Burlington Northern Railroad Company photograph albums, circa 1905-1935  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Burlington Northern Railroad Company
Title
Burlington Northern Railroad Company photograph albums
Dates
circa 1905-1935 (inclusive)
Quantity
4 boxes, (3 linear feet)
Collection Number
1984.84
Summary
The collection consists of ten leather-bound albums containing scenic photographs collected by the Burlington Northern Railroad Company. Locales include Rainier National Park, Mt. Baker, Lake Chelan, Wenatchee, Yakima, Spokane, North Idaho and the Alaska Panhandle. The albums also contain photographs related to the apple industry, tourism and the 1925 National Indian Congress in Spokane, Washington.
Repository
Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library
Sophie Frye Bass Library
Museum of History & Industry
P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
98108
Telephone: 206-324-1126
Fax: 206-780-1533
library@mohai.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public by appointment.

Languages
English.
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Burlington Northern Railroad was formed in 1970 by the merger of the Great Northern; the Northern Pacific; the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy; and the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railroads. Many of the photographs in this collection were taken for and acquired by the Great Northern Railroad (financed by railroad tycoon James J. Hill) to depict destinations and industries served by the railroad.

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

Fred H. Kiser (1878-1955), a mountain and landscape photographer based in Portland, was Great Northern's official photographer from 1906-1912. He went on to launch a studio based at Crater Lake in 1921 and was one of the prominent scenic photographers of his era.

During this same period Seattle's Asahel Curtis (1874-1947) was busily documenting the historical events, natural resources and impressive scenery of the Pacific Northwest. A noted landscape photographer, Curtis was also one of the founding members of the Mountaineers and was instrumental in the development of Mt. Rainier National Park.

Asahel was the brother of Edward S. Curtis, who was most renowned for his numerous portraits of Native Americans. Of note in regards to this collection is the fact that Asahel documented the 1925 National Indian Congress in Spokane, including in his coverage not only shots of war dances, night parades and encampments but also portraits of Native American dignitaries, mothers with their children, and Princess America (a beauty pageant for young Native American women) contestants.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of ten leather-bound albums containing scenic photographs collected by the Burlington Northern Railroad Company. Locales include Rainier National Park, Mt. Baker, Lake Chelan, Wenatchee, Yakima, Spokane, North Idaho and the Alaska Panhandle.

There are ten leather-covered albums, featuring gray or black pages and bound with metal posts, all containing black and white photographs ranging from 4x6 in. to 8x10 in. Four of the albums contain work attributed to Fred H. Kiser (1878-1955) and the Kiser Photo Co. of Portland, Oregon. These albums have gold lettering on the spines spelling out "Kiser," and then the studio's number for the album (10, 15, 27 and 28 in this case). The photographs are of various scenic locales throughout the Pacific Northwest (for instance, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Mt. St. Helens and Lake Chelan) and are hand-captioned in white lettering. The six remaining albums contain photographs by Asahel Curtis, Ranapar Studios and Rolphe Dauphin. Images include the 1925 National Indian Congress in Spokane, Wenatchee and Yakima valley orchards, individual apple specimens, tourist expeditions to coastal Alaska on board the S.S. Aleutian and the S.S. Yukon, and scenic locales of the Northwest, including Mt. Rainier National Park, the Naches River, Eastern Washington, North Idaho, and the Olympic Peninsula.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

