William Henry Jackson's Eastman View Camera

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William Henry Jackson's Eastman View no. 2 Camera, 1915


Artifact Is: 3 Dimensional
Located at: Denver Public Library
Artifact Significant To: Colorado, Nation

Artifact Description:

William Henry Jackson's original Eastman View no. 2 Improved Model Century View and Empire State no. 2 (Eastman Kodak Co.) camera, circa 1915. From the William Henry Jackson Collection, WH1677, Western History and Genealogy Department, Denver Public Library.

Why Is This Artifact Significant?

William Henry Jackson’s photographs introduced a vision of the American West to an international audience. In 1868, Jackson opened a studio in Omaha and began photographing Pawnee and Omaha Indians and the landscapes along the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads. During the 1870s, Jackson achieved notoriety while working for the Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories and photographing Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado. Jackson’s photographs were essential in prompting the United States government to establish Yellowstone National Park in 1872. Jackson returned to commercial photography for several years before joining the Detroit Photographic Company, a publishing firm, in 1897. Thousands of Jackson’s photographs were reproduced and distributed widely by the firm.

How Does The Artifact Relate To Colorado History?

William Henry Jackson’s cameras were essential tools in documenting early chapters in Colorado’s history. Jackson created a visual record of Colorado’s people, natural landscape, and built environment with his photographs. While Jackson took many images of Colorado for the Hayden Survey, his work continued when he opened a commercial photography studio in Denver in 1879. This artifact, an Eastman View no. 2 Improved Model Century View and Empire State no. 2 (Eastman Kodak Co.) camera, is representative of Jackson’s involvement in commercial photography and publishing—work that brought images of Colorado’s people and landscapes to audiences around the world.