This collection of 25 William H. Fletcher commercial card photographs focus mainly on Los Angeles, California, during a period
of industrial expansion and population growth in the late 1800s, with special attention on Los Angeles
Street (which passes through Downtown Los Angeles) and what is now the Historic Core and Civic Center districts. There are
also town and nature views of Pasadena, Santa Monica, Ventura, Redondo Beach, and Burbank. Images of
Missions San Fernando Rey, San Luis Rey, and San Juan Capistrano are also included.
William H. Fletcher was born in Hollis, New Hampshire, in 1838, shortly before his family moved to Lyndon, Vermont, that same
year. He learned photography while working in the
pharmaceutical and jewelry industries. Fletcher moved to Los Angles, California, in 1885, planning to establish himself as
a druggist; however, an overabundance of pharmacies obliged him to turn to photography.
Fletcher went into commercial photography but did not establish a formal studio or gallery of his own. The subjects of his
photographs focused on Los Angeles just when it began to expand with immigrants and new businesses.
He also traveled through the areas surrounding Los Angeles, photographing scenes from San Pedro, Santa Monica, Redondo Beach,
Pasadena, and Ventura, aiming to tempt New Englanders to vacation out west.
Many of Fletcher’s photographs were sold as card photographs to curio dealers to sell to tourists.
Sometime after 1900, Fletcher retired from professional photography and went into the oil business; he died in 1922.
25 photographs in 1 box; prints 12.5 x 19.5 cm (5 x 7.5 in.), mounts 14 x 22 cm (5 1/4 x 8 1/2 in.)
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