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The Pioneer Photographer

The Pioneer Photographer, by William II. Jackson, Yonkers, World Book Co., 1929. $1.40.

The author, the well-known photographer of the Hayden Survey in the Seventies, here gives us a different side of the picture from that published in the official reports. The old Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, to which we owe so much of our information of the mountain regions of Colorado and Wyoming and whose members made so many of the pioneer climbs in those states, is a subject about which little except dry official reports ever trickled out. Consequently this modest volume of 300 pages helps to give us a more intimate picture of the day-to-day work of the parties. The author, who took many hundreds of pictures, among others the first of the Yellowstone, tries to convey some of the difficulty of handling wet plates when each picture meant setting up a dark room on the spot, preparing the plate and developing it then and there. In these days of prepared films, and wholesale development months afterward, such troubles can scarcely be comprehended. Mr. Jackson describes the ascent of a number of peaks in Colorado and Wyoming. But perhaps of greatest interest to the modern climber are his remarks, on page 132, about Langford’s and Stevenson’s ascent of the Grand Teton. The book, although written primarily as a school text, deserves to be read by every one interested in the regions dealt with. An index renders it a ready book of reference. As an added attraction there is an account of the discovery of the Mesa Verde cliff-dwellings and a run-in with the Indians.

K A. H.