skip to searchskip to content
banner
William H. Rau lantern slides
print eadcite thisAsk Hagley
William H. Rau lantern slides

Accession 1971.360

Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
askhagley@hagley.org

Finding aid prepared by Skylar Harris, 2019.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2019-08-06T13:31-0400

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, William H. Rau lantern slides (Accession 1971.360), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

icon

Descriptive Summary

Title: William H. Rau lantern slides
Dates: circa 1895
Accession Number: 1971.360
Creator: Rau, William Herman, 1855-1920
Extent: 46 images
Physical Description: 46 lantern slides.
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department
Abstract: William H. Rau (1855-1920) was prominent Philadelphia photographer. During the 1870s and 1880s, William H. Rau would become best known for his work photographing scenic views from around the world. In 1895, Rau received a commission from the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Once again traveling in a customized passenger car, Rau traveled on the Lehigh Valley Railroad’s lines from New York City to the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania and upstate New York, documenting hundreds of landscapes along the way. Over two hundred images from this appointment would later be placed in Lehigh Valley Railroad terminals and public sites along the railroad’s reach.
icon

Administrative Information


Existence and Location of Copies

This collection has been digitized and can be seen in Hagley's Digital Archives .

Access to Collection

Collection is open for research.

icon

Biographical Note

William H. Rau (1855-1920) was prominent Philadelphia photographer. Rau was born in Philadelphia in 1855. As a child, his older brother George operated a photography studio and, at the age of thirteen, William became an assistant to the photographer William Bell (1830-1910), who would later become his father-in-law and, in 1876, a business partner.

During the 1870s and 1880s, William H. Rau would become best known for his work photographing scenic views from around the world, beginning with a trip to the Chatham Islands and a circumnavigation of the globe to follow the Transit of Venus across the face of the sun with a scientific expedition; the American West with his brother George; Egypt, Palestine, and the Arabian Peninsula with renowned photographer Edward Livingston Wilson (1838-1903); Mexico with the travel writer John Lawson Stoddard (1850-1931); and sites in Europe and the Arctic as a solo practitioner. During his stays in Philadelphia, he was also prominent portrait photographer for the city’s elites.

In 1891, Rau was commissioned by the Pennsylvania Railroad as its official photographer to document operations and scenic views along its track lines. To complete this mission, Rau traveled the railroad’s lines in a customized passenger car, fitted out with living space, a darkroom, elevated viewing platform, a massive panoramic landscape camera, and other photographic equipment. In 1892, Rau published an illustrated pamphlet listing 312 photographs from this excursion. The photographs taken during Rau’s stint as the railroad’s photographer were also later exhibited in the Pennsylvania Railroad’s building at the World’s Columbian Exposition, which opened in Chicago in May 1893. Later that year, the Pennsylvania Railroad commissioned Rau for a second photographic campaign. In 1900, Rau published a second pamphlet featuring 497 photographs from both commissions.

In later years, Rau would also receive appointments to photograph the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis (1904) and the Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland (1905). By the early 1900’s however, Rau’s photographic style, like that of many commercial photographers, had begun to decline in popularity in favor of more modern approaches (such as the Photo-Secession movement). Rau died at his home in Philadelphia on November 19, 1920.

icon

Scope and Content

In 1895, Rau received a similar commission from the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Once again traveling in a customized passenger car, Rau traveled on the Lehigh Valley Railroad’s lines from New York City to the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania and upstate New York, documenting hundreds of landscapes along the way. Over two hundred images from this appointment would later be placed in Lehigh Valley Railroad terminals and public sites along the railroad’s reach.

While many of the lantern slides in this collection are undated and only partially identified, some can be definitively identified as originating from this 1895 appointment. Some of these images, including the photographs of Mauch Chunk and Mt. Pisgah from Flagstaff Mountain, Mauch Chunk from the Station, Mauch Chunk from the Mountain Road, and Mauch Chunk and Mt. Pisgah from Flagstaff Mountain, would later be included in Rau’s six albums of Pennsylvania Railroad scenery. However, these locations did not lie along Pennsylvania Railroad lines at this time, and some are elsewhere definitively identified as part of Rau’s work with the Lehigh Valley Railroad; as such, they are believed to also have been part of the 1895 commission for the Lehigh Valley Railroad.

icon

Series Descriptions and Inventory

Box Folder
1 1 Boy Standing on Rocks, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 2 Mount Jefferson Plane, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : b&w ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 3 Burning Mines, Summit Hill, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 4 Lehigh Valley from Picadilly Hill, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : b&w ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 5 Bethlehem, Calypso Island on the Lehigh, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 6 South Bethlehem, Lehigh University, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 7 Rockdale Curve, On the Lehigh, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : b&w ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 8 Rockdale Cut, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : b&w ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 9 Lehigh Gap, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 10 Mauch Chunk, from the Station, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 11 Mauch Chunk, from the Mountain Road, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 12 Mount Pisgah Plane Switchback Railroad, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : b&w ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 13 Mauch Chunk, from Summit of Mt. Pisgah, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 14 Nesquehoning Valley, From Packer's Point, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 15 Penn Haven Junction, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 16 Bear Creek Curve, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 17 Ox Bow Curve, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 18 Stoney Creek Curve, West, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 19 Rockport Tunnel, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 20 Bear [Creek] Lake, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : b&w ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 21 Curve West of Wyalusing, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 22 Red Rocks Near Allen's, Susquehanna, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 23 Hemlock Run Curve, near Towanda, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : b&w ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 24 Hemlock Forest, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 25 Ganoga Lake Branch, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 26 Cliff View, Summit of Alleghenies, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 27 Owasco Lake Front, Casowasco, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : b&w ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 28 Raritan River at Neshanic, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 29 Across New Jersey, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 30 Musconetcong Curve near Bloomsbury, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 31 Easton, the Valley from Paxinosa Inn on Weygat Mountain, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 32 Mauch Chunk and Mt. Pisgah from Flagstaff Mountain, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 33 Lehigh Ravine above Glen Onoko, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 34 Lehigh River and Mountains near Glen Onoko, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 35 Mauch Chunk Looking down the Lehigh, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 36 Mauch Chunk Switchback Railroad through the trees, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 37 Mauch Chunk Switchback Home Stretch, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : b&w ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 38 Mt. Pisgah, Mauch Chunk Woodside Switch-Back, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : b&w ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 39 Top of Jefferson Plane Switch-Back, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : b&w ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 40 Switchback View of Mauch Chunk from the Top of Jefferson Plane, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 41 Terrace Cascade at Glen Onoko, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 42 Chameleon Falls at Glen Onoko, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 43 Down the glen from Sunrise Point, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 44 Glen Onoko Falls at Glen Onoko, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 45 Cara Falls at Glen Onoko, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : b&w ; 3 x 4 in.
Box Folder
1 46 Panorama of Lehigh River at Mauch Chunk, circa 1895; 1 lantern slide : color ; 3 x 4 in.