Charles R. Savage, the Other Promontory Photographer
Utah Historical Quarterly
Vol. 60, 1992, No. 2
Charles R. Savage, the Other Promontory Photographer
ON MAY 10, 1869, AT PROMONTORY, UTAH, the stage was set for taking what has become probably the most famous of western historical photographs (figure 1). Almost every history textbook in the United States contains a copy of this photograph of the joining of the rails of the transcontinental railroad, and it is a rare American indeed for whom this picture does not evoke at least some element of recognition. Yet, despite the familiarity of the image itself, the photographers who documented this historic event are not often remembered. Although it is generally known among historians that there were three photographers present at the laying of the last rail, the work of one of these men, Charles R. Savage, has been sadly neglected. Tucked away in museum archives or private collections, his pictures of Promontory have rarely been published. Many students of history are unaware that in addition to the image in figure 1, which was taken by Andrew Russell, two other photographs taken by Savage of the locomotives meeting at Promontory exist. His images and story are a valuable adjunct to understanding what happened that day on the sagebrush flats of northern Utah.
With the invention of photography in 1839 a new awareness of historical events and persons took place in the mind of the public. Prior to this time the few illustrations in books were lithographs of hand-drawn scenes, and recognition of the features of famous people was limited to those few who had the opportunity to see either the actual person or a painting on exhibit. It is said that many people, upon viewing a daguerreotype portrait of themselves or a loved one for the first time, would cry or hide their eyes because of the visual impact of the incredibly detailed portrait.
Although the daguerreotype and its immediate successors, the ambrotype and tintype, were enthusiastically received by an admiring public eager for views of distant scenes and important persons, they were one-of-a-kind photographs copied only with great difficulty. Widespread viewing of the images was limited. By 1854 these processes had been supplanted by the collodion glass plate or "wet plate" negative and albumen paper print with the resultant ability to make many prints from a single negative. This, along with the development of the stereoscope in 1851, led to the widespread availability of photographs among even the poorer classes. In the 1860s nearly every household had a parlor stereoscope, and many a leisurely evening was spent viewing scenes from around the world. Large companies sold great quantities of stereoscopic views and hired photographers to capture new scenes for sale.
By 1866 an American nation recovering from the Civil War was stretching westward. The Pacific Railroad was hailed as "the great work of the age," and its progress was eagerly followed both in the eastern newspapers and in the views provided for parlor stereoscopes. A number of photographers traveled westward to document frontier towns, Indians, and wild country only recently made accessible by the railway. The Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) and Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR), although ultimately financed by land grants and subsidies from the federal government, needed to provide their own short-term financing to build the railroad. Since both railroads were to receive eventual compensation based on the number of miles of track laid, there was fierce competition to press forward with construction, using innovative (and sometimes questionable) methods of raising the necessary capital.
Even in the early stages of construction, the railroads used photographers to provide publicity and boost financial support for the venture. In the fall of 1866 the Union Pacific sponsored a publicity event when their tracklayers crossed the 100th meridian, 247 miles west of Omaha, Nebraska Territory. During this three-day trip, the UPRR entertained eastern businessmen, politicians, and journalists in royal fashion aboard plush railroad cars. John Carbutt, a Chicago photographer, provided photographic mementos of the trip for the participants and also photodocumented the event. These photos, later sold to the public, brought further publicity to the UPRR. Although a number of later photographers clearly were associated with the Union Pacific, Carbutt is the only one documented to have actually been on the payroll of the railroad.
This expedition with the railroad was only a temporary position for Carbutt, who later gained prominence in Philadelphia as a developer and manufacturer of the new dry-plate process of photography. He was also an early advocate of photomechanical printing processes that revolutionized book illustration as well as a pioneer in medical x-ray photograph technology. Carbutt died in 1905 as a result of heavy exposure to x-rays during these experiments.
The financial and publicity success of the 100th meridian excursion probably played a significant role in the decision of the UPRR directors to continue photographic coverage of construction. The man who eventually photographed most of the Union Pacific construction was Capt. Andrew J. Russell, who began his career as a painter in Nunda, New York. He served as a captain in the Union Army in the Civil War where he was taught photography and was assigned as photographer to the U.S. Military Railroad Construction Corps under Gen. Herman Haupt. During the Civil War Russell documented railroad operations in Virginia that were of critical importance to military strategy. He was the only commissioned military photographer during the Civil War. Civilian cameramen provided the other principal photo documentation of the war. Many of these photographers operated under the direction of Mathew Brady, the New York photographer who eventually assumed credit for most of the photographs taken during the war. Most of Russell's Civil War photographs, including the famous picture of the Rebel dead behind the stone wall at Fredericksburg, were acquired by Brady after the war.
