Overview of the Collection
Scope and Content
Overview of the Collection
Title: Howard W. Wright Family Collection of Photographs
Dates (inclusive): approximately 1878-1930
Bulk dates: 1896-1917
Collection Number: photCL 222
approximately 1520 photographs in 11 volumes comprising 4 journals and 7 photograph albums in 4 boxes: chiefly gelatin silver
prints ; journals 21 x 38 cm (8 x 15 in.) and 21 x 26 cm (8 x 10 in.), photograph albums various sizes, 29 x 38 cm (11 x 15
in.) and smaller, prints various sizes, 21 x 24 cm (8 x 9 in.) and smaller, chiefly 17 x 12 cm (7 x 5 in.) and smaller
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Abstract: The Howard W. Wright Family Collection of Photographs contains approximately 1520 photographs in eleven volumes, comprising
four journal accounts written by Walter S. Wright from 1899-1901 and illustrated using photographs, and seven photograph albums
compiled by Walter S. Wright and his son, Howard Walter Wright, with photographs dating from approximately 1878-1930 (chiefly
1896-1917). The photographers are chiefly unidentified, though it is assumed that most were taken by members of the Wright
family, chiefly Walter S. Wright and Howard Walter Wright. The text in the journals, which contain approximately 210 photographs,
concerns family life in Pasadena; Walter S. Wright's travels to Sonora, Mexico with business partners in order to gain a railroad
concession for the Los Pintos Mines; and a cruise taken by the Wright family to the Channel Islands, in which Howard W. Wright
engaged in bird collecting and observation, and photography. The photograph albums, which contain approximately 1310 photographs,
document the Wright family's life in Pasadena; its travels to Mount Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Catalina Island,
and other areas of California; trips aboard the Wright family yachts
Siwash to the Channel Islands and to various sites in Mexico, including for birding expeditions; Howard W. Wright's years as a student
at Stanford University (from 1911-1915); his travels in Japan, China, and the Philippines; and his service in the United States
Navy during World War I.
The collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information,
please visit the Huntington's website:
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material,
nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and
obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
[Identification of item], Howard W. Wright Family Collection of Photographs, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
Gift of the estate of Howard W. Wright, May 31, 1978.
The family of Howard Walter Wright (1892-1977) included his father, Walter Savage Wright (1854-1915); his mother, Bernice
Long (1861-1931); and his sisters, Adaline Wright (1888-1935) and Catherine Wright (1895-1942).
Walter Savage Wright was City Attorney for Pasadena, California. In 1898 and 1899, Wright and business partners, including
J. H. Holmes (sometimes known as James or John H. Holmes), who was then manager of the Hotel Green in Pasadena, traveled to
Mexico in order to secure concessions from the Mexican government for a railroad in Western Mexico, proposed for the purpose
of developing the property of the Los Pintos Gold Mining Company. Other partners in this venture included Pasadena business
leader William R. Staats, who was a developer and owner of the Mount Wilson Toll Road, along with Holmes and Walter S. Wright;
Colonel C. P. Morehouse of Pasadena; and J. D. Thompson of Los Angeles, manager of the Bonanza mine at Quitovaca in Sonora,
Howard Walter Wright was a bird collector and observer, writer, lawyer, and lifelong Pasadena resident. A graduate of Throop
Polytechnic Institute and Stanford University, Howard W. Wright began observing and collecting birds while still in high school,
traveling primarily to the Channel Islands, initially on his sailboat,
Seabird, and then on the yacht that his father gave him in 1911, the
Siwash. Howard W. Wright undertook many birding expeditions with friends and family from 1908-1916, at times accompanied by ornithologists.
He gathered bald eagle eggs on Santa Catalina Island in 1909; cruised around the Channel Islands with a friend from Stanford
in 1912, visiting Santa Barbara, Anacapa, Santa Cruz, San Miguel, and Prince Islands; and in 1913 went on a birding expedition
to San Martin Island in Mexico on the
Siwash. From 1908-1913, he wrote six articles about his exploits, published in
The Condor: A Magazine of Western Ornithology, some illustrated with his photographs.
