Early Photos of Porto Rico as a US Territory

[Album with Fifty-Eight Original Gelatin Silver Photographs of Puerto Rico Including a Large Panorama of San Juan, and also Showing General Views, Streets and Sites of San Juan, Scenes from a Carnival, the Arrival in 1899 of General George Davis, Military Governor of Puerto Rico, Tobacco, Banana and Sugarcane Plantations, Guanica Sugar Mill, etc.]

Ca. 1900. Oblong Folio album (ca. 26x30,5 cm). 22 card stock leaves. With 58 mounted gelatin silver photographs, including a large two-part panorama ca. 15,5x51 cm (6 ¼ x 20 in) and twenty-four large photos ca. 18x23 cm (7x9 in); the rest of the photos are from ca. 11x16,5 cm (4 ½ x 6 ½ in) to ca. 8x13,5 cm (3 x 5 ¼ in). Ca. 38 photos with blind stamps “Waldrop Photo Co., San Juan, P.R.” in one of the corners, two photos signed “Copyright 1905 by Waldrop Photographic Co.” in negative; over thirty photos numbered in negative; one photo signed “Hardie Bros., San Juan P.R.” in negative. Ca. 37 photos with period ink captions on the images or on the mounts. Period style black half morocco album with cloth boards; spine with raised bands. A couple of images mildly faded, a couple of mounts with minor tears on extremities not affecting the images; overall a very good album with strong interesting photos.

Historically interesting collection of early photos showing Puerto Rico during the first years of it being under US jurisdiction. The album opens with a large two-part panorama captioned “San Juan, Porto Rico, 4/9b ’07.” It shows San Juan’s old city looking towards Castillo San Felipe del Morro, with the Plaza Colon and the monument to Christopher Columbus in the foreground (note a shed with the sign “Fotografo” next to the Plaza). Over twenty views of San Juan show Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristobal, Plaza del Armas (with the city hall, Palacio de la Real Intendencia, “Hotel Colonial,” stores of “Colorado Fotografo,” “Karl E. Swiggett, American tailor,” and a streetcar), La Fortaleza (the official residence of Governors of Puerto Rico) with a waving US flag, a promenade in the “Borinquen Park,” Casa Blanca, Villa Hermina, “wall around San Juan,” two scenes from a city carnival, De Forest wireless telegraph station, US steamers “Arkadia” (dated “Sept. 21, 1898”) and “Carolina” (dated “Jan. 28 - 1907”) in the San Juan harbour, a general view of San Juan and Porto de Tierre taken from the mast of the new telegraph station, etc. A large photo depicts the “Arrival of Gov. Gen. Geo. Davis” (US military governor of Puerto Rico in May 1899 – May 1900). The other photos show Puerto Rico waterfalls, rivers, forested hills, rugged coastline, country roads, villages, banana, coconut and pineapple plantations, a large plantation with “tobacco growing under tents,” a scene with fighting roosters and their owners, Guanica sugar mill, etc. There is also a photo of the town of Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas, then the centre of Danish West Indies and a part of the US Virgin Islands since 1917. Overall a nice collection of large well-preserved photos of Puerto Rico at the turn of the 20th century. The “Waldrop Photographic Company” ran a large store at 29 Plaza Principal in San Juan and issued colour printed postcards with the views of Puerto Rico, based on its photographs.

Item #425

Price: $3,250.00 USD