In the spring of 1868, four years after initial work began in Omaha, Nebraska, Russell began to photodocument the construction activities of the UPRR. He accompanied Union Pacific work crews as far west as Echo Canyon, Utah, where work slowed for the winter. He then returned to New York and published his first series of stereo views under the UPRR label. He also obtained a new stereo camera (5"x8" format rather than the previous 4"x8" format) that he used along with the large format (10"x13") view camera. 6 His success in producing photographs of brilliant clarity and sharpness was due not only to his great skill as a photographic technician but also to his use of large formats. The following spring, as the builders pressed westward again toward the Great Salt Lake, Russell returned to Utah to photograph the joining of the rails.
The Central Pacific also had an official photographer, Alfred A. Hart, originally from Connecticut. Like Russell, Hart began his career in portrait painting and later moved into photography, probably out of financial necessity. In 1864 Hart began taking stereoscopic views of the CPRR construction route that were used in several newspaper articles as well as sold to the public. Hart photographed almost entirely in the stereo format—as did many landscape photographers of the day, since most of their income came from the sale of cards for parlor stereoscopes. Since Hart was not exclusively employed by the Central Pacific, he sold negatives to the San Francisco firm of Lawrence and Houseworth which published them under their own label. He also sold stereo views under his own name.
In 1867, as construction neared Utah and competition between the railroads increased in intensity, both companies courted the assistance of the Mormon settlers in Utah in grading. Help from the Mormons was crucial to each side, since they were the only major source of manpower and wagon teams in the Intermountain Area and could easily boost the productivity of whichever railroad they assisted. As part of the efforts to win Brigham Young's support for their side, CPRR official Edwin Crocker sent a full set of stereo views to the Mormon prophet and reported that "he was highly pleased with them." Similar tactics were obviously used by the UPRR, as Crocker further stated that Brigham Young "had some from the Union Pacific, but they did not compare to ours." Despite the photographs, the Mormons under the direction of Brigham Young split their support between the railroads. Bishop John Sharp, Joseph A. Young (Brigham's son), and Joseph F. Nouman took the large contracts for the UP. Similar contracts with the CPRR to build from Humbolt Wells, Nevada, to Ogden were taken by church leaders Ezra T. Benson, Lorin Farr, and Chauncey W. West.
The third photographer to cover the ceremonies at Promontory was Charles Roscoe Savage (figure 2). Born in Southampton, England, on August 16, 1832, Savage was the son of an impoverished English gardener, John Savage, and Ann Rogers. The elder Savage spent most of his time trying to develop a blue dahlia, a flower for which a large reward had been offered, and consequently his children grew up in want for many of the necessities of life. Charles Savage received little formal education, but he was an eager learner and later in life was in constant demand for lectures on many scientific subjects.
At the age of fifteen Savage met a missionary from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was converted to Mormonism. In 1853 he began a church mission in Switzerland for two years, and then returned to England where he was assigned to accompany a group of Scottish and Italian Latter-day Saints to New York as an interpreter. He was met a few months later in New York by his English sweetheart, Annie Adkins, and they were married soon afterwards. While in New York in 1856 Savage learned the art of photography in company with his old friend T. B. H. Stenhouse who, it is said, brought from England the first stereo camera ever used in the United States.
In 1860 the Savage family moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where Savage did portrait photography out of a portable darkroom consisting of an old tea chest, a tent, and a gray blanket for a backdrop. By this means he earned enough money to outfit a wagon, and in the summer of 1860 he fulfilled a twelve-year dream by crossing the plains to join his fellow Mormons in Utah.
