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Collection of California and Southern California Panoramic Negatives
photCL 402, photCL 470, photCL Whitt  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Biographical Notes
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Related Material
  • Index Terms
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Alternative Form Available
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Physical Charateristics or Technical Requirements

  • Overview of the Collection

    Repository: The Huntington Library
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, CA
    91108
    Phone: 626-405-2180
    Email: jwatts@huntington.org
    Title: Collection of California and Southern California Panoramic Negatives
    Dates: 1889-1958
    Date: (bulk 1920s-1930s)
    Quantity: 13 boxes, 67.83 linear feet
    Abstract: This finding aid brings together information about the Huntington’s collections of panoramic negatives. These 436 negatives are located in three separate collections: the Verner Collection of Panoramic Negatives, the Harold A. Parker Collection of Photographs and Negatives, and the “Dick” Whittington Studio Collection of Photographs and Negatives. They depict Los Angeles and surrounding areas, and group portraits, 1889-1958. The collection is an important resource for the visual history of Los Angeles, and contains photographs by some of the better known photographers and photographic firms of the first part of the twentieth century.
    Collection no: photCL 402, photCL 470, photCL Whitt
    Language of Material: English

    Biographical Notes

    Harold A. Parker (1878-1930) was born in Iowa and immigrated to Pasadena with his parents in 1892 at the age of 14. He became interested in photography at an early age, and began working professionally in 1900. He opened his Pasadena studio in 1904 and operated it until his death in 1930 at the age of 52. Parker also operated a studio in the Tahoe Tavern at Lake Tahoe between 1908 and 1910, where he produced a number of images of both the Tavern, Lake Tahoe, and the surrounding areas. Parker was noted for his photographs of California, especially his images of the California Missions and the Tournament of Roses parades; he was also responsible for the earliest aerial images of Pasadena. A commercial photographer, Parker worked as a contract photographer for the Pasadena Star-News Tournament of Roses edition, and took pictures of civic and social organizations, local retailers, and private individuals who commissioned him to record their gatherings, buildings, and various rites of passage.
    After Parker's death in 1930, the studio was operated by his wife, Marjorie. Sometime in the 1930s, the business was purchased by Dickson and Thurber Studios who ran the business until shortly after World War II when it was subsequently purchased by Lee and Mac. J. Allen Hawkins, who had worked for Parker as a teenager, purchased approximately 35,000 glass plates and negatives from Lee and Mac and moved them to his studio on North Lake. They were stored there until construction began for the 210 Freeway, at which time Hawkins offered the negatives to the Pasadena Historical Society. They were declined and many were summarily dumped into landfill. The remainder were sold by Hawkins to a movie photographer who eventually found Parker's son, Donald, to whom he gave the remainder of the negatives.
    “Dick” Whittington was the professional name adopted by commercial photographer Wayne Whittington, borrowing the name from the Lord Mayor of London who rose to that position with the assistance of his cat. Founded in 1924, “Dick” Whittington Studio was one of the first, and largest, commercial photography studios in Los Angeles. Whittington, a native of Los Angeles, set up his first shop near the University of Southern California campus, where he had been a student. After World War II, during which he was under contract with the United States Navy, Whittington moved his studio closer to downtown Los Angeles. The studio took photographs for nearly every major business and organization in Los Angeles; in so doing, they documented the growth and commercial development of Los Angeles. The studio was in continuous operation until 1987.

    Scope and Contents

    This finding aid brings together information about the Huntington’s collections of panoramic negatives. These 436 negatives are located in three separate collections: the Verner Collection of Panoramic Negatives, the Harold A. Parker Collection of Photographs and Negatives, and the “Dick” Whittington Studio Collection of Photographs and Negatives. They depict Los Angeles and surrounding areas, and group portraits, 1889-1958. The collection is an important resource for the visual history of Los Angeles, and contains photographs by some of the better known photographers and photographic firms of the first part of the twentieth century: the Aerograph Company, Bayley Studio, F.M. Huddleston, Harold A. Parker, Pettit’s Studio, C.C. Pierce, Pioneer Photo, K.P. Ramsey, and “Dick” Whittington Studio.
    The Verner Collection contains 239 panoramic negatives depicting Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Big Bear, Palm Springs, Huntington Beach, Culver City, Pasadena, and other southern California communities, taken by some of the leading photographic studios of the era. The collection depicts a significant era in regional growth, capturing the public spaces, real estate and commercial development, civic and group gatherings, industrial and manufacturing interests, and the recreational sites and activities of the period. Of particular note are C.C. Pierce’s views of downtown Los Angeles, taken in 1902; Pierce’s views of Hollywood and Santa Monica; K.P. Ramsey’s photographs of military personnel, dating from 1910; Pierce’s and Pettit’s Studio’s views of the development of Westwood Village and the University of California, Los Angeles, dating from the 1930s; Pierce’s views of Beverly Hills and Catalina; Pierce’s, Pettit’s Studio’s and Aerograph’s 1920s photographs of Long Beach and oil fields and derricks in Signal Hill and Culver City; F.M. Huddleston’s images of airports in Alhambra, Burbank, Culver City, and Los Angeles from 1930; and Aerograph’s views of the Rose Bowl football games from the mid-1920s.
    Of special interest in the 127 negatives in the Parker Collection are the many images of the Huntington Hotel (numbers 40001-40003), Lake Tahoe and Tahoe Tavern (numbers 40010, 40029, 40030, 40031, 40036, 40037, 40038, 40041, 40060, 40061, 40075, 40109, and 40121), the Colorado Street bridge in Pasadena (numbers 40004, 40015, 40033, 40045, 40089, and 40116), Pasadena residences (including the St. Francis bungalow court) (numbers 40016, 40051, 40052, 40054, 40057, 40058, 40064, 40090, 40114, 40120, 40120a, and 40122), Lake Elsinore in Riverside County (numbers 40080a-f), and the Rose Bowl (40071, 40074, 40079, 40098a-c, and 40105).
    The Whittington Collection’s 70 negatives contains a number of images of undeveloped and newly developed areas of Los Angeles, including Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, and Alhambra, views of Lido Isle in Newport, and Republic Studios in Studio City.

