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Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)
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Kiser Photo Co. Photographs

  • Org. Lot 140
  • Collection
  • 1901-1999

The Kiser Photo Co. photographs include images produced by the Kiser Brothers, the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition Official Photographic Co., the Kiser Photo Co., and the Winter Photo Co. from 1901-circa 1927. Other imprints include Fred H. Kiser Studios, Kiser Studios, and Scenic America Company. The collection contains both vintage black-and-white and hand-colored prints, including stereographs and panoramic photographs, as well as copy prints made from original Kiser negatives. The bulk of the images are examples of Kiser's landscape and mountain photography in Montana, Oregon, and along the Columbia River Gorge and Columbia River Highway, among other places, as well as of various places in Portland, Or. Other subjects include the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Mo., 1904; the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Or., 1905; landscape photographs taken for various railroad companies, 1903-1916; photographs of ships and shipbuilding in the Portland, Or. area, taken for the Emergency Fleet Corporation, 1918-1919; and photos of Kiser studio buildings in Portland, 1909-1923.

The collection also contains contemporary photomechanical reproductions of Kiser photographs, dating from 1903-circa 1930. These include postcards, photomechanical prints both loose and in albums, and publications containing reproductions of Kiser work. There are also background materials that contain biographical notes Fred H. Kiser and the history of his work with photography that were gathered during collection processing and date from 1903-1999.

Many images in the collection were made by the Kiser Brothers or Kiser Photo Company and its photographers but were produced for sale to the public over a long period of time, first by the Kiser Photo Company and then the Winter Photo Company. After Kiser sold part of his business to Winter in 1915, it appears that Kiser continued to make prints from earlier images for which Winter held the negatives, possibly by making copy negatives from original prints. Photographer Benjamin Gifford also bought Kiser negatives and produced them for sale; many of the copy prints in this collection were made from Kiser negatives that are housed in the Gifford and Prentiss photograph collection, Org. Lot 982.

Note on dates and photographers’ negative numbers: Kiser and Winter often issued prints of the same images over a long period. Prints sometimes include copyright dates in the photographer’s imprint. The dates provided in this guide include: actual date of photograph if known, copyright date if known, or circa dates derived from photographers’ negative numbers and image content. Kiser Brothers did not use a negative numbering system as far as can be determined. Kiser Photo Co.’s earliest assigned numbers represent the firm’s output but also may be for images made by the Kiser Brothers but marketed later. They are low numbers preceded by an “x”. Kiser seems to have adopted a consecutive numbering system by about 1906. The numbers are handwritten in pencil on the verso of prints. After he purchased part of the business in 1915, Winter appears to have continued the consecutive numbering system from where Kiser Photo Company left off. After 1915, Kiser appears to have adopted a new numbering system, using a “C” prefix.

Kiser, Fred H., 1878-1955

Crater Lake from Castle Rock - Oregon

Negative of a photographic postcard showing a view of Crater Lake, Oregon, from the summit of Castle Rock. There is a rock formation in the foreground. Most of Wizard Island is visible. This is a photograph of a postcard originally published by the Kiser Photo Co. in 1903. Printed on the bottom left are the original copyright notice and title, "Crater Lake. From Summit of Castle Crest." Handwriting on negative reads, "Crater Lake from Castle Rock - Oregon. Christian 11-722."

Christian (Photographer)

Crooked River Canyon and the Cove Ranch

Photograph of the Crooked River Canyon in Central Oregon. Taken from the top of the canyon, looking down at the Crooked River flowing through the base of the canyon. A homestead is visible near the river. Handwriting on back of print reads, "Looking down Crooked River Canyon. Showing the Cove Ranch." Stamp on the back of the print indicates a 1911 copyright notice by Kiser Photo Co. for SP&S Railway.

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

Campers in Crooked River Canyon

Photograph of tents set up at the base of a Crooked River Canyon next to the Crooked River. Taken from the top of the canyon, looking down at the tents. Handwriting on back of print reads, "The Cove. Campers in Crooked River Canyon. About 7 Mi. N. of Metolius." Stamp on the back of the print indicates a 1911 copyright notice by Kiser Photo Co. for SP&S Railway.

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

Down Deschutes Canyon

Photograph of the Deschutes River flowing through the Deschutes Canyon. Taken from the top of the canyon. Mount Hood is visible in the distance. Stamp on front of print for Kiser Photo Co. Handwriting on back reads, "O.T. Ry. Down Deschutes Canyon from point above Pelton. O.T. Track to right. Mt. Hood."

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

Waterfalls near Deschutes River

A railroad track runs alongside a river, likely the Deschutes River. To the left, several waterfalls run down the side of a canyon. Handwriting on back reads, "Oak Springs, Deschutes River." Stamp for Kiser Photo Co. on front of print.

