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Finding aid to Souvenir of the California Midwinter International Exposition, 1894
BANC PIC 1976.029--ffALB  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Souvenir of the California Midwinter International Exposition collection is an album containing 110 photographic prints taken in 1894 by Isaiah W. Taber, the official photographer of the Exposition. The album features views of the grounds, buildings, attractions, events, and exhibits of the California Midwinter International Exposition (C.M.I.E.). The album features several of the main structures of the C.M.I.E., including the Electric Tower of the Grand Court, the Allegorical Fountain, the Administration Building, the Fine Arts Building, the Horticulture and Agriculture Building, the Manufacturer's and Liberal Arts Building, and the Mechanical Arts Building. Among the attractions featured are the Firth Wheel, the Scenic Railway, and Dante's Inferno. Also pictured are the buildings and exhibits of various counties, states and nations; general views of the Exposition grounds; crowd and entertainment scenes; international groups in traditional dress; and two unidentified group portraits, possibly of Exposition executives. Many night views of the lighted buildings and grounds are also included.
Background
Isaiah West Taber was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts August 17, 1830. Taber went to sea at the age of fifteen and spent several years working on whaling ships in the North Pacific. He came to California in 1850, where he spent four years working first as a miner, then a farmer. Taber returned to New Bedford in 1854 where he studied dentistry and began a dental practice. An interest in amateur photography eventually became his life-work. He settled in Syracuse, New York, where he opened his first studio. In 1864 he returned to California at the inducement of the photographers Bradley and Rulofson, whom he worked for until 1871. Taber established the "Taber Gallery" at No. 12 Montgomery Street in 1871. His highly successful business was well-known for portraiture and a vast stock of California and Western views - many of which were the unacknowledged works of other photographers. Taber's success and stature in California and abroad are evident in his being awarded the photographic concession of the Midwinter Fair of 1893-94 in San Francisco, his being sent to London in 1897 to photograph the pageant of the Queen Victoria Jubilee, and his commission to photograph King Edward VII. Taber's career ended in 1906 when his entire collection of glass plates, view negatives and portraits on glass were destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and fire. He died February 22, 1912. Held in San Francisco from January 1 to July 9, 1894, and inspired by the World's Columbia Exposition at Chicago the previous year, the California Midwinter International Exposition (C.M.I.E.) sought to promote California's mild, salubrious year-round climate, as well as to portray its beauty and wealth of diverse resources. In addition to featuring exhibits from counties throughout the state, the C.M.I.E. invited other states and nations to exhibit wares and customs characteristic of their regions. The C.M.I.E. was the first of 3 world's fairs to take place in San Francisco. Attracting circa 2,500,000 visitors, the C.M.I.E. is considered to be the first event to publicize on an international scale the attractions of California as a favorable vacation area.
Extent
110 photographic albumen prints in one album, 50 x 38 cm. 109 digital objects
Restrictions
Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Availability
Restricted originals. Use viewing prints only. Use of originals only by permission of the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library. Originals stored offsite: advance notice required for use.