Historic Photo Archive was founded by Thomas Robinson and is administered online by Vintage Roadside. We sell archival prints to the public as well as high resolution scans to historical researchers and the media from our library of original film, glass negatives and transparencies. Over 4500 photographers’ film is archived, and some of these photographers have taken over a million images each.

We have photojournalism, documentary, commercial, aerial, military, venacular, professional and fine art subjects. For research purposes, we have an on-premise reference library containing a near-complete set of Portland city directories, as well as directories from areas we specialize in. In addition to Oregon, we have large film collections from Alaska, Arizona, Washington DC, Washington State, and other areas in the United States.

Other archives are comprised primarily of vintage prints and postcards. As a comparison, our photographs and scans are created using original film and glass plates as the source of the image, which results in considerably higher resolution and have far greater tonal range.

Not everything in our collection has been processsed for online access, as our library is constantly evolving. If you are looking for photos of specific locations or activities that are not on our website please contact us describing what you are looking for and we will search our files for you.

17 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi there – I am a Photographer, Artist, and Middle School Art Teacher, and in some recent research to show my Digital Art students former types of “cutting edge technology” and some constant artistic elements of photography, I stumbled upon one of my own relatives who was at the forefront of his own craft. He happens to be one of the Oregon Photographers listed on your site (Elmer A. Chindlund). I had no idea he existed, but of course am thrilled to be able to share a personal connection with my students. I would love to be able to see and share Elmer’s (and brother F.W.’s) portraits and work if possible. I am especially looking for a very large (6′ wide negative!) panorama of the Willamette Valley taken from Mt. Bandy in 1910. If you have this or any images you would be willing to share, it would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks!

  2. Thank you for including my great uncle manley baltzegar on your site! It was lovely to see his information on here. I grew up hearing stories about how he was the first african american photographer in portland, oregon.

    My grandfather and a few of his siblings came here before world war 2 from whitehouse, texas. They were from a family of 22, 20 of them were my grandfather’s siblings.

    My grandfather, ben baltzegar, his brother manley and their sister mary lou came here in the 1940’s

  3. Thank you for providing those details! I will try to add more information as I run across it. There is only one other Black photographer active in Portland before World War 2, his name is James Wasson. I hope we can learn more about these pioneering and talented photographers. Thomas.

  4. Hi, I am Frank G. Abell’s great great granddaughter and I just found your site. This is by far the best and most extensive biography that I have found. It includes things that I did not know previously and provides an amazing chronology of a busy and hard to follow man, genealogically speaking! You mentioned that your book is out of print. Is there any way that I can obtain a copy? Is it sold on a secondary market? Does it include photographs that he took? I would love to have a copy! At the top of the article, you mentioned my great-grandfather George Lauder Abell. He died in 1943. He was an accomplished man in his own rite. He also was a photographer who, at one time, had a photographic studio in Wellesley, MA with William Partridge.
    Thank you so much for this information. You have truly made my day!!!

  5. I would like to come for a visit to look at the photographs of the Goldsmiths. The three of them were part of the 26 founding members of the MAC Club in 1891.
    I think Hugo and Milton were brothers and Louis was their cousin. Do you know their family backgrounds?
    I look forward to a visit, Lori Delman

  6. Thanks for your website! What a treasure! I couldn’t figure out this photo of my great aunt (Musa DeMouth, born 1903) because she didn’t move to Portland until the 1920s. You had enough information about the Davies studio to connect the dots for me. Musa’s mother had done itinerant work cooking at logging camps long before the family moved permanently west, and those dates matched the active dates of the studio.

  7. Thanks Thomas for all your work archiving photography of Oregon! I have recently been looking into the work of the D.C. Herrin studio. I do not think it is altogether certain that every photograph from this studio was David’s work, it could also be that of his wife, Margaret. I also question David’s death year, but would appreciate any info about sources on this. I suspect for a variety of reasons that he quit the photography business, about the time Margaret divorced him and he had abandoned his family. Then he got into insurance or something related to insurance sales and remarried. The Oregonian says D.C. Herrin died September 26, 1938 and was buried at the Rose City Cemetary in Portland (section M). Of course, there could be other another D.C. Herrin, but certain articles about D.C. and his family connections indicate the photographer and the insurance salesman are one and the same person.