Upon his arrival in Utah, Savage worked initially as a partner of Marsena Cannon, one of Salt Lake City's earliest daguerreotype photographers. The following year Savage joined George Ottinger, a painter, in partnership. Ottinger hand-colored Savage's photographs and sold painted miniatures, while Savage did all the photographic work. In addition to portrait photography Savage showed a great interest and talent in landscape and city scene photography and soon developed a stable gallery business. Despite the economic hardships in Utah in the 1860s the Mormon pioneers were very interested in art and culture. Savage and Ottinger were major supporters of the artistic movement in Utah, and for years their gallery sold artist's supplies, distributed theater tickets, and promoted public events in the area. In addition, both Savage and Ottinger cultivated relationships with art dealers, photographic distributors, and book dealers in the eastern U.S., who often sold their work on commission. Savage also contributed photographs and articles to eastern magazines and newspapers, including Harper's Weekly. Because of this exposure the firm of Savage and Ottinger became one of the best known photographic studios west of the Mississippi River during the late 1860s.
Savage used a number of camera formats, including several large view formats. However, due to portability as well as financial concerns (stereo photos having a larger market) Savage usually took field photographs with either carte-de-visite (2 1/8" x 3 1/4") or stereo formats, leaving the larger cameras in his studio. The decision by Savage and Alfred Hart to use smaller formats limited the scope and clarity of their photos compared to those of A. J. Russell, although their talents in composition were certainly his equal. In addition, the only surviving examples of Hart and Savage photos are original albumen prints that have faded and yellowed over the years, while many of Russell's original negatives survive, and very sharp, clear prints can still be made from them. All three cameramen were veterans of field photography with the wet plate chemistry of the age.
Unlike the easily handled photographic film introduced in the late 1880s, or even the dry plates of the 1870s, the collodion glass plate negative or "wet plate" involved an extremely cumbersome process requiring exact chemistry and meticulous technique. Collodion, a sticky liquid that hardens on exposure to air, was derived from soaking guncotton in ether, the principal general anesthetic of the era. Initially used by physicians to seal wounds, it was later found to be an excellent emulsion for holding the silver salts of photographic processes.
To prepare a wet plate the cameraman would clean a glass plate and then, inside a dark room or tent, pour collodion onto the center of the plate and then tilt it to spread collodion evenly across the plate. The excess was poured off. Once the collodion dried to a tacky state, the plate would be sensitized in a silver bath and then placed in a light-tight holder. Only then could the plate be brought into the sunlight where the exposure, lasting from five seconds to four minutes, could be made. The plate was then developed, fixed, washed, and dried. It was necessary to perform the entire process, from sensitizing the plate to development, before the plate dried and lost its sensitivity. The chemistry was fickle and subject to many variables, including temperature and water impurities. The fumes from the ether and other chemicals within the confines of a small tent or wagon could be tolerated for only a short while and added to the necessity for rapid work. The ether was also extremely flammable, and many a photographer's studio burned to the ground during the wet-plate era. The majority of wet-plate photographers preferred to remain in the studio where conditions were predictable, but a hardy few chose to brave the difficulties involved with field photography.
Because of the relative newness of photographic negatives able to produce multiple prints, the practice of copyright observance with photographs was erratic at best. Cameramen of that era commonly sold, loaned, or copied negatives, and the resulting prints were often sold without crediting the original photographer. Although considered artists, frontier photographers of the nineteenth century were often at the financial mercy of large photographic distributors or other organizations, and many were required to relinquish control of their negatives in order to survive. Charles Savage was an exception to this rule. Because of his proximity to frontier scenes he was able to photograph landscapes on short trips with a minimum of expense. His studio also gave him a stable financial base from which to work as well as a ready market for his landscape pictures, allowing him to sell only prints and retain control of the negatives.
As the eastern and western railroad teams worked feverishly into the spring of 1869, preparations for the final ceremonies at Promontory Summit were made. All participants knew that they were making history, and both companies planned on making the most of it. Cars of dignitaries and newspaper reporters came from both coasts, and the Utah towns of Ogden and Salt Lake City sent their own officials to attend. Alfred Hart and Andrew Russell arranged to be present to photograph the event. Three weeks prior to the Last Spike ceremonies, Dan Casement and other UPRR officials visited the studio of Charles Savage in Salt Lake City. They must have been favorably impressed with the work of the Mormon artist, since a few days later Savage was officially invited by Col. Silas Seymour of the Union Pacific to photograph the proceedings at Promontory.
