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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

Japanese American Oral History Project

  • Japanese American Oral History Project
  • Collection
  • 1992-1998

A series of oral history interviews conducted between 1992 and 1998 with Japanese Americans in Oregon. Loen Dozono of the Japanese American Citizen's League (JACL) collaborated with OHS on this project. The interviews were conducted by JACL and OHS staff and volunteers. They aimed to interview Issei (first generation Japanese Americans), and ultimately also interviewed several Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans).

Fred Meyer Oral History Project

  • SR FM
  • Collection
  • 1970-1990 (bulk 1988-1990)

The Fred Meyer Oral History Series discusses the business operations and the man behind the Fred Meyer stores, one of the first self-service grocery stores in the nation. They were innovators in the concept of one-stop shopping, paving the way for the modern superstore.

Academy of Science of St. Louis

Address to Meier and Frank employees

  • SR 294
  • Collection
  • 1949-03-24

Aaron Frank urges assembled employees to resist union organizing effort. He enumerates the benefits provided to employees by Meier & Frank, gives examples of management/employee loyalty, lists responsibilities as director, and makes a plea for an employee vote of confidence.The employees utlimately voted against unionization.

Frank, Aaron

Oh What a Night

  • SR 2534
  • Collection
  • 2004-03-18

Audio recording of an Oregon Historical Society event, consisting of a panel discussion moderated by Melody Rose. Gretchen Kafoury, Vera Katz, Norma Paulus, and Betty Roberts discuss the womens' movement in addition to their experiences in the Oregon State legislature in the 1970s and 1980s.

Kafoury, Gretchen Miller

Oregon Historical Society Nominated Oral Histories

  • SR Oregon Historical Society Nominated Oral Histories
  • Collection
  • 2017

An ongoing series of oral history interviews with Oregonians. The subjects are selected from a pool of nominees by a staff committee appointed by the OHS Executive Director. The purpose of these interviews is to create historical documents of enduring value that will enhance and expand the range of Oregon voices preserved by the OHS Research Library and that will complement existing collections and programs of the Oregon Historical Society and address goals for collection development and community engagement.

Oregon Historical Society

Oral history interviews with Charles Lewis Hayward, by Jim Strassmaier

  • SR 2035
  • Collection
  • 1994-04-13/1994-05-04

A sequel to SR 9580, Hayward discusses his family background, early life and schooling, religion, sports, going to college with dreams of becoming a chemical engineer, experiences during World War I, his participation in the American Legion, life as a veteran, and a near encounter with Charles Lindbergh.

Hayward, Charles Lewis

Portland General Electric Photograph Collection

  • Org. Lot 151
  • Collection
  • 1880 - 1965

Negatives documenting company activities, including electrical infrastructure, employees, power generation and distribution throughout Portland, the Willamette Valley and the Oregon Cascade Range. Additional general images include streetcars and trains, street lighting, power line installation, Rose Festival floats, office buildings, car barns and bridges. Of particular note are dam building projects at Bull Run and along the Clackamas River (1910-1930), and early electric stations in Oregon City at Willamette Falls.

Portland General Electric Company

Oregon Labor Oral History Program

  • SR OLOHP
  • Collection
  • 1993 - 2018

The Oregon Labor Oral History Program is an offshoot of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association, run by a former OHS oral historian. Building upon the work of AFL-CIO member Nellie Fox Edwards in the 1980s, the OLOHP aims to preserve the collective history of labor unions and work life.

Oral history interview with Emery Neale, by Jim Strassmaier

  • SR 339
  • Collection
  • 1988-02-10 - 1988-02-17

Neale discusses his family history and childhood, playing tennis at the Irvington Club, the history of indoor tennis in Portland, Oregon, discrimination at tennis clubs in the area, playing in tennis tournaments, his tennis career, being in the Army during WWII, and the People to People Tours.

Neale, Emery

Oral history interview with Dr. Jessie Laird Brodie, by Roberta Watts

  • SR 9027
  • Collection
  • 1978-02-14 - 1978-03-30

Dr. Brodie discusses this history of laws regarding birth control, women's rights, practicing medicine, her involvement with the United Nations, Pan-American Women's Medical Association, Planned Parenthood, and other organizations, family planning in Latin America, particularly in Haiti, her involvement with the White House Council on Aging, Sickle-Cell Anemia, working in Cambodia, and her own family.

Brodie, Jessie Laird, 1898-1990

Oral history interview with Howard Hobson, by Linda Brody

  • SR 9354
  • Collection
  • 1982-06-28

Hobson discusses his early interest in athletics, playing sports at University of Oregon, and his career as a college football, baseball and basketball coach, particularly at University of Oregon.

