Rare photographs, newly digitized, show Oregon life in the early 1900s
A new online photograph collection of rare images offer a look at Oregon life 120 years ago. The Oregon Historical Society reports that it recently digitized more than 200 historical photographs of the state from the turn of the 20th century.
The Lars C. Henrichsen photograph collection features prints and rare glass plate negatives dating from 1895 to 1910. Glass plates were an early form of photography using glass rather than film to create negatives. The large cameras and fragile glass plates made it a cumbersome process, but as anyone who has studied the images will tell you, the final product was worth the effort. When done properly, the photos retain incredible detail — as seen in many of these images.
The online collection also includes photos from a cloth-bound book made up of a 14-panel panorama of Portland. The panorama images are printed on thick paper that unfolds to reveal the city.
The panorama album dates to 1903, and it’s thought that Henrichsen published it to promote the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition. The exposition drew thousands of people to Portland, and city boosters hoped it would bring developers to the area.
The full collection also features several images of the expo itself.
Henrichsen probably took most of the photographs. He was an Oregon Camera Club member and city booster. Henrichsen arrived in Portland from Denmark in the early 1860s. In 1867, he opened a jewelry store on Front Street. He died in Portland in 1924.
The Oregon Historical Society compiled the Henrichsen photograph collection from several different donors. Most of the material was donated to the Oregon Historical Society in the 1950s and ‘60s.
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