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The son of a farmer, Beverly Bennett Dobbs was born in 1868 near Marshall, Missouri. At age 8, he moved with his parents to Lincoln, Neb., where he learned photography. In 1888, Dobbs moved to Bellingham, Wash., and operated a photography studio for 12 years, including a partnership in 1890-1891 with F.F. Fleming under the name Dobbs & Fleming. He married Dorothy Sturgeon of Bellingham in 1896, then moved to Nome, Alaska, in search of gold in 1900. Dobbs continued to earn his living as a photographer, and by 1903, he had formed a partnership with the photographer A.B. Kinne from San Francisco. The Dobbs & Kinne studio in Nome offered photography services and photo supplies. Dobbs photographed scenes in Nome and the Seward Peninsula and made portraits of Inuit people (Eskimos). He was awarded a gold medal at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis World’s Fair) in 1904 for his Eskimo photographs.
By about 1909, Dobbs had started Dobbs Alaska Moving Picture Co., making him one of the first to use motion picture film north of the Arctic Circle. He made a name for himself as a filmmaker with Atop of the World in Motion (also called Top of the World in Motion ), a collection of his motion picture travelogues detailing the Alaska gold rush. By 1911, it is probable that Dobbs was focusing only on his moving picture business; he no longer had his photography supply store, and had sold his photography negatives to the Lomen Brothers, who later issued some of his work under their name. By 1914, Dobbs had returned to Seattle and was managing the Dobbs Totem Film Company. He is listed as the cinematographer for A Romance of Seattle , a film shot in and around Seattle in 1919. In his later years he specialized in developing motion picture films in his studio at his home. During the 1930s, Dobbs photographed the fish processing operations at Pacific American Fisheries (PAF) in the Fairhaven area of Bellingham. He died at age 69 in 1937.
The collection consists of one photograph album with red leather cover containing photographs taken in Alaska by B.B. Dobbs. The album includes images of Alaska Natives, both studio portraits and images of Inuits in their daily lives, showing men fishing, with dog and reindeer sleds, and with reindeer carcasses; images of mining, showing mining operations at various locations, mining camps and landscapes, and gold bars in a bank; and views of Nome and other Alaska locations.
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|1||Eskimo man dressed in parka holding a stick. (156)||1903|
|2||Wegaruk and her child. (346)||1905|
|3||Eskimo woman Nowadlook in a hide dress||1907-1908|
|4||Eskimo woman. (128)||1903|
|5||Eskimo man. (119)||1903|
|6||Cross-eyed Eskimo in parka wearing beaded gloves||1903|
|7||Taluk and her baby||circa 1903-1907|
|8||Five Eskimo with metal buckets on a street||circa 1903-1907|
|9||Four Eskimo girls in hide dresses. (143)||1903|
|10||Eskimo man in parka. (129)||1903|
|11||Eskimo man holding a drum, woman and child in fur coats. (184)||1903|
|12||Eskimo woman (184)||1903|
|13||Eskimo child in a parka||circa 1903-1907|
|14||Large group of Eskimo outside a building in Nome, Alaska during reception to Governor Hoggatt||July 28, 1906|
|15||Eskimo man, woman and child with tools||circa 1903-1907|
|16||Tents, canoes and logs on a beach. (806)||1906|
|17||Men and dogs outside Eskimo cache and igloo near Cape Douglas, Alaska||circa 1903-1907|
|18||Eskimo woman ice fishing (648)||1906|
|19||Eskimo reindeer driver with sled and reindeer near Nome, Alaska||circa 1903-1907|
|20||Eskimo children outside school in Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska||circa 1903-1907|
|21||Clothes hanging from an upturned umiak||circa 1903-1907|
|22||Man in a native whaling boat at the edge of the ice pack in the Bering Straits||circa 1903-1907|
|23||Two Eskimo boys skinning reindeer near Penny River, Alaska. #953||circa 1903-1907|
|24||Two Eskimo men with a racks of reindeer killed for the Nome market near Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska||circa 1903-1907|
|25||Reindeer herd near Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska||circa 1903-1907|
|26||Line of Eskimo and reindeer hauling sleds of reindeer meat to Nome market||circa 1903-1907|
|27||Two people and a dog sled team
"Milton Weil with his malamute chorus"