The Burlington Northern Railroad Photograph Albums, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1 1984.84.1: Photograph Album
Images photographed by Fred H. Kiser or the Kiser Photograph Co.
Photographic subjects include Lake Chelan, the Hotel Field, glaciers, Bridge Creek, Mt. Sahale, Doubtful Lake, Horseshoe Basin, Whistler Mts., Rainbow Falls, Rainy Lake, the Stehekin River, and Chelan Canyon. Embossed spine reads "Kiser 10."
circa 1909
1 1984.84.2: Photograph Album
Images photographed by Fred H. Kiser or the Kiser Photographic Co.
Subjects include Mt. Baker, Roosevelt Glacier, Twin Lakes, Mt. Shuksan, Deming Glacier, the Skykomish River, crevasses and the 1909 Mazamas Expedition (Mazamas being the name of a mountaineering group from Oregon). Embossed spine reads "Kiser 15."
1909
1 1984.84.3: Photograph Album
Images photographed by Fred H. Kiser or the Kiser Photographic Co.
Subjects include a 45-year-old apple tree, a panoramic view of Wenatchee, shots of commercial orchards, an Epsom salt-producing lake near Oroville, the Smilakameen River, Osoyoos Lake, and Pogues Flat. Embossed spine reads "Kiser 27."
1910
1 1984.84.4: Photograph Album
Images photographed by Fred H. Kiser or the Kiser Photographic Co.
Subjects include the Columbia River between Wenatchee and Chelan Falls, the Wenatchee River, individual ranches and orchards, peach trees, apple blossoms, peach blossoms, apple packing sheds and specimens of specific apple varieties (including Black Arkansas, Delaware Red, Spitzenberg, Winter Banana, Winesap, and Ben Davis). Embossed spine reads "Kiser 28."
1910
2 1984.84.5: Photograph Album
Images photographed by Asahel Curtis and Ranapar Studios .
Subjects include scenic views of Mt. Rainier peaks, roads and native plants, Nisqually Glacier, Paradise Inn, the National Park Inn at Longmire Springs, hiking parties, and wildlife (deer, bears) interacting with visitors. There are also photographs intended to convey the playful side of Mt. Rainier, including images of "alpine nymphs" dancing in a meadow; "nature coasting," in which participants wore tin breeches and scooted down icy hills, and skiing and sledding in bathing suits and other summer attire. Tag on spine reads "Rainier Park Photos from Rainier National Park Co."
circa 1923
2 1984.84.6: Photograph Album
Images photographed by Asahel Curtis .
Subjects include the Naches River, the Naches Highway, White River, Yakima River, Tipsoo Lake, State Road #5, Naches Peak at Chinook Pass, a Douglas fir measuring 383 in. in diameter, the Honorable Stephen T. Mather in Rainier National Park, several shots of downtown Yakima, Emmons Glacier and early 20th century landscape painter Sydney Lawrence at Mt. Rainier.
circa 1923
2 1984.84.7: Photograph Album
Asahel Curtis photographed the 1925 Northwest Indian Congress in Spokane. Images include an encampment of teepees in Glover Stadium (present-day Peaceful Valley), teepees alongside the Spokane River with the Monroe Street Bridge in the distance, many group shots of Princess America contestants, including Alice Garry (daughter of Chief Spokane Garry), Jane Eaglefeather, and Margaret and Annie Moses. There are also photographs from the Masonic Temple of Congress meetings involving representatives from the Nez Perce, Colville, Blackfoot, Flathead, Coeur d'Alene and Spokane tribes, and several shots of Teepees arranged along Riverside in front of the Spokane Club and the Masonic Temple. Curtis also photographed visiting dignitaries and chiefs at the Davenport Hotel, and captured several images of young Indian families or mothers with babies. Finally, Curtis documented the crowning of the first Princess America, Alice Garry, at Glover Stadium.
1925
2 1984.84.8: Photograph Album
Images photographed by Asahel Curtis .
Subjects are scenes of the Inland Northwest region, including Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Images include Lake Coeur d'Alene and Wolf Lodge Bay, Rock Lake, Mt. Spokane, regional family farms, threshing wheat at Rathdrum, Id., Newman Lake, Reardan, Wash., and an expedition of local businessmen and civic leaders (including Louis Davenport and William H. Cowles) to Mt. Spokane to survey the area for a potential state park site. There is also one photograph of Mt. Rainier and the "Columbus Tree," a large, 400 year old Douglas Fir.
circa 1925
2 1984.84.9: Photograph Album
Images photographed by Asahel Curtis .
This album contains photographs of the Inland Northwest region, including Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Spokane area images include Rimrock Drive, Manito Park, Downriver Dam, the Washington Water Power dam on the Spokane River, the William H. Cowles Residence, Hutton Settlement, Loon Lake, the Little Spokane River, strawberry farms in Greenacres, irrigation pipes in the Spokane Valley. North Idaho images include the Albeni Falls on the Pend Oreille River, sunset views of the Pend Oreille River, Bead Lake, Spirit Lake and Lake Coeur d'Alene.
circa 1925
3 Loose photographs removed from Albums 1984.84.5-1984.84.9
4 1984.84.10: Photograph Album
Most images photographed by Rolphe Dauphin , several by Asahel Curtis .
Album chronicles cruise boat trips from Seattle to Alaska, circa 1930. Ships include the S.S. Aleutian, the S.S. Yukon and the S.S. Northwestern. Photographs document shipboard activities like deck tennis, deck golf and shuffleboard. Alaska photos include totem poles in Sitka and Ketchikan, Native Americans drying fish, and visitors interacting with villagers and panning for gold. The latter part of the album contains photographs by Asahel Curtis of the Olympic Peninsula, including La Cross, the Elwha River, Tatoosh Island and Cape Flattery.
circa 1930

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Mount Rainier National Park (Wash) --Photographs
  • Railroad Companies-- Washington (State) --Photographs
  • Tourism 1920-1930 --Photographs
  • Corporate Names :
  • Burlington Northern Railroad Company--Photographs
  • Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company--Photographs
  • Great Northern Railroad Company (U.S.)--Photographs
  • Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway --Photographs
  • Geographical Names :
  • Baker, Mount (Wash.)-- Photographs
  • Idaho Panhandle (Idaho) -- Photographs
  • Ketchikan (Alaska) --Photographs
  • Rainier, Mount (Wash.) -- Photographs
  • Sitka (Alaska) --Photographs
  • Spokane (Wash.) --Photographs
  • Wenatchee (Wash.) --Photographs
  • Yakima (Wash.) --Photographs
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Panoramic photographs
  • Photograph Albums
  • Photographic prints
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Curtis, Asahel, 1874-1941 (photographer)
    • Dauphin, Rolphe (photographer)
    • Kiser, Fred H. (photographer)