Hobson, Howard, 1903-

Drive-in Restaurants of Portland Oral History Project

  • SR Drive-ins
  • Collection
  • 1980-09-10 - 1980-11-21

A series of oral history interviews conducted by Curtis Johnson about the history of Drive-in restaurants in Portland, Oregon with a particular emphasis on Tik-Tok and Yaw's Top Notch.

Johnson, Curtis

Columbia Rediviva collection

  • Mss 957
  • Collection
  • 1785-1852

The collection consists of correspondence, journals, ship logs, administrative records, and ink sketches relating to the ship Columbia Rediviva. A mix of original materials and reproductions are present. Among the originals are: the journal of John Hoskins, written during the Columbia's journey around the world in 1791-1792; the journal of George Barrell, 1806, written on board the brig Venus from Boston to Malaga, and on the schooner Louisiana from Malaga to New York; Barrell's account of stores on board the Columbia, 1792-1793; letters of Joseph Barrell to Samuel Webb, 1785-1801, and to John Hoskins, 1790; letters from Colburn Barrell and Robert Haswell, 1801; owner's accounts, 1787-1793; accounts of the Columbia and Lady Washington, 1787-1790; receipts; and four ink sketches by George Davidson depicting incidents in the voyages of the Columbia.

The reproductions held in this collection include the journals of Robert Haswell and Owen Smith, 1787-1789; and a file of receipts and other papers concerning outfitting of the Columbia, 1790 (on microfilm). Also included are publications of Robert Gray's wife Martha's petition to congress for a pension and memorial, 1848-1852.

Joel Palmer Papers, 1783-1982

  • MSS 114
  • Collection
  • 1783-1982

The papers consist of four groups of materials acquired by the Oregon Historical Society at various times. The first group, designated Mss 114, consists of correspondence (1848-1869) concerning the conduct of Indian affairs in Oregon, enlistment of a state militia, and efforts to establish a Union League Council. Correspondents include Benjamin Alvord, Jesse Applegate, Benjamin Bonneville, Samuel Culver, Addison C. Gibbs, and Joseph Lane. Also included is a diary (1857) kept by Palmer while on a voyage from Oregon City to Washington, D.C. via Panama; typescript copies of diaries (1854, 1856, 1860-1861) recording his travels throughout the Pacific Northwest; hand written copy of an agreement (1854) between the United States, represented by superintendent of Indian Affairs, Joel Palmer, and the Calipooia Indian tribe; and articles of incorporation (1862) of the Columbia River Railroad Company.

The second group of materials, designated Mss 114-1, consists of letters sent to Sarah Ann Palmer from various relatives, and receipts and other ephemera of Joel Palmer. Among these are hand written copies of poems dated 1783, possibly from one of Palmer's ancestors.

The third group within the collection, designated Mss 114-2, contains mostly biographical information about Palmer, along with letters written by his descendants and letters relating to the dedication of a statue of Palmer in 1971.

A fourth group of papers, designated Mss 114-3, consists of general correspondence, primarily political and military in nature, legal papers, and a survey of an unidentified Indian reservation.

The final group of materials, designated Mss 114-4, includes a manuscript poem, Bristol, England, 1784; letters from Palmer to General Joseph Lane and others; manuscript copy of report to the U.S. Secretary of War or the Commissioner of Indian Affairs from General Joseph Lane, ca. 1849; a letter from W. B. Bonney to Joel Palmer, 1850 Jan. 17; letter to Joel Palmer from Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Bonneville, 1855 Mar. 27; printed copy of the treaty between the United States and the Rogue River Indians, 1855; manuscript extracts from "Articles of treatry made at Port Orford," 1857 Sept. 20; hand drawn map of the Columbia River and its tributaries, undated; and a pamphlet titled "History of the Grand Ronde Military Block House," 1911.

Palmer, Joel, 1810-1881

Carleton E. Watkins photographs, 1861-1885

  • Org. Lot 93
  • Collection
  • 1861 - 1885

This collection contains stereographs, cartes de visite, cabinet and boudoir cards, photograph albums, mammoth plates, and other loose prints taken by landscape photographer Carleton E. Watkins, 1861-1885. Watkins photographs that were taken before he lost his Yosemite Art Gallery studio in 1876 to Isaiah W. Taber are known as his "Old Series." Watkins photographs taken after 1876 are referred to as his "New Series." The collection contains both Old Series and New Series images and includes some of Watkins' photographs printed under Taber's imprint..