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

Track on Deschutes River

A small track made of wood follows the bank of the Deschutes River. The river rounds a bend. Handwriting on back of print reads, "Swallow Ditch and Deschutes River." Stamp for Kiser Photo Co. on front of print. Stamp on back of print reads, "From Passenger Department, The North Bank Road, Portland, Ore."

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

Lake near Bend, Oregon

Photograph of a grassy area and a gazebo near a lake. There are several trees around the lake. A mountain is visible in the distance. Handwriting on the back of print reads, "Near Bend." Stamp on front indicates 1911 copyright by Kiser Photo Co. while stamp on back indicates 1909 copyright by Kiser Photo Co. for SP&S Railway.

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

Farm Scene near Salem, Oregon

Photograph of orchards and fields on a hillside near Salem, Oregon. A dirt path on the left leads to a house in the distance. Handwriting on the back of the print reads, "Farm Scene near Salem." Embossment on the front of print indicates a 1902 copyright by Kiser Photo Co., while a hand-written note on the back indicates a 1904 copyright by the Kiser Photo Co.

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

Looking North from Mouth of Elk Creek - Cannon Beach, Oregon

View of the coastline looking north from Elk Creek, known today as Ecola Creek, in Cannon Beach, Oregon. A windswept tree stands in the foreground near a beach where the creek meets the ocean. Typed label on the back of print reads, "Looking north from mouth of Elk Creek - Cannon Beach, Oregon." Embossment on the front of the print reads, "Copyright 1909 for Spokane, Portland & Seattle Ry. by Kiser Photo Co."

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

View of Mount Hood

Photograph of a landscape dotted with farms and trees and a view of Mount Hood in the distance. Stamp on the back of the print indicates a 1912 copyright notice by Kiser Photo Co. for SP&S Railway.

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

Dirt Road Under Cliff

Photograph of a dirt road at the base of a cliff in the high desert in Central Oregon likely taken in the Crooked River Canyon. Handwriting on the back of the print reads, "Near Culver, Ore?" Stamp on the back of the print indicates a 1911 copyright notice by Kiser Photo Co. for SP&S Railway.

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

Waterfall

Photograph of a wide waterfall on a river, likely in Central Oregon. Embossment on the lower right indicates a 1909 copyright notice by Kiser Photo Co. for SP&S Railway.

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

Cliffs Near North Junction, Oregon

Photograph of a mountain in the desert, likely in North Junction in Wasco County, Oregon. There are several cliffs and rock formations on the slope of the mountain. Handwriting on the back of the print reads, "Cliffs, N. Junction." Stamp on the back of the print indicates a 1911 copyright notice by Kiser Photo Co. for SP&S Railway.

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

The Three Sisters, Central Oregon Cascades

Photograph of the Three Sisters mountains in the Cascade Range, taken from a road between Redmond and Sisters, Oregon. High desert landscape in the foreground. Handwriting on the back reads, "The Three Sisters, as seen from the Redmond, The Sisters Road." Stamps on the front and the back indicate a 1911 copyright by Kiser Photo Co. for SP&S Railway.

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

Looking Across the Columbia River from Skamania, Washington

Photograph taken from the shore of the Washington side of the Columbia River near Skamania, looking across the river at Oregon. Horsetail Falls is visible to the left. The waters of the river are calm and there is a boat near shore in the foreground. Handwriting on the back of the print reads, "A placid vista of the majestic Columbia with Horse Tail Falls in the middle distance." Typed label on the back of the print reads, "Looking across Columbia River from Butler, showing Horse Tail Falls -- Via S.P.&S. Plate No. 4152." Embossment on the front of the print indicates a 1909 copyright by the Kiser Photo Co. for SP&S Railway.

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

Columbia River from Beacon Rock, Washington

Photograph showing a view of the Columbia River through the trees at Beacon Rock on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. The vertical cliffs of Beacon Rock are on the left while the river is visible on the right. Typed writing on the back reads, "Columbia River from Beacon Rock - SP&S Ry." Embossment on the front of the print for Kiser. Stamp on the back of the print for Angelus Commercial Studio.

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

View of the Columbia River and Mount Hood

Photograph showing a view of Mount Hood across the Columbia River. Taken from the Washington side of the river and looking south toward Oregon. The sun shines down on Mount Hood. There is an island in the river in the foreground. Stamp on the front of the print indicates a copyright by Kiser Photo Co., for a date between 1900-1909. Handwriting on the back of the print reads, "Columbia River and Mt. Hood, Oregon."

Kiser Photo Co. (Portland, Or.)

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