthes 11) July 1911
2 11-12  Point Success, a summit of Mount Rainier, seen from Pyramid Peak (Matthes 14a-14b)
Matthes labeled this as" Peak Success," although according to topographic naming conventions this feature is a "point" not a "peak."
August 1911
2 13  Pyramid Peak, Mount Rainier, with Point Success in background (Matthes 15a) August 1911
2 14  Pyramid Peak and Point Success after snowfall (Matthes 15b) September 1911
2 15  Pearl Falls near Pyramid Peak (Matthes 16) September 1911
2 16-17  Point Success from Indian Henry's Hunting Ground (Matthes 17a-17b)
The hunting ground is named after a Nisqually tribe elder, known as Indian Henry, who guided American settlers through the Cascade Range.
August 1911
2 18-21  Point Success as seen through trees adjacent to Indian Henry's Hunting Ground (Matthes 18a-18d) August 1911
3 22  Point Success reflected in Mirror Lake (Matthes 19) August 1910
3 23  Ice cascade of South Tahoma Glacier and Glacier Island (Matthes 21) August 1911
3 24-25  Glacier Island (Matthes 23a-23b) October 1911
3 26  Point Success and Mirror Lake after snowfall (Matthes 24) September 1911
3 27  Point Success mirrored in pond in winter (Matthes 25) September 1911
3 28-30  Point Success after snow storm (Matthes 26a-26c) September 1911
3 31-33  Point Success and Indian Henry's Hunting Ground in deep snow (Matthes 27-a-27c) September 1911
4 34-35  Trees in snow at Indian Henry's Hunting Ground (Matthes 28a-28b) September 1911
4 36  Trees and meadow at Indian Henry's Hunting Ground (Matthes 29) August 1911
4 37-38  Horses pasturing in meadow at Indian Henry's Hunting Ground (Matthes 30a-30b) July 1910
4 39  Woman by tent on far side of pond at Indian Henry's Hunting Ground, snow scene (Matthes 31a) September 1911
4 40  Woman standing in snow near pond at Indian Henry's Hunting Ground (Matthes 31b) September 1911
4 41  Ice scored rock near Pyramid Peak (Matthes 32) September 1911
4 42  Meadow with evergreens in background (Matthes 33) August 1911
4 43  Alpine Hemlock (Matthes 34) August 1911
4 44  Bears playing on snowdrift (Matthes 35) August 1911
5 45  Startled buck (Matthes 36)
Note with negative: "#36 - Startled Buck ... not a[illegible] on John [Edsel]. April 21/59"
August 1911
5 46  Cloud bank in front of the Tatoosh Range wilderness area adjacent to Mount Rainier National Park, taken from the Alta Vista trail (Matthes 40) September 1910
5 47  Low clouds seen from above at Indian Henry's Hunting Ground with Mount St. Helens in the distance (Matthes 41) July 1910
5 48  Low clouds over ridge south of Indian Henry's Hunting Ground (Matthes 42) September 1911
5 49-50  Low fog between trees at Indian Henry's Hunting Ground (Matthes 43a-43b) July 1910
5 51  Tatoosh Range from the foot of Paradise Glacier (Matthes 46) July 1911
5 52  Tatoosh Range from Paradise Park (Matthes 47) July 1911
5 53  Western Tatoosh Range from Pinnacle Peak (Matthes 48) September 1910
5 54  Mt. Adams and west end of Tatoosh Range (Matthes 49) September 1911
5 55  Line of snow drifts at Stevens Ridge (Matthes 51) August 1911
6 56  Snowdrift and snow drift site at Stevens Ridge (Matthes 52) August 1911
6 57  Double snowdrift at Stevens Ridge (Matthes 53) August 1911
6 58  Snow drifts and dune at Nisqually Ridge (Matthes 54) August 1911
6 59  Two crested snowdune at Nisqually Ridge (Matthes 55) August 1911
6 60  Remnant of snowdrift at Alta Vista (Matthes 56) September 1910
6 61  Nivated gulch at Nisqually Ridge with Alta Vista in background wreathed in fog (Matthes 57)
The termnivateddescribes a surface modified by frost action, erosion, and mass wasting beneath and around a snowbank so as to produce transverse, longitudinal, and circular hollows.
6 62  Nivated area on east side of Nisqually Ridge (Matthes 58) September 1910
6 63  Nivated area along snowdrift belt of Nisqually Ridge (Matthes 59) October 1910
6 64  Nivated slopes and drift remnants on Mazama Ridge (Matthes 60) October 1910
6 65  Two hikers on remnant of snow cornice at Tatoosh Range (Matthes 61)
Asnow corniceis an overhang of snow, formed by wind blowing over the crest of a mountain. These formations are precursors to avalanches.
August 1911
6 66  Fresh snow melting off of old snow on Nisqually Ridge (Matthes 64) September 1910
7 67  Mud slurry resulting from ice melting out of Paradise Glacier in one day (Matthes 65) August 1911
7 68-69  E.R. Lehndorff sitting on Pinnacle Peak smoking a pipe (Matthes 70a-70b) August 1911
7 70-72  F.E. Matthes with Edith Matthes and E.R. Lehndorff on Pyramid Peak (Matthes 73a-73c) August 1911
7 73-74  F.E. Matthes and Edith Matthes on Pinnacle Peak (Matthes 76 a-76b) August 1911
7 75  Campsite in Paradise Park (Matthes 78) August 1911
7 76  F.E. Matthes in field of flowers in Paradise Park (Matthes 79) August 1911
7 77  Edith Matthes in Paradise Park (Matthes 80) August 1911
8 78  Edith Matthes in woods at Indian Henry's Hunting Ground (Matthes 81) August 1911
8 79  Edith Matthes on Mount Ararat (Matthes 82) August 1911
8 80  F.E. Matthes and Edith Matthes sitting in meadow displaying hobnail boots (Matthes 83) September 1911
8 81-82  Tent after snowstorm at Indian Henry's Hunting Ground (Matthes 84a-84b) September 1911
8 83  Edith Matthes near tent during snowstorm at Indian Henry's Hunting Ground (Matthes 85) September 1911
8 84-85  Camp after snowstorm at Indian Henry's Hunting Ground (Matthes 86a-86b) September 1911
8 86  E.R. Lehndorff and E. Courtwright leaving camp (Matthes 87) September 1911
8 87  F.E. Matthes with horse, Pet, leaving Indian Henry's Hunting Ground (Matthes 89) September 1911
8 88  Edith Matthes standing next to snow-covered vine maple (Matthes 90) September 1911
9 89  Edith Matthes and snowy cliffs at Mount Ararat (Matthes 91) September 1911
9 90  Edith Matthes at door of cook tent at Indian Henry's Hunting Ground (Matthes 92) October 1911
9 91  F.E. Matthes and Edith Matthes on horseback on Longmire trail (Matthes 93) October 1911
9 92-93  Mountain range with river in foreground (Matthes 95a-95b) 1910-1911
9 94-95  Mountain peak with evergreens in foreground (Matthes 96a-96b) 1910-1911
9 96  Mountain side covered in snow (Matthes 98) 1910-1911
9 97  Tent in snow at Indian Henry's Hunting Ground (Matthes 99) circa 1910
9 98  Snow-covered alpine meadow with evergreens in midground (Matthes 100) 1910-1911

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Mountain mapping--Washington (State)--Rainier, Mount
  • Geographical Names :
  • Rainier, Mount (Wash.)--Photographs
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Matthes, François, 1874-1948--Photographs (photographer)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)