The bulk of the stereographs and mammoth plate photographs in this collection were taken during Watkins' trips to Oregon to photograph Portland, the Willamette River, and the Columbia River in 1867 (Old Series), as well as in 1882, 1883, and the winter of 1884-1885 (New Series). There are also some stereographs that were taken by Watkins on his 1882 voyage to photograph Puget Sound in the Washington Territory and Victoria in British Columbia. Other mammoth plates, cartes de visite, and stereographs depict views of places in California, including Yosemite and Mariposa County, the Farallon Islands and other scenes of the California coast, San Francisco, Round Top, Mount Lola, and Mount Shasta, as well as views of Utah taken for the Union Pacific Railroad. There are also cabinet card portraits taken by Watkins of various people, including Oregon railroad financier Simeon Gannett Reed and members of the family of Cornelius C. Beekman (1828-1915), banker from Jacksonville, Or.

The collection also contains two photograph albums assembled by Watkins and originally owned by Charles H. Prescott (b. 1839), manager of the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Co. from 1881-1887. One album, "Sun Sketches of Columbia River Scenery," contains images taken by Watkins during his trips to the Columbia River Gorge circa 1882-1883, and the second album, ""Great Storm of the Winter of 1884-5. Columbia River, Or.," contains images that he took during a winter blizzard in December and January of 1884-1885 that snowed in an Oregon Railway and Navigation Co. train on its tracks along the Columbia River. The collection also contains one group of stereographs entitled "Watkins' Pacific Railroad" that were originally taken by Alfred A. Hart, official photographer for the Central Pacific Railroad, between 1862-1869 and reprinted by Watkins under his own imprint after 1870.

Watkins, Carleton E., 1829-1916

Cartes-de-Visite Collection

  • Org. Lot 500
  • Collection
  • 1855 - 1897

Cartes-de-visite are a form of card photograph popular from around 1860 to the early 1900s, typically used for portraiture. The common construction of these cards consists of a thin albumen print mounted on a thicker card backing measuring 2.5 x 4 inches. André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri patented the process of creating these photo cards in Paris in 1854, streamlining the process of commercial portraiture and reducing costs with a method of taking eight separate negatives on a single plate. Initial commercial response to the cartes-de-visite was slow. They reportedly did not rise in popularity until Napoleon III had his portrait taken by Disdéri in 1859 after which enthusiasm for card photographs spread rapidly across the globe. In the United States, cartes-de-visite were a staple of commercial photographers during the Civil War as a means of selling inexpensive portraits of soldiers and their loved ones, and also photographs of celebrities for collecting and trading. Cartes-de-visite were superseded by Cabinet cards, a similar format but larger - roughly 4.5 x 6.5 inches, in the 1870's but they remained popular into the twentieth century.

The Oregon Historical Society’s Cartes-de-Visite Collection was accumulated from various sources. The collection includes photographs taken throughout the United States, including by many well known Oregon photography studios, from about 1855 through the early 1900s. Cartes-de-visite can be found in many other photo albums and individual photo collections in OHS holdings.

Days With Chief Joseph

  • SR 1096
  • Collection
  • 1954-08-21

Erskine Wood discusses summer vacations spent in household of Chief Joseph.

Wood, Erskine

Oral History Interview with Flora Cushinway Thompson

  • SR 9586
  • Collection
  • 1971?

Flora Cushinway Thompson discusses her marriage to Chief Tommy Thompson of the Wyams, fishing, religion, and the fight against the building of the Dalles Dam.

Thompson, Flora Cushinway, 1893-1978

Oral History Interview with Art S. Bimrose Jr., by Jim Strassmaier

  • SR 1752
  • Collection
  • 1989-04-26

This is an interview done in conjunction with a 1989 OHS exhibit of Bimrose's work. In the interview, he discusses his childhood and education, his early art career during the Depression, the process of creating cartoons, the cartoonist's intellectual autonomy, politics and his feelings on war.

Bimrose, Art, 1912-

United States District Court Oral History Project

  • USDCHS
  • Collection
  • 1966-2008 (bulk 1984-2008)

Since 1984, the Oregon Historical Society has partnered with the United States District Court of Oregon Historical Society to interview judges, lawyers and other legal professionals affiliated with that Court.
With an appeal rate at around 10%, the decisions made by the District Court of Oregon have been deeply influential on the laws and peoples of the state. It has presided over decisions on public land disputes and fishing rights, as well as civil rights and law enforcement. The stories of the people that make up this judicial body provide a valuable tool for helping the public understand the pivotal role the court has had on Oregon’s history.

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