Howard W. Wright married Ruth Casner Shelton (1893-1967) in 1916 and traveled to Japan, China, and the Philippines; during
World War I, he served in the U.S. Navy. Returning home from his service, Wright gave up bird collecting to devote himself
to his career as a Los Angeles-based attorney. A member of the California and American Bar Associations, he also served as
commodore of the Los Angeles Yacht Club and the Trans-Pacific Yacht Club, and for 35 years held the sailing record around
Santa Catalina Island. In 1956, after 45 years of sailing, he gave the
Siwash to his son, Howard Walter Wright, Jr., and the boat remained in the family, passing on to Wright's grandson, marine biologist
Dr. William G. Wright. Upon Wright's death in 1977, his ashes were scattered at sea.
Scope and Content
This collection contains approximately 1520 photographs in 11 volumes, comprising four journal accounts written by Walter
Savage Wright from 1899-1901 and 7 photograph albums compiled by Walter S. Wright and his son, Howard Walter Wright. The journal
accounts contain approximately 210 photographs and the photograph albums approximately 1310 photographs, dating from approximately
1878-1930, chiefly 1896-1917. The photographers are chiefly unidentified, though it is assumed that most were taken by members
of the Wright family, chiefly Walter S. Wright and Howard Walter Wright; some photographs were taken by commercial photographers.
The journal accounts, entitled The Wrights in 1899 (Volume I); How Thompson Shows his Mines (1899, Volume II); About that
Mexican Trip: How they Landed the Concession for the Railroad for Exploiting Los Pintos Mines (1900, Volume III); and A Summer
Cruise (1901, Volume IV), are typewritten, with photographs pasted in to accompany the text; the titles are printed on the
volumes. Topics addressed in the journals include the Wrights' family life in Pasadena; Walter S. Wright's journeys to Sonora,
Mexico, with business partners to secure a railroad concession for the Los Pintos Mines; and a cruise taken by the Wright
family to the Channel Islands in 1899, so that son Howard W. Wright could engage in bird collecting and photography.
The photograph albums depict the Wrights' life and residence in Pasadena; the family's travels to Mount Wilson in the San
Gabriel Mountains, Santa Catalina Island, and other areas of California; trips aboard the yachts
Siwash to the Channel Islands; Baja, Mexico; and and other destinations, both for family vacations and for Howard Walter Wright's
exploits as a bird collector and birder; Howard W. Wright's years as a student at Stanford University (1911-1915) and his
tours in Japan, China, and the Philippines during his service in the Navy during World War I. Titles for the photograph albums
were devised by the cataloger.
The volumes were organized and numbered by the cataloger by format and then in chronological order. The collection is arranged
in the following two series:
- Series I. Journals, 1899-1901
- Subseries A. The Wrights in 1899 (Volume I)
- Subseries B. How Thompson Shows His Mines (Volume II)
- Subseries C. About that Mexican Trip: How they Landed the Concession for the Railroad for Exploiting Los Pintos Mines (Volume
- Subseries D. A Summer Cruise (Volume IV)
- Series II. Photograph albums, approximately 1878-1930, bulk 1896-1917
- Subseries A. The Wright Family: Home and Travels (Volume V)
- Subseries B. Pasadena, Catalina Island, San Gabriel Mountains, and Mexico (Volume VI)
- Subseries C. The Wright Family Album (Volume VII)
- Subseries D. Channel Islands and Mexico (Volume VIII)
- Subseries E. Stanford University (Volume IX)
- Subseries F. Japan, China, and Philippines; World War I Naval Service; Baja, Mexico and Channel Islands (Volume X)
- Subseries G. Miscellaneous photographs (Volume XI)
Holmes, James H., -- Photographs.
Staats, William R., 1867-1928 -- Photographs.
Wright, Howard Walter, 1892-1977 -- Photographs.
