Caspar Wistar Miller Photograph Albums, 1888-1892
Using These Materials
- The collection is open for research.
- Miller, Caspar Wistar, 1868-1940
- The Caspar Wistar Miller photograph albums contain approximately 172 photographs stored in two albums that document travels in the western United States, Alaska, and Europe by Philadelphia-area physician Caspar Wistar Miller during the late 19th-century.
- approximately 172 photographs in 2 albums
- Collection processed by Les High, December 2018 and finding aid created by Jakob Dopp, July 2021
- Scope and Content:
The Caspar Wistar Miller photograph albums contain approximately 172 photographs stored in two albums that document travels in the western United States, Alaska, and Europe by Philadelphia-area physician Caspar Wistar Miller during the late 19th-century.
Volume 1 (33.5 x 40 cm) has maroon and black leather covers with “Photographs” stamped in gold on the spine and contains 87 photographs related to Miller’s travels in the western United States and Alaska from May to August of 1888. Many images appear to include glass plate negative numbers. Traveling mostly by rail, Miller’s itinerary and layovers can be tracked from the photographs, almost all of which note the date and location. Miller appears to have held an interest in photos of valleys looking first in one direction (“up”) and then the other (“down”), and he also regularly sought out possibilities for bird’s-eye views of towns. The album opens with a photo of a cantilever bridge in Niagara, New York, before documenting Miller’s time in Pullman, Illinois, where he observed the railroad baron George Pullman’s newly built factory town. It is likely that Miller traveled in Pullman railroad cars during this journey. Subsequent images show scenes from Colorado, New Mexico, and California, where Miller spent a month photographing various towns and cities along the Pacific coast before heading into the Northwest. Included are images of the area surrounding the Las Vegas, New Mexico hot springs; street scenes, historic sites, and Native Americans in Santa Fe; and views of buildings, historic sites and natural scenery in Californian locations including Pasadena, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Yosemite, Monterrey (including views of the Hotel Del Monte), Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and the Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton. Images related to the Northwest include a bird’s-eye view of Portland, Oregon, and a series of photographs of acrobats performing in Tacoma, Washington. Also present are a series of images taken in early July 1888 after Miller joined a few dozen other travelers on a three-week Alaskan cruise exploring inlets, harbors, and villages. Alaskan images include a group portrait of Tlingit women and infants; photos showing a grave totem and totem poles at Fort Wrangell; Tlingit men and women selling wares on a wharf in Juneau; views of Juneau and Sitka; a block house in Sitka; the face of Muir Glacier; a Tlingit camp at Pyramid Harbor; a group portrait of officers in command of the sidewheel steamship “Ancon”; and group portraits of fellow travelers posing with various Tinglit items including a chilkat blanket. A newspaper clipping regarding Alaskan totem poles is also included opposite one of the totem pole images. Photographs taken during Miller’s return home include scenes from Port Townsend, Washington; Yellowstone National Park; and Minnehaha Falls in Minnesota.
Volume 2 (28.5 x 39 cm) also has maroon and black leather covers and contains 85 photographs related to Miller’s European travels between May and August of 1892. The vast majority of these images are high-quality commercially-made photographic prints documenting typical tourist attraction subjects such as historic buildings, street scenes, cathedrals and churches, sculptures, and landscape views. Many of these images were likely produced from glass plate negatives that were originally created in the 1870s and 1880s. A small number of half-tone reproduction images clipped from printed sources are also present. Many of the commercially-produced images include captions within the photographs that provide site information and negative or series numbers, while some also contain blind stamps bearing photographer or studio names. The album begins with images of scenes in Le Havre and Paris, France; the two Le Havre-related photographs appear to have possibly been taken by Miller, while the Parisian views were all purchased from the gallery “A Jeanne D’Arc Paris 3, Place Rivoli, 3.” Most, if not all, of the remaining photographs in the album were also purchased by Miller. Subsequent images include views of sites, sculptures, and Alpine scenery in the Swiss locales of Geneva, Vevey, Montreux, La Tour-de-Peilz, Bern, Zurich, Fribourg, Thun, Oberhofen, Interlaken, and Lucerne. Other Swiss-related images include views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley; the Jungfrau; the Lion of Luzern monument; a wall tower and hotel in Zug; a man operating a dog-powered milk cart; and the Rheinfall. Austrian views include scenes from locations such as Innsbruck, Kufstein, and Rattenberg, while German destinations such as Lindau, Munich, Nuremburg, Heidelberg, Frankfurt am Main, Koblenz, and Cologne are also represented. The back-end of the album contains images from Brussels, Belgium, including another photograph of a dog-powered milk cart.
