Information for Researchers
Scope and Content
Collection Title: Miscellaneous California and Mexico Views
Date: ca 1880-1889
Collection Number: BANC PIC 1941.004--ALB
1 album containing 49 black and white photographic prints; 19 x 29 cm.
49 digital objects
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in
Information for Researchers
Album is stored off-site; advance notice required for use.
Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction
of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions,
privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond
that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be
commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the
Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html
[Identification of item], Miscellaneous California and Mexico Views, ca 1880-1889, BANC PIC 1941.004--ALB, The Bancroft Library,
University of California, Berkeley.
Digital Representations Available
Digital representations of selected original pictorial materials are available in the list of materials below.Digital image
files were prepared from selected Library originals by the Library Photographic Service. Library originals were copied onto
35mm color transparency film; the film was scanned and transferred to Kodak Photo CD (by Custom Process); and the Photo CD
files were color-corrected and saved in JFIF (JPEG) format for use as viewing files.
The Bancroft Library has extensive holdings of I. W. Taber and William Henry Jackson photographs. See the on-line catalog
for other collections.
Gift of Amy Requa Lang in 1941.
Isaiah West Taber
Isaiah West Taber was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts August 17, 1830. Taber went to sea at the age of fifteen and spent
several years working on whaling ships in the North Pacific. He came to California in 1850, where he spent four years working
first as a miner, then a farmer. Taber returned to New Bedford in 1854 where he studied dentistry and began a dental practice.
An interest in amateur photography eventually became his life-work. He settled in Syracuse, New York, where he opened his
first studio. In 1864 he returned to California at the inducement of the photographers Bradley and Rulofson, whom he worked
for until 1871. Taber established the "Taber Gallery" at No. 12 Montgomery Street in 1871. His highly successful business
was well-known for portraiture and a vast stock of California and Western views - many of which were the unacknowledged works
of other photographers. Taber's success and stature in California and abroad are evident in his being awarded the photographic
concession of the Midwinter Fair of 1893-94 in San Francisco, his being sent to London in 1897 to photograph the pageant of
the Queen Victoria Jubilee, and his commission to photograph King Edward VII. Taber's career ended in 1906 when his entire
collection of glass plates, view negatives and portraits on glass were destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and fire.
He died February 22, 1912.
(Sources: Hart, James D.
A Companion to California. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978, p.439; Murray, W. H.
The Builders of a Great City: San Francisco's Representative Men. San Francisco: The Journal, 1891, p.329-330 ; and Burdette, Robert J.
American Biography and Genealogy. California edition. (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., [191-]), p. 756-761.)
William Henry Jackson
William Henry Jackson was born April 4, 1843 in Keesville, New York. He worked at photographic studios in New York and Vermont
between 1858 and 1861. Jackson then joined Company K, 12th Vermont Infantry, where he served from 1862-1865. In 1866 he traveled
west, working in a variety of jobs. During this time he sketched and painted in watercolors. In 1866 he also set up a photographic
studio in Omaha, Nebraska with his brother Edward. However, he soon began traveling, photographing views and taking portraits
of Native Americans. In 1870 he met Ferdinand V. Hayden, who invited Jackson to join his team making the U.S. Geological Survey
of the Territories. Jackson closed his Omaha studio and worked as the official photographer of the Survey for the next eight
years, traveling into Wyoming and Oregon in 1870, into the Yellowstone area in 1871 and 1872, then to Colorado, Utah, and
Wyoming in 1873-74. In 1874-75 he photographed in New Mexico and Utah. His work on the Survey gained him an international
reputation. His work was well-known and frequently published in both the photographic and general interest magazines of the
The Jackson Photo Co. was founded in 1879 in Denver, Colorado. It became the base from which Jackson made extended photographic
journeys throughout the West and Southwest. During the 1880s and 1890s Jackson traveled all over the United States and into
Mexico, often photographing for various railroads. He photographed along the line of the Central Mexico railroad in 1883-84,
the New York Central railroad in 1890, and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1892, to name a few. In the mid 1890s, Jackson's
photographs formed the core of several book publishing ventures, all illustrated with the inexpensive new photogravure methods
becoming common to publishers. For example, his photographs appear in Camera Mosaics in 1894, and his views of the Columbian
World's Fair Exposition in 1894 were published in The White City Artfolio and in several other formats. In 1895 Harper's Weekly
asked Jackson to travel around the world, photographing and writing a series of articles titled "Around the World with the
Transportation Commission of the Field Columbian Museum." These articles appeared almost every week from February 1895 through
August 1897. In 1898 Jackson became a partner in the Detroit Photographic Company and continued to travel and photograph all
over the Eastern United States. Later he worked as the plant manager and promoter for the company until it went out of business
Jackson lived to be almost one hundred years old, and remained very active in his later years. After retiring from the Detroit
Photographic Company, he often described his experiences as an explorer of the American West to historical associations and
groups, and published articles and books on his work. In 1935 the National Park Service hired Jackson, at the age of 92, to
paint four murals to illustrate each of the four federal surveys of the territories west of the Mississippi. Jackson's advanced
age and reputation, continued activity, and personality led him to become a minor celebrity in his later years. He published
his autobiography in 1940 and notices about his activities appeared in the New York Times and a variety of historical and
art journals until the end of his life in 1942.
(Source: Johnson, William S.
Nineteenth-Century Photography: an Annotated Bibliography, 1839-1879. Boston : G.K. Hall & Co., 1990. p. 335.)
Scope and Content
The collection includes 39 photographs by I. W. Taber and 10 by William Henry Jackson in an album. Taber's California photographs
(no. 1-38) include scenes of San Francisco, Monterey, Yosemite, Santa Barbara, Riverside, Los Angeles, and Pasadena. No. 39-48
are views of Mexico taken by Jackson. Subjects include Chihuahua and Mexico City. No. 49 is also a view of Mexico, taken by
Taber. The photographs are undated, but likely taken in the 1880s.