Titusville: J.A. Mather, [c. 1866].
22 stereo cards, with printed paper labels on verso titled in manuscript. 3-1/4 x 6-3/4 inches. "the unofficial photographer of the industry" --Darrah. Some wear to cards, images near fine. Item #235961
A fascinating and important record of the birth of the oil industry in northwestern Pennsylvania.
British-born John Aked Mather (1829-1915) moved to the United States in 1856 and soon after was introduced to photography by an itinerant daguerreian. Mather travelled through West Virginia and Ohio before settling in Titusville, Pa in 1860 with his wife. Edwin Drake of the Seneca Oil Company had begun drilling in August of 1859, and Mather was poised to become the oil boom's photographer of record, travelling along Oil Creek River on his flatbed studio. Mather's views of wells and rigs were so popular in their time that owners would request Mather photograph their operations to encourage more investment.
The photographs that Mather took make up the largest and most significant pictorial record of the western Pennsylvania oil boom, "a record of the first ten years of the industry, a coverage without equal in any nineteenth century technology" (Darrah, The World of Stereographs, p. 80).
This group of 22 stereo views includes "Oil Seekers Pithole Penn," "Green Mountain Well ," "Champion Wells Pioneer River," "RR Bridge & Pioneer from Oil Creek," "New York Well Pioneer," "Lady Stewart & Lady Brooks Pioneer River," "Petroleum Center Penn," "Fishers Shipping Sheds," "Old Shipping Platform Miller Farms," and the humorous "Sunken Fortune or Ruined Man"
Price: $3,500.00 Free International Delivery