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Calfee, H. B. (Henry Bird), 1847-1912



  • Existence: 1847 - 1912

Biographical History

Henry Bird Calfee (1847-1912) was a photographer in the Western United States.

Henry Bird Calfee was born in May 1847 in Kentucky to Henry Calfee and Margaret E. Cannon. He came to the Montana territory in 1870 and visited Yellowstone in 1871. Since then, from circa 1871 to the early 1880s, he spent each summer at the park taking pictures, in which he accumulated at least 295 photographs.

During the 1870s, he formed a partnership with Nelson Catlin, of which most of the photographs were taken. They ran a photographic business from Bozeman, Montana. Calfee began photographing Yellowstone between 1871 to 1874. He and Catlin maintained an active presence in Yellowstone. Their stereographs indicate they helped name several geographic features, and interacted with many migrating parties. During 1881-1882, Calfee gave lecture tours with W. W. Wylie to promote Yellowstone Park, and his photos were included in Wylies 1882 guidebook, titled "Yellowstone National Park, or The Great American Wonderland.” Calfee focused on geysers and sold them to visitors. He married Kate Latus in Missoula County, Montana on June 13, 1885. He died on February 19, 1912 in Bozeman, Gallatin, Montana.

Ancestry, via WWW, July 13, 2017 (son of Henry Calfee and Margaret E. Cannon; m. Kate Latus in Missoula County, MT 13 June, 1885; participated in a lecture tour in 1881-1882 to promote Yellowstone Park).

Library of Congress Authorities, via WWW, July 13, 2017 (b. May 1847 in Kentucky; d. February 19, 1912 in Bozeman, Gallatin, Montana).

Whittlesey, Lee H. "Everyone Can Understand a Picture: Photographers and the Promotion of Early Yellowstone." Montana: The Magazine of Western History, Summer, 1999 (Calfee and Catlin ran a photographic business in the early 1970s in Bozeman, MT; began photographing Yellowstone between 1871 and 1874; took at least 295 photographs of Yellowstone).

The Yellowstone Stereoview Page, via WWW, 23 June 2017 (Calfee, Bird; b. 1847; d. 1912; partnership with Catlin; activities and time spent in Yellowstone; Lecture tours and guidebook; information about the series).

Found in 4 Collections and/or Records:

Collection of Yellowstone National Park stereographs

Identifier: MSS 9007
Scope and Contents

Contains 36 Yellowstone National Park black and white stereographs, with a few duplicates of varying quality. The dates range from 1871 to 1910. The stereographs were produced by several photographers, the main contributors being Joshua Crissman, Henry Bird Calfee, and the Nelson (Nelse) partnership.

Dates: approximately 1871-1910

Henry Bird Calfee Yellowstone National Park Stereographs, approximately 1880-1881

Identifier: MSS 9007 Series 2
Scope and Contents

Contains two stereographs of Yellowstone National Park taken by Henry Bird Calfee in approximately 1880-1881. The lower falls is a sepia stereograph that is part of a series called "The Enchanted Land, or Wonders of the Yellowstone National Park." The Tower Falls is either sepia or black and white and is part of a series called "Views of the Wonder Land, or Yellowstone National Park."

Dates: approximately 1880-1881

Paul Rubinstein collection of Yellowstone stereoviews

Identifier: MSS 9031
Scope and Contents

Contains 110 black-and-white stereoviews, taken in the Yellowstone Park area in 1871-1872. Negatives by Joshua Crissman of Bozeman, Montana. 107 of these negatives were published and marketed by William Isaac Marshall in 1876. Three stereoviews by Lovejoy and Foster, using some of Crissman's negatives.

Dates: 1872-1878

Stereograph of Yellowstone National Park, approximately 1910

Identifier: MSS 9007 Series 4
Scope and Contents

Contains a single colored stereograph taken by an unknown photographer in approximately 1910. It is a photograph of a train station at the entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

Dates: approximately 1910

Additional filters:

Archival Object 2
Collection 2
Yellowstone National Park -- History 3