Working on the Frontier ~ Curtis' Studio and Workroom
Edward S. Curtis driving a team of horses, by unknown photographer, date and location unknown. Courtesy James Graybill, Edward S. Curtis' grandson.
Edward S. Curtis driving
a team of horses
"The field wagon . . . held several cameras and glass plates, equipment for recording speech and music onto wax cylinders the size of water glasses, a small trunk of books, a typewriter, a tent. . . . The loaded wagon weighed close to a ton."
~ Edward S. Curtis, date unknown

In the years before the plastic photographic films in vogue today, Curtis worked with chemically-treated glass-plate negatives. The team would carry the bulky plates back to Seattle to start the photogravure process.

Glass plates
Boxes of glass plate negatives.

"Development . . . usually was accomplished in a tent at night, with work prints made the following day on printing-out paper or, sometimes, on ferroprussiate (blueprint) paper exposed to the sun in a printing frame."
~ Jean-Antony Du Lac, 1976

~ Gaining Support

~ The Curtis Family ~ Working on the Frontier ~ Gaining Support ~ A Life's Work ~ Early Books ~ Family Sacrifices
~ "The Man Who Never Took Time to Play" ~ Curtis' Technique ~ Alaska ~
~ Timeline ~ Suggested Readings ~ Credits ~

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