    Arrangement

    The negatives are arranged chronologically by collection. The Verner Collection contains the oldest negatives and is thus listed first, followed by the Parker Collection and the Whittington Collection. Within each collection, the negatives are arranged generally by subject, although this arrangement is not perfectly consistent.

    Related Material

    See also:
    Identifier/Call Number: photCL 402,
    Title: Harold A. Parker Collection of Photographs and Negatives, 1889-1949
    Identifier/Call Number: photCL Whitt,
    Title: "Dick" Whittington Studio Collection of Photographs and Negatives, 1924-1948

    Index Terms

    This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

    Persons:

    Huddleston, F. M.
    Parker, Harold A., 1878-1930.
    Pierce, C. C. (Charles C.), 1853-1946.
    Ramsey, K. P.

    Organizations:

    Aerograph Co. (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    Bayley Studio.
    Pioneer Photo.
    Pettit's Studio.
    Dick Whittington Studio.
    Huntington Hotel (Pasadena, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Republic Studios (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Robert Roe Blacker House (Pasadena, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Tahoe Tavern (Tahoe City, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    University of California, Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Rose Bowl (Football game) -- Photographs.

    Places:

    Alhambra (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Beverly Hills (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Bear Valley (San Bernardino County, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Burbank (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Culver City (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Huntington Beach (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Lake Elsinore (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Long Beach (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Newport Beach (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Pacific Palisades (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Palm Springs (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Pasadena (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Rose Bowl Stadium (Pasadena, Calif.) -- Photographs
    Santa Catalina Island (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Santa Monica (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.) -- Photographs.
    Westwood (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Photographs.

    Subjects:

    Airports -- California -- Alhambra -- Photographs.
    Airports -- California -- Burbank -- Photographs.
    Airports -- California -- Culver City -- Photographs.
    Airports -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Bungalows -- California -- Pasadena -- Photographs.
    Cityscapes -- California -- Los Angeles -- Photographs.
    Historic bridges -- California -- Pasadena -- Photographs.
    Industrial facilities -- California -- Photographs.
    Oil fields -- California -- Culver City -- Photographs.
    Oil fields -- California -- Signal Hill -- Photographs.
    Oil well drilling rigs -- California -- Culver City -- Photographs.
    Oil well drilling rigs -- California -- Signal Hill -- Photographs.
    Organizations -- California -- Photographs.
    Recreation -- California -- Photographs.
    Soldiers -- California -- Anaheim -- Photographs.

    Document Types:

    Negatives.
    Panoramas.

    Restrictions on Access

    Access is granted to qualified researchers and by appointment.

    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.

    Alternative Form Available

    The negatives have been digitized and can only be viewed on CD-ROM.

    Preferred Citation

    Individual items must be cited according to the collection in which they reside:
    photCL 402, Harold A. Parker Collection of Photographs and Negatives, 1907-1958
    photCL 470, Verner Collection of Panoramic Negatives, 1889-1946
    photCL Whitt, “Dick” Whittington Studio Collection of Photographs and Negatives, 1925-1943

    Acquisition Information

    The panoramic negatives that form this grouping come from three distinct collections: the Verner Collection of Panoramic Negatives (photCL 470), the Harold A. Parker Collection of Photographs and Negatives (photCL 402), and the “Dick” Whittington Studio Collection of Photographs and Negatives (photCL Whitt). The Verner Collection, made up entirely of panoramic negatives, was purchased from Jack Verner by the Collector’s Council, 2004; the Parker Collection, which also includes smaller format film and glass plate negatives, was donated to the Huntington Library in 1996 and 1999 by Donald Parker, Harold Parker’s son; and the Whittington Collection, which also includes smaller format negatives and photographs, was partly purchased by, and partly donated to, the Huntington Library by Whittington’s son Edward in 1976.

    Processing Information

    The negatives underwent conservation treatment in 2005. They were humidified, flattened and housed in mylar by Ann Lindsey, project conservator. All the negatives were digitized during this process, and the digital files are available on CD-ROMs for viewing.

    Physical Charateristics or Technical Requirements

    Access to the images is available on CD-ROM through the office of the Curator of Photographs. Due to the length of the negatives, all images were scanned in sections.
    An image may only be ordered in its entirety. Patrons are responsible for assuming the cost of digitally stitching the image together by the Huntington's photography lab.