The motivation of the Union Pacific in inviting Savage to be present at the ceremonies is uncertain, as Russell had certainly already proven himself equal to the task. Perhaps the railroad officials wished to win the support of Utahns by having a local photographer participate, or they may have known of Savage's national reputation and connections with the eastern papers and wished to capitalize on it. It may even have been a case of one-upmanship for the Union Pacific, wanting two photographers to the Central Pacific's one. Regardless of the motive, the stage was set for a controversy that would puzzle historians for many years: Who photographed what at Promontory Summit?
On May 7 Savage arrived at the Casement camp near Promontory Summit where he was informed that the ceremonies scheduled for the next day would be delayed until Monday, May 10. Spring rain had washed out a trestle, causing a two-day delay for the Union Pacific delegation while the trestle was repaired and tested. This forty-eight-hour delay was fortuitous from a historical perspective, since the rain would also have made photographing the event much less successful. Savage spent the time exploring the area and "took 3 or 4 negatives around Casement's camp." Figure 3 is a photograph by Savage entitled "Casement's men going to work." This image, which may be one of the negatives referred to by Savage, shows part of Jack Casement's team of Irish tracklayers on a flatcar next to Union Pacific Engine No. 66. Precise dating of this stereograph is very difficult since it could also have been taken during the fall of 1868 when Savage was photographing further eastward along the UPRR line. In addition to meeting Russell and Hart on May 7, Savage sold a number of photographic prints to the railroad men and Central Pacific delegation and even complained of some views being "stolen by the democrats" (presumably the construction crews). He further recorded in his journal the rough life led by the railroad construction workers:
In sight of their camp were the beautiful city of deadfall and last chance. I was creditably informed that 24 men had been killed in the several camps in the last 25 days. Certainly a harder set of men were never before congregated together before. The company do the country a service in sending such men back to Omaha, for their presence would be a scourge upon any community. At Blue River the returning demons...were being piled upon the cars in every stage of drunkeness. Every ranch or tent has whisky for sale. Verily the men earn their money like horses and spend it like asses.
On Sunday, May 9, Savage went to Promontory which, he said, "consists of 1/2 doz. tents and Rum holes - is 9 miles from water." The next day dawned clear and cool, beautiful weather for dignitaries and cameramen alike. The Central Pacific delegation arrived first, pulled in by the locomotive Jupiter. One photograph documents the scene at this early stage (figure 4). This view clearly shows the final gap in the rails as well as part of Promontory's tent city. Although this image has been previously published and credited to Savage, an original negative in the Oakland Museum collection confirms that Russell actually took this picture. Figure 5 shows another photograph from a different perspective and with a much larger crowd. This print has the Savage credit printed in the lower right corner. However, it is identical to a photograph printed and sold in Russell's series of UPRR views. This image, donated as a copy negative to the Utah State Historical Society by Savage's son, Ray Savage, has been previously published and credited to both Savage and Russell. It is uncertain how both men came to have copies of this photograph, but it seems likely that the picture was given to Savage by Russell as either a copy negative or a print. In support of this theory is the much wider distribution of the image from Russell's negative than from Savage.
Once the Union Pacific delegation arrived with their engine No. 119, the two locomotives moved forward until only one length of rail separated them. The last tie, a polished laurel tie presented by a California firm, was placed in position. Jack Casement's crack team of Irish tracklayers carried one rail forward for the Union Pacific, with the Central Pacific rail being placed by a team of Chinese. As this rail was brought forward, someone in the crowd shouted to Savage: "Now's the time, Charlie, take a shot!" The Chinese laborers, unfamiliar with cameras and sure that their lives were in danger, dropped the rail and scattered wildly to the laughter of the crowd. Only after much coaxing were the Chinese convinced to return and lay the rail in the proper position.
Speeches and prayers were next offered, and both Russell and Savage took a picture of the group surrounding the last tie. Figure 6 shows Savage's image, but careful comparison with the work of the other cameraman shows that both photographs were taken simultaneously, as the subjects are in identical positions for the long exposure. The relative perspective of each photograph makes it clear that Russell stood in the center with Savage on his right. Russell's image shows a camera in the right foreground that is undoubtedly the camera that took Savage's photo. One other Savage picture taken at this stage (figure 7) shows the crowd surrounding the area of the last tie. This somewhat poorly composed image is quite similar to views taken by Hart and Russell.
