The Alfred A. Hart Photo Project collection, 2008-2011
- Physical description
- 5.58 gigabytes
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Finding aidOnline Archive of California
Limited on-site access
Researchers in the Stanford community can request to view these materials in the Special Collections Reading Room. Entry to the Reading Room is by appointment only.
- White, Jesse.
- Finding aid
- Finding aid
- From 1864 to 1869, Alfred A. Hart took 364 pictures along the line of the Central Pacific Railroad in order to help solicit investment in the railroad. Between 2008-2011, Jesse White repeated Hart's journey taking photographs from exactly (or approximately) the same sites. The materials consist of digital images and the website of the project.
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- The materials are open for research use.
- Cite as
- [identification of item], The Alfred A. Hart Photo Project Collection (SC1111). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.
- Copyright retained by creator.
- Alfred Hart was born in Norwich, Connecticut in 1816. Hart initially worked as a portrait painter before he moved to California in 1863 to work as a photographer. By 1864, he was the official photographer for the Central Pacific Railroad. As the railroad's photographer, Hart could pause railroad construction to pose the railroad workers or even stop trains at photo opportunities. He published 364 images as the Central Pacific Railroad photographer between 1864 and 1869. Eventually, Charles E. Leonard of the publishing company Horton & Leonard published a book of Hart's Central Pacific photos in 1870, titled "The Traveler's Own Book." In spite of Hart's publishing success, Central Pacific director Collis Huntington hired a new railroad photographer in 1870 and Hart traveled east to offer his services as a photographer for both the Nevada and Utah Railroad and the Pullman Company. Hart did not publish a photo after he left the Central Pacific Railroad. Throughout the 1870s, Hart traveled the country before settling in New York in 1881. While he filed multiple patents for new photographic devices, Hart's inventions never made him much money. He lived in relative poverty in New York City before he returned to California in 1906. He died on March 5, 1908 in Alameda County Infirmary. While Hart is primarily remembered for his brief period as a railroad photographer, he always considered himself an artist.
- Jesse White is a professional photographer working out of Sacramento and Los Angeles Ca. He is a graduate of Lewis and Clark College, and has spent the last fifteen years working both as an IASTE member in the film industry as well as a private photographer. He is using a digital 35mm camera with lenses of equivalent focal length to that which Hart used. Complete modern replication of the Hart collection is anticipated in the spring of 2010.
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