Fritz, Charles (Forest Grove, Hillsboro, McMinnville, Portland)

Charles Fritz (1854-1899)
Fritz & Clark
Fritz & Crosley
Superior Gallery

1888-1891 Hillsboro
1891 McMinnville “Fritz Superior Gallery”
1892 Portland
1895-1899 Forest Grove

In 1896 Fritz’ studio was victim to a fire. At the time Forest Grove only had a volunteer company which responded to rings on a large gong. The fire truck was pulled by the men themselves, it was not until 1912 that the City Council approved the purchase of two horses to move it.
Fritz’s tombstone in the Forest View Cemetery is marked “C. Fritz 1854-1899”.

Directory Listings
1889 POWI pg. 262 Hillsboro “Fritz & Crosley, photographers”
1891 POWI pg. 345 McMinnville “Fritz, Chas., photographer”
1892 PCD pg. 440 “Fritz, Charles 167 1/2 1st, res 483 Rodney av”
Mautz Oregon “Fritz & Crosley, 1885, Forest Grove”, “Fritz, C., Superior Gallery, 1890, McMinnville”

Photographer’s Imprints
“Fritz & Crosley, Forest Grove, Oregon” printed front cabinet
“C. Fritz, Forest Grove, Or.” printed front cabinet
“Fritz, Superior Gallery, McMinnville, Or.” printed front cabinet card, ms date on back Nov. 1891
“Fritz, 267 1/2 First St., Portland Or.” printed front cabinet card, ms date on back “March 28th, 1892”
“C. Fritz & Co., McMinnville, Oregon”
“Fritz & Clark, Forest Grove” printed boudoir (OHS)
“J. Hogg, Successor to C. Fritz, McMinnville, Or.” cabinet card, printed front.