At this time the gold and silver spikes were dropped into predrilled holes in the laurel tie, and the last two iron spikes were driven by Leland Stanford for the CPRR and Thomas Durant for the UPRR. An observer of the ceremonies stated that only one photograph of the actual driving of the last spike was taken, and the glass plate was dropped and broken in the confusion of the celebration following the ceremony. Confusion there was, for immediately after the laurel tie was removed and replaced by a regular tie and iron spikes the crowd rushed forward with knives and completely destroyed the tie by cutting off pieces for souvenirs. Six ties were in turn planted before the crowd would leave one in place. This probably accounts, in part, for the multitude of iron spikes discovered in later years, each with a claim of being the last spike.
The two engines inched forward across the new rails until they touched, and at that point Russell took his classic picture of "East meets West at the laying of the last rail" (figure 1). This photo shows the two engines together with chief engineers Grenville Dodge of the Union Pacific and Samuel Montague of the Central Pacific shaking hands and the rest of the crowd stretched out in a beautifully composed V. Savage's two images of "Meeting of Locomotives at Promontory" (figures 8 and 9) are very similar to Russell's picture, although enough differences exist to make comparisons. Both Savage photographs use the compelling imagery of two engines meeting on the final track, each from the opposite side of the nation. Figure 9 is the Savage view most often reproduced in publications, and in the past errors have understandably been made in confusing this image with Russell's "East meets West" photo. Even today the images are often confused when a careful examination is not made. The photographs show that the two cameramen were standing within a few feet of each other, with Savage to the right of Russell. At least one of Savage's photos of the two engines was taken with the stereo format, although he later printed both stereograph and carte-de-visite prints from the same negative. It is reasonable to assume that many, if not all, of his other Promontory pictures were also originally taken as stereo negatives. Savage himself described his day at Promontory in the following terms:
Today the ceremony of linking the ends of the tracks took place. I worked...all day and secured some nice views of the scenes connected with laying the last rail—Was informed by Bishop Sharp that my name had been included in Salt Lake delegation to the officer of the roads. Everything passed of [f] lively and the weather was delightful.
Saw but little of the actual driving of the gold spike and laying of the laural tie as I was very busy—Left the promontory . . . and reached Ogden at 10:00. Cracked champagne with Brother Jennings and others at West's Hotel, where I stayed for the night.
A total of at least eight or nine photographs was taken by Savage in and around Promontory, 40 but the five Savage pictures shown in this article are the only examples known to the author to exist today. It is very possible that other Savage images of Promontory may be hidden away in private collections or museum archives.
Within a few days of the Last Spike celebration, Savage sent "copies of each kind" of Promontory view to Harper's Weekly, a paper with which he had already cultivated a loose working relationship. Russell also sent several views east to Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly. Harper's Weekly printed one of Savage's views (figure 8) of the two engines meeting on the tracks as a lithograph print (figure 10) . Russell's nearly identical "East meets West" photo was used as a centerpiece in Leslie's, and two of his other images were reproduced on the front page. In later years, as Russell's view became more widely published and Savage's image became quite scarce, credit for Russell's Promontory photograph was given to Savage, based on widespread recognition of the Harper's Weekly lithograph.
A number of authors have commented on the absence of champagne or beer bottles being held by the men on the engines in the Harper's Weekly lithograph. The assumption has often been made that the bottles were tastefully "edited out" when the lithograph was made. Careful comparison of the existing images show that the lithograph was faithfully copied from the original of figure 8. The champagne bottles are missing in this view, apparently blurred beyond recognition by movement of the men perched on the engines during the long exposure.
Although newspaper publication of the Promontory pictures increased the reputation of the cameramen it did not bring many financial rewards, as newspapers of the day generally did not pay well and often did not give adequate credit for photos. The sale of stereo cards and views to individuals provided the main source of income for most landscape photographers. Immediately after the Promontory celebration Savage returned home to his studio in Salt Lake City to sell copies of the photographs. Hart also returned home to California and began printing and selling his views of the event. After finishing his work at Promontory, Russell began working westward along the tracks as far as Sacramento in a limited photographic invasion of Central Pacific territory.