  8. Hello, yes that is correct. I’m collecting information about photographers. There are many other people who collect the photographs themselves.

  9. Hello Thomas,

    You mention in a comment above that you only collect information about the photographers themselves, not their photographs, but that “‘[there] are many other people who collect the photographs themselves.'” I would really appreciate it if you could point me in the direction of resources with information about the photographers work, specifically resources on the photographs taken by Wilkins A.
    Bullock and Mae C. Bullock of Bullock Studio in Salem. Do you know of any such resources? If not, general resources about photography in Salem in the early 20th century would be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards,

  10. I don’t stay in touch with the collectors that I met twenty years ago when I compiled this information. I don’t think many of them are still alive.
    You would well to contact the post card collectors group for this region, they are called the Webfooters. They have an annual swap meet and show, usually in Portland. There you will meet many of the most prolific collectors. And of course you could browse Ebay listings every week. Search for “Salem” under Collectibles/Photographic Images/Antique. Good luck

  11. I came across a colored business card that reads: “Compliments of Prof, G. L. Eastman. Galleries:–First and Jefferson Sts., 169 1/2 Third St., 18th and B Streets, __opp Pavilion, Portland, and Fifth and f_ Sts., East Portland, Or. “(Some of the printing is difficult to read.) The front is a scene in a butcher shop,–the butcher is trying to catch a dog that is running away with meat, while the customer throws up her arms and the helper stands by with a broom. Printing on back of card is covered with glued on paper. Any idea for date?

  12. Dear Mr. Robinson
    Recently I purchased several photos from your historic photo archive including one of Crater Lake (Image Number 1802-1) from the Antiquarium bookstore in Ashland. I believe the negative (or was it a slide?) of this photograph was somehow “flopped” during the printing process (in Photoshop it would be “flipped horizontally”), as the landforms appear out of order. I am curious to know if this photo was originally sold by the photographer, Robert H. McCoy, in this fashion (which is what I hope), or if something may have happened in the scanning process. In any case, I am presently updating a geology class and field trip to Crater Lake that I have taught since 1975, and I would like to include this historic photo in my new presentation, which would include a video of it flipping it into the correct orientation. I request your permission to use this copyrighted picture in my nonprofit, educational video. I am a retired professor from near San Francisco, and have recently moved to Medford to enjoy the delights of Oregon geology.
    Richard Lambert
    Retired Professor of Geology
    Skyline College
    Pacifica California

  13. I can email you a scan of this Cab card:

    The note on the back is charming. “Sherman, I have the pleasure of introducing to you my Wife Mrs. C”. and at the bottom “Sherman this is a specimen of my work as a Photographer, Jud”. The stamp is Pickerill & Catterlin PHOTOGRAPHERS Salem Oregon. The wife is Mrs. C, meaning Mrs. Catterlin and her husband is Jud Catterlin. therefore this note is in the handwriting of the photographer, Jud Catterlin who photographed his wife and sent the photo to his friend Sherman.

  14. I am trying to locate information on Pendleton Photographer C.S. Wheeler. I have a photo which belonged to my grandmother dated 1900. It is a studio portrait of a Native American. Taped to the back of the photo is a poem entitled “To C. S, Wheeler’s ‘Son of the Forest.'” The poem is on newsprint (cut out of a newspaper?) and is written by C.J. Ferguson and dated January 26, 1900. Also on the back is a sticker with the name of the photographer and a picture of the studio in Pendleton. I have been unable to find any information about this print or the photographer. Do you have any insight? Thank you

  15. We have a Catterlin photograph of a man we believe is my Great Great Grandfather, Stephen K. Scovell. It has the Catterlin, Salem name on the front. Is there any chance it would be possible to positively identify him from info in your archives?

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