Bledsoe, James W. (Bend)

James W. Bledsoe (1863- ) (Bend)

He was active as a photographer in Tulare county, California around 1886. A 1905 directory lists him as a photographer in Bend. The November 1908 issue of Camera Craft reports on a public exhibition by Bledsoe of lantern slides of his panoramic photos. He used a circuit camera, made contact prints, and then produced a lantern slide. The article said

“When J. W. Bledsoe billed the City of Dinuba last week, announcing that he would give an exhibition in the opera house on Friday and Saturday nights, many of his friends felt that he was courting defeat. Not that they feared for the merit of the show, but owing to the busy season, and the warm evenings. In this, however, they were happily disappointed. When the hour arrived for the first picture to be thrown on the canvas, the house was packed to suffocation and the entrance was standing full. The pictures undoubtedly were the finest ever thrown on a canvas in the State.

“One could almost feel the cool mountain as the artist led them from the orchards and vineyards in the Valley, up the steep mountain passes and through canyons skirted on either side by storm-swept clouds and snow-capped peaks. Many of these pictures were taken from points almost inaccessible, and where the camera never before had been carried or an attempt to reproduce some of nature’s most wondrous beauty and grandeur. The audience which packed the hall certainly was a splendid compliment to our now far-famed artist, and one he richly deserved.

“Saturday evening the hall was again filled to overflowing, and dozens were turned away who could not get in.

“Mr. Bledsoe’s negatives are all made with a large-size circuit camera, and the pictures he shows are projected in a special lantern from positives made direct from these large negatives.”

Historic photos and images