Charles Victor Hall Lantern Slide Collection of California Views

Huntington Library. Photo Archives
Huntington Library. Photo Archives
Photograph Collections, 1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
(626) 405-2129

Descriptive Summary

Title: Charles Victor Hall Lantern Slide Collection of California Views
Dates: ca. 1875
Collection Number: photCL 521
Creator/Collector: Hall, Charles Victor, 1854-1933.
Extent: 167 lantern slides in 4 boxes: slides 8 x 8 cm. (3.25 x 3.25 in.); See itemized list under "Additional collection guides."
Repository: Huntington Library. Photo Archives
San Marino, California 91108
Abstract: These lantern slides depict urban, agricultural, and nature scenes of California in the 1870s. The slides acted as a visual accompaniment to Charles Victor Hall’s traveling lecture promoting California’s resources and benefits, aiming to encourage New Englanders and Europeans to relocate to California. This collection is significant in its images of Native Americans in California, mainly in the Yosemite area, and views of prospecting and mining.
Language of Material: English


Access is granted to qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact the Curator of Photographs at the Huntington Library.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Photographs. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Preferred Citation

Charles Victor Hall Lantern Slide Collection of California Views. Huntington Library. Photo Archives

Acquisition Information

Given by Mrs. Charles V. Hall on January 24, 1935.

Biography/Administrative History

Charles Victor Hall was born in 1854 in San Francisco, California, but grew up in Los Angeles. He was a precocious student, giving the Valedictory at Los Angeles Grammar School on Nov. 25, 1869. As a young man, he wrote poems and articles for local newspapers. From 1876 to 1880, he edited and published his own “Hall’s Land Journal,” promoting the agriculture and resources of Southern California. Around this time, Hall created a lantern slide lecture about California and its climate, agriculture, trade, and industry; he traveled to the Eastern United States and Europe with the aim that his lecture would persuade people to immigrate to California, bringing with them their families and businesses. Hall later worked as a real estate agent in Los Angeles before trying his hand in the oil industry. After successfully drilling a number of oil wells at Olinda Ranch in Brea, California, Hall retired to his ranch at Buena, California in 1912 and passed away in 1933. [NOTE ON SOURCES: typescript dictation of Charles Victor Hall from "Miscellaneous California Dictations, ca. 1887-1889," at the Bancroft Library, U. C. Berkeley (BANC MSS CD 810:171); and Hall's Scrapbooks at the Huntington Library -- see citation below. Some sources cite his birth year as 1854 and others, including the transcript of his reminiscences, say 1852.]

Scope and Content of Collection

The majority of the lantern slides depict scenes from northern California, including Yosemite National Park and San Francisco. Some southern California views are also shown, including San Diego and Los Angeles County. Other slides of interest are views of the California ranches of F.P.F. Temple, Ellwood Cooper, F.D. Bacon, Maria Sepulveda, L.J. Rose Jr. (and family), and H.H. Moore. Portraits of General John C. Fremont and actress Maude Granger are also featured in the collection. For a more detailed description, see “List of Lantern Slides” at the bottom of this record. In addition to the lantern slides, three copy negatives depicting the logging industry are also included. The originals are not in this collection. A printing plate with Hall’s portrait is also included in this collection. This collection is significant in its images of Native Americans in California, mainly in the Yosemite area; see slides (56), (60), (64), (66), (67), (68), and (74). Many of the images were possibly photographed by Bradley & Rulofson, as stated in newspaper clippings from 1874-75, found in Hall’s scrapbooks. In addition, Hall said that he purchased his "views and instruments" from Houseworth & Co.("The Morning Call," Sept. 23, 1874, p. 14). The images were most likely taken by several different photographers, including Carleton Watkins and Eadweard Muybridge. RELATED COLLECTIONS: Two volumes of Charles Victor Hall’s scrapbooks (RB 214359), which hold: newspaper clippings announcing Hall’s lectures; a caption list for his lantern slides; and 8 original albumen stereograph halves by photographer Francis Parker (vol. 2). The other item is Hall’s pamphlet accompaniment to the California lecture, titled: “California: The Ideal Italy of the World. An Outline Mirror of the State for Health, Happiness, and Delightful Homes” (RB 214360), which was made specifically for those who could not attend his lecture in person. There is also an advertising broadside from "The Grangers' Guide" titled "The Wonders of California. Charles V. Hall's Illustrated Lecture on California, with 500 Superb Views," (RB 283229).

Indexing Terms

Bank of California
California State Capitol (Sacramento, Calif.)
Cliff House (San Francisco, Calif.)
Indians of North America—California
Mercantile Library Association (San Francisco, Calif.)
Mills Seminary
Mineral industries
Mission San Gabriel Arcangel (San Gabriel, Calif.)
Miwok Indians
Paiute Indians
Quartz mines and mining
Rock formations—California
San Buenaventura Mission
San Diego Mission
Santa Barbara Mission
Telegraph Hill (San Francisco, Calif.)
Union Pacific Railroad Company
Woodward’s Gardens (San Francisco, Calif.)
Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902
Frémont, John Charles, 1813-1890
Granger, Maude, 1850 or 51-1928
Hall, Charles Victor, 1854-1933.
Temple, Francis Pliny F., 1822-1880.
Rose, L. J. (Leonard John), 1862-
Alcatraz Island (Calif.)
Bridalveil Fall (Calif.)
California State Prison at San Quentin
Calistoga (Calif.)
Cathedral Spires (Calif.)
Donner Lake (Calif.)
El Capitan (Calif.)
Farallon Islands (Calif.)
Glacier Point (Calif.)
Half Dome (Calif.)
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Mariposa County (Calif.)
Sacramento (Calif.)
San Diego (Calif.)
San Francisco (Calif.)
Santa Rosa Island (Calif.)
Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)
Tamalpais, Mount (Calif.)
Truckee River (Calif. and Nev.)
Wasatch Range (Utah and Idaho)
Yerba Buena Island (Calif.)
Yosemite Falls (Calif.)
Yosemite National Park (Calif.)
Lantern slides
Printing plate

Additional collection guides