- Biographical / Historical:
Caspar Wistar Miller (1868-1940) was a physician in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, and a descendent of the renowned Philadelphia doctor Caspar Wistar (1761-1818). Miller was a graduate of Swarthmore College and received his PhD and MD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in 1893 and 1894 respectively. In 1897 he married Virginia Preston Weaver (1858-1951). They had a son, Caspar Wistar Miller, Jr., who died at the age of 16 months in 1899.
- Acquisition Information:
- Purchased from MacManus, May 1997. F-411 .
- Rules or Conventions:
- Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
Click on terms below to find any related finding aids on this site.
Adobe buildings--New Mexico--1880-1890.
Arc de Triomphe (Paris, France)
Eschenheimer Turm (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)
Hot springs--United States--1880-1890.
Indians of North America--Alaska.
Indians of North America--New Mexico.
Monuments & memorials--1870-1900.
Piers & wharves--1870-1900.
Gelatin silver prints.
Heidelberger Schloss (Heidelberg, Germany)
Hofkirche (Lucerne, Switzerland)
Hôtel de ville (Brussels, Belgium)
Hotel Del Monte (Monterey, Calif.)
Mission San Gabriel Arcangel (San Gabriel, Calif.)
Notre-Dame de Paris (Cathedral)
Opéra de Paris.
Palace Hotel (San Francisco, Calif.)
Santa Barbara Mission.
St. Lorenz-Kirche (Nuremberg, Germany)
St. Sebalduskirche (Nuremberg, Germany)
St. Ursula (Cologne, Germany)
Charnaux frères & Cie.
L. P., Phot.
Moritz Vollenweider & Son.
Würthle & Spinnhirn.
Ariadne (Greek mythological character)--Art.
Dürer, Albrecht, 1471-1528--Homes and haunts.
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, 1459-1519--Tomb.
Bruckmann, Friedrich, 1814-1898.
Hertel, Carl, 1832-1906.
Jullien, John, 1873-1928.
Schmidt, Ferdinand, 1840-1909.
Sommer, Giorgio, 1834-1914.
Alps, Austrian (Austria)
Alps, Swiss (Switzerland)
Bad Godesberg (Bonn, Germany)
Bridalveil Fall (Calif.)
Château de Chillon (Veytaux, Switzerland)
Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
Golden Gate Park (San Francisco, Calif.)
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (Wyo.)
Hot Springs (San Miguel County, N.M.)
Judengasse (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)
Kasaan Bay (Alaska)
La Tour-de-Peilz (Switzerland)
La Veta (Colo.)
Le Havre (France)
Lindau (Bavaria, Germany)
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Minnehaha Falls (Minn.)
Muir Glacier (Alaska)
Niagara County (N.Y.)
Oberhofen am Thunersee (Switzerland)
Place de la Concorde (Paris, France)
Port Townsend (Wash.)
Pullman (Chicago, Ill.)
Rattenberg (Tyrol, Austria)
Santa Barbara (Calif.)
Santa Cruz (Calif.)
Santa Fe (N.M.)
Seal Rocks (San Francisco, Calif.)
Seco, Arroyo (Los Angeles County, Calif.)
Spanish Peaks (Colo.)
Toltec Gorge (N.M.)
Yosemite Valley (Calif.)
Zytglogge (Bern, Switzerland)
Using These Materials
The collection is open for research.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
Copyright status is unknown.
- PREFERRED CITATION:
Caspar Wistar Miller photograph albums, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan.