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A Western Trip
Herold Press, Detroit 1904 - A WESTERN TRIP TO YELLOWSTONE & MONTANA FEATURING PHOTOCHROMS BY WILLIAM HENRY JACKSON 8vo. 91 [1 blank], [2] pp., 30 mounted photographs (12 full-page photochrome process prints by William Henry Jackson, 18 smaller black and white taken by the party). Original full brown leather gilt-lettered and with gilt illustration of cowboy on rearing horse roping. With author's signed presentation in ink on front flyleaf: "C. L. Levants from Carl E. Schmidt, Jan'y 1905" (ink inscription offset onto the title). An impressive privately produced journal and memoir of a trip to Yellowstone in 1901 written by the wealthy Detroit industrialist Carl Schmidt. This book is an idiosyncratic example of bookmaking, not only because of its unusual illustrative matter, but also because of the author's selection of old English type and the binding created in the author's own tannery. The black and white photographs are candids taken by the party. The color photographs are the work of William Henry Jackson (1843-1942) who served as official photographer of the Hayden survey from 1870-1878 and took the first photos of Yellowstone Park. Leaving Chicago on August 31, 1901, in the company of three other people (his daughter Emma, friend Frank Pingree, and the latter's son Everett), Carl E. Schmidt embarked on a trip inspired by a painting of Yellowstone geysers he saw while waiting in a dining room for his omelet to be served. After describing his train trip West, which included a few humorous detours, Schmidt and his party spent several weeks in Yellowstone enjoying the sites and having various adventures and misadventures, most of which Schmidt describes in a jocular, even-handed manner. Some of the incidents seem to be reflective of the author's own amused awareness of his greenhorn-tourist status. At one point, a trip from the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel is preceded by Schmidt's elaborate order to the kitchen for lunch, which included an extra two-dollar bill to ensure service. However, when the lunch was opened the next day, it turned out to be nothing but ruined scraps. He also describes a somewhat successful fishing trip in which several trout were caught. However, upon arriving at the hotel and handing over the fish to the cook with instructions for preparation, the fish were ruined because they were fried in "wagon- grease butter." The journal concludes with a visit and descent into a mine near Butte, Montana. Schmidt remarks: "Here comes our party and with them the mine boss, Capt. Sammie. He looks like a highwayman, but we find out later he is a Baptist deacon and plays the organ up at the big camp tent" (p. 85). The trip to the mine also includes a recounting of a shoot-out that occurred a few months before their arrival. On the return trip to Chicago, the party stopped briefly in Salt Lake City. In Exploration and Empire Goetzmann describes the photographer William Henry Jackson's importance, "the greatest of all Western photographers [with the] ability to capture the many scenes of sublime beauty in the West on his photographic plates and stereopticon slides, did more than anyone else to publicize the tourist's West. Jackson, like the avant-garde writers, the scientists, and even the local colorists of his time, was helping to usher in a new era of realism that would in part replace, and at the same time, as far as subject matter was concerned, parallel the romanticism of an earlier day". For more information about this book, or a warm welcome to see it and other books in our library at 72nd Street, NYC, please contact Kate Hunter, M.A. Oxon, in the Rare Book Department [Attributes: Signed Copy; Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Arader Galleries]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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