News Items and Advertisements
1888: “Mr. Fritz has been experimenting with what is called the ‘lightning’ process for taking photographs. process negatives can be taken in the darkest room or cave at midnight. He has one or two pictures which compare very favorably with his day work. Mr. Fritz thinks it is a revolution in photography.” The Independent, (Hillsboro) 23 February 1888 (courtesy Eric Stewart)
1888: “Mr. Fritz wishes us to say that during his absence his business here will be conducted by Harry Crossley (sic), and the same satisfaction will be guaranteed to his customers that has heretofore marked the work turned out of the gallery. The retouching and finishing work will be personally attended to by Mr. Fritz as heretofore” Washington Independent, (Hillsboro) 8 March 1888″ (courtesy Eric Stewart)
1888: “Mr. Fritz came out from Portland to remain a few days.” The Independent, (Hillsboro) 5 April 1888 (courtesy Eric Stewart)
1893: “ART STUDIO and Photo Gallery. If you want Fine Artistic Photographs, give Mr. Fritz a call. His work speaks for itself. Reduced Rates to Students. At Crosley’s Old Stand, Over Post Office.” Index, (Forest Grove, Pacific University) October 1893 – June 1894. (courtesy Eric Stewart)
1895: “Mr. Fritz is still taking Photographs at the rate of $3 per dozen for Cabinet size but you will receive $3 worth of artist work” Washington County Hatchet, (Forest Grove) 12 April 1895 (courtesy Eric Stewart)
1895: “L. Gleason, Photographer. Successor to C. Fritz. Gallery Over Post-Office…” The Index, (Forest Grove, Pacific University periodical) June 1895 (courtesy Eric Stewart)
1895: “FOREST GROVE ILLUSTRATED. A Prettily Printed, Tastily Bound, and Handsomely Illustrated Souvenir Hand Book. Fine Half-tone Engravings. Views of Important Buildings. Portraits of Prominent People. Scenes in and about our forest city. With appropriate descriptive reading matter. All Done At Home. A Forest Grove Production From Cover to Cover. Photographs by Mr. C. Fritz. Engraving by Pacific Coast Engraving Co. Printing by Hatchet Printery. A Thing of Beauty. You Want A Copy. Will be issued in June. Place your subscription new. Single copy – 35 cents. Half Dozen – $1.50 The Hatchet Printery Is the place to find out all about it” Washington County Hatchet, (Forest Grove) 17 – 30 May 1895 (insertion of 6 June changed, by dropping the word “early”, to read “will be issued in June” (courtesy Eric Stewart)
1895: “Mr. C. Fritz of the Pacific Coast Engraving Co. is in town again after a trip of several weeks in the interest of the company. He visited Salem, Woodburn, Newberg, and other places and met with good success. He will be busy some time filling the orders he received.” Washington County Hatchet, (Forest Grove) 1 August 1895 (courtesy Eric Stewart)
1897: “H. A. Crosley has employed Mr. Fritz to take charge of his studio while he is busy on the outside. All work will be promptly attended to, and finished in short order.” Washington County Hatchet, 8 April 1897 (courtesy Eric Stewart)
1897: “C. Fritz has fitted up his new gallery over Dr. Large’s office and is doing considerable work. Mr. Fritz is well known to be an excellent photographer, and he is prepared to and will do the best work he has ever done. Two grades of photographs are furnished differing in finish and price but both are artistically (sic) perfect. All orders will be filled promptly and satisfactory, or no charge.” Washington County Hatchet, (Forest Grove) 8 April 1897 (courtesy Eric Stewart)
1897: “Photographer Fritz went to Portland Wednesday to buy a viewing instrument” Washington County Hatchet, (Forest Grove) 7 August 1897 (courtesy Eric Stewart)
1897: “The following licenses have been taken out under the new city ordinance, No. 93, being for six months unless otherwise stated…C. Fritz, photographer, $2.00” Washington County Hatchet, (Forest Grove) 14 July 1897. (note: the same paper of 15 July explains the city ordinance taxes photograph galleries $4 per year) (courtesy Eric Stewart)
1897: “This week’s supplement gives a recent and one of the best maps of the Alaskan gold fields yet published. The drawing was made by Mr. L. C. Walker, the accuracy of whose work is well known, from the latest and best authorities, and the photo-engraving was done by Mr. C. Fritz, also of this city. The map will be found valuable for reference and is in handy form to preserve.” Washington County Hatchet, (Forest Grove) 12 August 1897 (courtesy Eric Stewart)
1897: “The half-tone Engravings which appear in the Hatchet are from photographs and are made by the Forest Grove Photo Engraving Company. They print as easily in a newspaper as the coarser cuts made by inferior process and are the only engravings which are true to life. The average newspaper cut is a mere caricature.” Washington County Hatchet, (Forest Grove) 26 August 1897. (courtesy Eric Stewart)
1899: “C. Fritz, a native of Switzerland, died at Forest Grove, Tuesday evening, September 5, 1899, after a long illness. Deceased had been engaged in photographic and half-tone work for twelve or thirteen years, and was at one time located in Hillsboro. He had been located in Forest Grove for about four or five years.” Argus, (Hillsboro) 7 September 1899. (courtesy Eric Stewart)

Forest Grove Illustrated (Hatchet Printery; 1895) photo book of Forest Grove views, no copies of this book have been located at this time. Photos by Fritz.

Stewart, Eric, “A Window of Forest Grove History”, The News-Times (Hillsboro) 7 October 1992, pg. 4D, col. 1-5. describes book of photographs by Fritz, published in 1895, and reproduces original advertisement quoted above. Some biographical information about Fritz.

Brown, Robert O., Nineteenth Century Portland, Oregon Photographers: A Collector’s Handbook (author; Portland, 1991) p. 63.

“Settling A Bet” article in The News-Times (Hillsboro) 11 July 1990, pg. 2A. “In November 1888 Forest Grove photographer C. Fritz lost a bet with Joseph Vaughn that Grover Cleveland would be elected President. Unfortunately Benjamin Harrison won the election and Vaughn enjoyed a ride in a wheelbarrow twice around Church Square as his reward.
The old photograph looking north on muddy Main Street shows victorious Vaughn waving the American flag with the picture labeled ‘Hurrah for Harrison’.
The second photograph looking south on Main Street shows the wheelbarrrow upside down where Fritz dumped Vaughn in the mud at the end of the ride… ” (additional details of 15 November 1888 incident) (ed note- this is the funniest practical joke performed by a photographer that I have ever encountered in the literature of the nineteenth century. The pictures reproduced in the newspaper are excellent)