HAYDEN, Ferdinand V. (1829-1887) - RUSSELL, Andrew Joseph (1830-1902), photographer
Sun Pictures of Rocky Mountain Scenery, With a Description of the Geographical and Geological Features, and Some Account of the Resources of the Great West; Containing Thirty Photographic Views Along the Line of the Pacific Rail Road, From Omaha to Sacramento
New York: Julius Bien, 1870. Large 4to. (12 x 9 1/2 inches). viii, 150pp. Half-title. Thirty mounted albumen photographs. (Some dampstaining in the margins).
Contemporary three-quarter green morocco over green cloth, spine gilt, edges gilt.
A classic photographically illustrated book on the American West, with albumen photographs by A. J. Russell.
This impressive book, one of the standard pieces of photographically illustrated Western Americana, was prepared by the famous geologist, Ferdinand V. Hayden. The photographs, taken by A.J. Russell, appeared in a larger format the previous year in Russell's extremely rare album, The Great West Illustrated. The views, depicting scenes along the line of the Union Pacific, are intended to illustrate the geology which can be observed from the train. Despite the title, all the photographs are of locales within the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada (twelve in Wyoming, sixteen in Utah, and two in California). Hayden wrote: "The pictures have been arranged so as to commence with the first range of mountains west of Cheyenne, and to continue thence to the Salt Lake Valley with the view that the book may be used as a guide by those who will avail themselves of the grand opportunities for geological study...." "In using Russell's photographs as illustrations in Sun Pictures of Rocky Mountain Scenery, geologist Hayden took the long view of history, emphasizing the value of pictures as documents of geological change while professing indifference to the more recent past. For Hayden, the geologic features of the West were like an open book, affording the educated reader the opportunity to understand millions of years of geologic history" (Sandweiss).
Howes H337; Sabin 31007; Truthful Lens 81; Flake 3920; Margolis, To Delight the Eye 7; Sandweiss 177.