Item #1422 [Vernacular Photograph Album of Scenes from Iowa, Including a Substantial Journey by Boat on the Upper Iowa River and the Down the Mississippi]. Iowa, Western Photographica.
[Vernacular Photograph Album of Scenes from Iowa, Including a Substantial Journey by Boat on the Upper Iowa River and the Down the Mississippi]
[Vernacular Photograph Album of Scenes from Iowa, Including a Substantial Journey by Boat on the Upper Iowa River and the Down the Mississippi]

[Vernacular Photograph Album of Scenes from Iowa, Including a Substantial Journey by Boat on the Upper Iowa River and the Down the Mississippi]

[Various locations in Iowa]: 1894-1895. 149 albumen photographs on twenty cardstock leaves, images measuring 4 x 5 inches. Oblong quarto. Original black cloth, cover gilt; leaves laid in, formerly string-tied. Light wear and soiling to cloth, evidence of slight dampstaining to lower edge of binding and later leaves. Internal numbering sequence indicates first sixteen images lacking. Images generally clean, some minor fading; one photograph partially removed and effaced. Very good. Item #1422

Wonderful photo album of images documenting late-19th century Iowa, assembled by an unidentified young man with a clear passion for both amateur photography and the area's rivers. Internal evidence suggests he was a student at the University of Iowa, possibly pursuing a course of study in the geological sciences. Each image is numbered, captioned, and dated in a tidy hand, usually identifying location and any interesting features. The images span a full year, from April 1894 to July 1895, ending with a self portrait.

There are two series of eighty-three images (the first sixteen of which are not present). The first of these focuses on the area around Iowa City, documenting explorations along the Iowa River. Captioned images include: "21 -- Looking across Iowa River - University buildings in the distance. May 3, '94"; "25 -- Looking up Iowa River from Iowa Ave. Bridge. - Water Works in the distance. May 26, '94"; "46 -- Children at play - Iowa River. May 12 '94". There are images of a baseball game between the University and Luther College, views of lime kilns, and images of natural specimens. Several photographs chart the "Great Hail Storm at Iowa City" on May 5, 1894, with images of golfball-size hail and the damage done to the windows of buildings around town. There are also photos of the author's roommate and some of the activities they got up to, including catching snakes and hunting. The roommate, Bartsch, appears to have been studying natural sciences, and one photograph shows him seated at his desk, "Blowing Bird Eggs."

The second series has a manuscript title of "Oneota Expedition," and documents a trip by boat from Decorah, Iowa on the Upper Iowa River and down the Mississippi as far as Muscatine, several miles below Davenport. The trip began on June 18, 1895, and lasted through July 26th. Scenes along the river include "6. Women wading the river - w. of Decorah June 19 '95"; "14 -- Dragging our boat in the Oneota. June 24, '95" which shows a flat-bottomed boat laden with supplies being both pushed and pulled by a man at either end; a series of views taken from Oneota Bluff near New Albin on the Minnesota border; "37 -- Winnebago Indian Camp - Iowa Slough July 6 '95"; numerous lovely images of camping along the river and river towns as seen from the water; "77 -- Beds of Montpeliar Sandstone at water's edge - Below Montpeliar, Ia. - Bartsch & 'Fitz' hunting fossils. July 23, '95." An interesting album, full of wonderful and meticulously documented views of the Iowa River as seen through the eyes of a 19th-century university student.

Price: $1,750.00

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