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This scarce volume with with 29 original mounted photos by William Henry Jackson is Carl E. Schmidt’s A Western Trip. The work was published in 1904 in Detroit by Herold Press for private circulation by the author. The Detroit Photographica Company printed the color photos from negatives by Jackson. The 17 smaller photographs were done by Schmidt and his company. This volume is signed and dated by Schmidt, and dedicated to Alex. W. Blain. The volume is bound in gilt decorated leather done by Schmidt’s own tannery. “Printed in a few copies ‘for private circulation only.’ An interesting journal of the Yellowstone Country, and because of the circumstances of its printing, extremely difficult to come by.” (Eberstadt)
The work was a 91 page memoir by Carl E. Schmidt (1856-1934), a Detroit tannery magnate. It depicted his vacation in Yellowstone Park and Utah with his daughter and two friends. He also describes his attendance to President McKinley’s memorial. Schmidt wrote of publishing the memoir: “Some years ago while making a western trip I saw so much that interested me I decided to jot down my experiences. I compelled some of my friends to work their way through the manuscript. You would appreciate their labor if you knew just how bad my writing was. Two of them were indiscreet enough to ask me to have the matter printed and that must serve as my apology for the book I send you herewith.”
William H. Jackson (1843-1942) began his career in photograph in 1858 working in retouching in a studio in Troy, New York. He served in the Union Army in the 1860s, but moved to Nebraska in 1867 where he established his own studio. He worked on an extensive series of views for the Union Pacific Railroad. This work led him to be recruited by Ferdinand Hayden for the U.S. Geological Survey team where he photographed much of the West including Yellowstone and parts of Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Nevada. Jackson took the first photographs of Yellowstone.