The Swanlund-Baker Collection depicts a wide variety of everyday northwest California scenes and activities from the early
twentieth century. Lumber industry, tanbark industry, flower nurseries, city and village street scenes, schools, portraits,
parks, ships, shipbuilding, shipwrecks, and rivers are the featured subjects of this collection. The primary photographer
represented is Ray Jerome Baker who lived in Humboldt County from 1904-1910. Images from this collection can be found at:
Ray Jerome Baker (1880 - 1972) worked as a self-employed photographer in Humboldt County from 1904 until sometime in 1910.
In that year Baker and his family, wife, Edith Frost Baker, and son, Earl Frost Baker, made Hawaii their permanent home. Baker
continued as a professional photographer and became renowned for his documentary and promotional images of Hawaii. He retired
from active photography and public speaking in 1959. His life story is told in two books:
Odyssey Of A Cameraman and
Hawaiian Yesteryears: Historical Photographs. He is the author of several additional books, principally about Hawaii. The Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii
(www.bishop.hawaii.org) has an extensive collection of Baker's images. This biographical sketch will focus on what is known of his time in Humboldt
Odyssey Of A Cameraman, p.9.
Letter from Ray Jerome Baker to Mrs. Dorothy Fleckner