|28||Man in ice field at the edge of town||circa 1903-1907|
|29||Men and dog sled team on East Front Street in Nome, Alaska||January 1907|
|30||Destruction in Nome, Alaska caused by a storm
"Looking west from Snake River"
|31||Ship covered in snow and ice
"One of the Mosquito Fleet in winter quarters"
|32||View down a street in Nome, Alaska||circa 1903-1907|
|33||Nome, Alaska viewed from the ice-covered Bering Sea||circa 1903-1907|
|34||Sloop Greyhound smashed by the ice pack||January 1907|
|35||Warped railroad tracks and dock caused by the ice pack||January 1907|
|36||Nome, Alaska viewed from the ice-covered Bering Sea||circa 1903-1907|
|37||Group of men, women and dogs around an ice hummock on the Bering Sea, one mile in front of Nome, Alaska. (708)||February 25, 1906|
|38||Two-part panorama of Nome as viewed from the ice-covered Bering Sea||1907|
|39||Bob Griffis, U.S. Mail Carrier, and his dog sled team one mile in front of Nome, Alaska on the Bering Sea (627)||circa 1903-1907|
|40||Rack of drying Tom Cod near Nome, Alaska. (453)||circa 1903-1907|
|41||Two men and a dog sled team in snow||circa 1903-1907|
|42||People looking out over the side of a ship||circa 1903-1907|
|43||Large ship in an icy sea. (153)||circa 1903-1907|
|44||Sesnon Lighterage Co. crane loading passengers for the S.S. St. Paul in Nome, Alaska||circa 1903-1907|
|45||Passengers on a barge landing at Nome, Alaska from the S.S. Ohio. (844)||June 9, 1906|
|46||Nome life saving crew making for the disabled sloop Greyhound. (839)||circa 1903-1907|
|47||Parade reception for Governor Hoggatt||July 1906|
|48||Reception to Captain Roald Amundsen and Lieutenant Hansen at the Golden Gate Hotel in Nome, Alaska||September 1, 1906|
|49||Seward Peninsula Excursion Train at Dorothy Creek with people standing on flatbed cars (816)||circa 1903-1907|
|50||Men working near a mining sluice. (894)
"Metson Bench-Berger & Anderson Layman"
|51||Men working near a mining sluice. (879)
"The Bessie Bench"
|52||Two men standing at the Sumit Bench at the head of Dexter Creek||circa 1903-1907|
|53||Hydraulic Mining at Daniels Creek by Top Kok Ditch Co.||circa 1903-1907|
|54|| Completed portion of ditch on Nome River, Alaska by
Seward Ditch Company. (337)
"C.L. Morris, Contractor"
|55||Little Creek viewed from Portland Bench. (798)||circa 1903-1907|
|56||Two men looking into a creek. (435)
"Tundra Mining near Jess Creek, Alaska"
|57||Three men standing on the Berger & Sullivan Drill. The first drill operated at Bluff, Alaska.||circa 1903-1907|
|58||Four plates of gold. (789)
"One days clean up at Discovery Little Creek"
|59||Man putting gold assay buttons in furnace at the Miners and Merchants Bank in Nome, Alaska.||circa 1903-1907|
|60||View from above a snow-covered town. (534)||circa 1903-1907|
|61||Looking down from No 6 Above Cleary Creek, Alaska. (532)||circa 1903-1907|
|62||Lelands Camp near Pilgrim River and Salmon Lake||circa 1903-1907|
|63||Birds-eye view of Cleary Creek, Alaska (520)||circa 1903-1907|
|64||Blocks, buckets and bags of gold (794)
"$1,250,00 Gold Buillion at the Miners and Merchant's Bank in Nome, Alaska"
|June 10, 1906|
|65||Three Friends Mining Company dredge on Solomon river, Alaska.||circa 1903-1907|
|66||Field of Alaska cotton. (185)||circa 1903-1907|
|67||Pressed northwestern and Alaskan wild flowers||circa 1903-1907|
|68||Eskimo graves at St. Michael, Alaska. (654)||circa 1903-1907|
|69||Interior of a Greek Church in Unalaska. (141)||circa 1903-1907|
|70||Wreck of the ship Sadie at Cape York, Alaska (809)||circa 1903-1907|
|71||Russian Fort St. Michael in Alaska, established 1849 (637)||circa 1903-1907|
|72||Street in Teller, Alaska. (819)||circa 1903-1907|
|73||Eskimo village at Cape Prince of Wales. (798)||circa 1903-1907|
|74a||Diomede Islands viewed from the water||circa 1903-1907|
|74b||Ice floes in the arctic viewed from the deck of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Thetis||August 1906|
|75a||Eskimo Village on Little Diomede Island viewed from the water||circa 1906|
|75b||Eskimo on board the U.S. Revenue Cutter Thetis at Point Barrow, Alaska||circa 1906|
|76a||U.S. Revenue Cutter Thetis fastened to an ice flow off the Seahorse Islands||August 1906|
|76b||Furling the sails on board the U.S. Revenue Cutter Thetis||circa 1906|
|77||Three rows of stuffed Ptarmigan of north-western Alaska. (156)||circa 1903-1907|
|78||View of the Bering Sea near Nome, Alaska after a storm. (836)||circa 1903-1907|