Wright, Walter Savage, 1854-1915 -- Photographs.
Wright family -- Photographs.
Wright family -- Homes and haunts -- Photographs.
Catedral de México -- Photographs.
Hermosa (steamship) -- Photographs.
Mission San Gabriel Arcangel (San Gabriel, Calif.) -- Photographs.
San Jorges Bay & Eastern Railroad (Mexico).
Stanford University -- Photographs.
Stanford University -- Sports -- Photographs.
Tournament of Roses -- Photographs.
Americans -- Mexico -- Photographs.
Birds -- California -- Channel Islands (Calif.) -- Photographs.
Birds -- California -- Santa Catalina Island (Calif.) -- Photographs.
Birds -- Collection and preservation -- Photographs.
Birds -- Eggs -- Photographs.
Birds -- Mexico -- Photographs.
Bullfighting -- Ensenada (Baja California, Mexico) -- Photographs.
Camping -- California -- Photographs.
Camp sites, facilities, etc. -- California -- San Gabriel Mountains -- Photographs.
Children -- Photographs.
Dwellings -- California -- Pasadena -- Photographs.
Families -- Photographs.
Fires -- California -- Avalon -- Photographs.
Fishing -- California -- Santa Catalina Island -- Photographs.
Gardens -- California -- Pasadena -- Photographs.
Gold mines and mining -- Mexico -- Photographs.
Greek letter societies -- California -- Photographs.
Hiking -- California -- Photographs.
Hotels -- California -- Photographs.
Imperialism -- United States.
Indians of Mexico -- Mexico, North -- Photographs.
Leisure -- California -- Santa Catalina Island -- Photographs.
Markets -- Mexico -- Photographs.
Mines and mineral resources -- Mexico, North.
Photography -- Political aspects -- Mexico.
Railroads -- Mexico.
Ships -- California -- Photographs.
Soldiers -- Mexico -- Photographs.
Storm surges -- California -- Avalon -- Photographs.
Vacations -- Photographs.
Warships -- Photographs.
World War, 1914-1918-- Naval operations, American -- Photographs.
Yacht racing -- Photographs.
Yachting -- Photographs.
Yachts -- Photographs.
Anacapa Island (Calif.) -- Photographs.
Arizona -- Photographs.
Avalon (Calif.) -- Photographs.
Baja California (Mexico : Peninsula) -- Photographs.
Channel Islands (Calif.) -- Photographs.
China -- Photographs.
Coronado Islands (Mexico) -- Photographs.
Guaymas (Sonora, Mexico) -- Photographs.
Hermosillo (Mexico)-- Photographs.
Japan -- Photographs.
Macau (China) -- Photographs.
Mexico -- Photographs.
Mexico -- Foreign economic relations -- United States.
Mexico City (Mexico) -- Photographs.
Pasadena (Calif.) -- Photographs.
Philippines -- Photographs.
San Clemente Island (Calif.) -- Photographs.
San Gabriel Mountains (Calif.) -- Photographs.
San Miguel Island (Calif.) -- Photographs.
Santa Barbara Island (Calif.) -- Photographs.
Santa Catalina Island (Calif.) -- Photographs.
Santa Cruz Island (Calif.) -- Photographs.
Sonora (Mexico: State) -- Photographs.
United States -- Foreign economic relations -- Mexico.
Wilson, Mount (Calif. : Mountain) -- Photographs.
Banning, Hancock, 1892-1982, former owner.
Ironmonger, Charles, photographer.
Kindig, W. H., photographer.
Staats, William R., 1867-1928, photographer.
Wright, Howard Walter, 1892-1977, compiler.
Wright, Howard Walter, 1892-1977, photographer.
Wright, Walter Savage, 1854-1915, author.
Wright, Walter Savage, 1854-1915, compiler.
Wright, Walter Savage, 1854-1915, photographer.
Wright family, compiler.
C. J. Crandall & Co., photographer.
C. J. D. Photo, photographer.
Park & Co., photographer.