Although professional competitors, the photographers seem to have had at least a sense of camaraderie and possibly true friendship. It would not have been unlikely for these educated, intelligent men, upon finding fellow artists on the frontier, to establish working and social relationships. Some evidence suggests that Russell had known Savage as early as the fall of 1868 when he visited Utah prior to returning home to New York for the winter. Russell probably spent some time with the Mormon photographer, and at least one of Russell's photographs of Salt Lake City was taken from the roof of the old Council House next door to Savage's studio. Savage also spent some time in Weber and Echo canyons photographing the grading and tunnel construction by Mormon teams in the fall of 1868. Many of Savage's images are nearly identical to those taken by Russell and were clearly taken within a few minutes of each other. Figure 11 is a section of a photograph taken by Russell 46 in Echo, Utah, probably in the fall of 1868. It shows Russell's photographic wagon, and the man in the center holding the glass plate is Savage. Several other photographs taken in Weber and Echo canyons by Savage show Russell's photographic wagon in the background and are nearly identical to known Russell photographs.
One month after the laying of the last rail, Savage took another trip to Echo, Utah, where he again joined Russell and spent several days photographing points of interest with him. Figure 12 is a photograph taken by Savage during the trip. This image, entitled "Engineer's Camp, Webers Canon," shows Russell's wagon on the right. The man leaning on the stereo camera and tripod is probably Russell himself. The many Savage and Russell images from the Utah area, taken from nearly identical positions and at almost the same time, again suggests that the relationship between the two frontier cameramen was more than just a passing acquaintance. In addition to photographing together, they exchanged some negatives and photo equipment. Russell's photographic assistant during the summer of 1869, "Professor" Stephen J. Sedgwick, also apparently developed a friendship with Savage. Sedgwick, a traveling lecturer who went west in 1869 to obtain further material for his lecture series, continued to correspond with Savage until the death of the Utah artist. A letter from Sedgwick to Savage in later years suggests a close friendship between the two men.
After working in and around Echo, Savage left to join T. H. O'Sullivan in Big Cottonwood Canyon. O'Sullivan was another Civil War photographer turned frontier cameraman, who at that time was working as the principal photographer with Clarence King's geographical expedition. Savage photographed with O'Sullivan for over a week and then returned to his studio in Salt Lake City. Later that same summer Russell joined O'Sullivan in the Uintas for several weeks where he produced some of his most dramatic landscape views.
By the fall of 1869 the eastern stereoscopic distributors were busily selling extensive collections of railroad pictures by a number of photographers. The frontier camera artists were drawn to other, less photographed sites, such as Yellowstone and Yosemite. Alfred Hart prospered for awhile selling Promontory views but was soon replaced as official CPRR photographer by C. E. Watkins who achieved fame photodocumenting the Yosemite Valley. Hart continued in photography for a time but eventually returned to painting as a livelihood. His negatives were used for many years by Watkins, who published them under his own name, and they were eventually destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Like many frontier photographers, Hart appears to have spent his last years in poverty. When he died in 1908 his role in the Promontory ceremonies had been all but forgotten.
Andrew J. Russell returned to the east to a permanent position with Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly. His railroad negatives were acquired by O. C. Smith, paymaster of the UPRR, and eventually wound up under the control of Sedgwick. Both men sold prints under their own labels, without giving Russell credit. Sedgwick, who used lantern slides made from Russell's negatives in his lectures, credited the photos to "the Photographic Corps of the U.P.R.R. of Which Prof. Sedgwick was a Member." There is no evidence that such a photographic corps ever existed or that Sedgwick took even a single photograph during the summer of 1869.
Through a series of events the glass-plate negatives, still in Russell's original wooden boxes, were given to the American Geographical Society in 1940 and were later acquired by the Oakland Museum in Oakland, California, where they now reside. In recent years the negatives have been recognized as Russell's by the handwritten titles scratched into the emulsion, and credit for the often reproduced "East meets West" photograph has been rightfully returned to the original photographer. Russell died in 1902 in New York.
Savage continued to make forays into the field to supplement his negative collection. In 1883 a fire leveled his studio and destroyed his entire stock of negatives, thereby accounting, in part, for the relative scarcity of his Promontory images in later years. He remained a faithful member of the LDS church until his death in 1909 and is often better remembered in recent years for his participation in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and his role in establishing Utah's "Old Folk's Day" than for his photographic contributions.
All three Promontory photographers were true artists, and their photographic records have added immensely to our understanding of life in nineteenth-century America. They should be gratefully remembered for having struggled with the cumbersome methods of the era to successfully document one of the most famous episodes in the history of the old West.
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