Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Fredrick W. Hill Photographs
Collection Number: 2008-136
Hill, Fredrick W.
Extent: 49 images
History San Jose Research Library
Abstract: Digital images and original negatives of the stagecoaches on Mount Hamilton, Lick Observatory telescope and buildings, and
the Hotel Vendome (San Jose, California), taken by Fredrick W. Hill in 1892.
Language of Material: English
The images are available to researchers by appointment with the Curator of Library and Archives. Scanned images may be provided
instead of original negatives for preservation reasons.
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions
of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a
photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used
for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy
or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution
reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgement, fulfillment of the order would involve violation
of copyright law.
Fredrick W. Hill Photographs. History San Jose Research Library
Donated to History San Jose in 2008.
A biography provided by the donor states that Fredrick Hill was born in Dawley, England, in 1864. He and his family immigrated
to New England in the mid-1870s. He worked in the printing press manufacturing industry from 1881 to 1948, in Taunton and
Whitman, Massachusetts, and Rutherford, New Jersey. Hill designed at least several printing presses (Patent No. 2,330,359,
September 1943). In 1892 he married Nellie F. Eaton, and they traveled across the United States from Taunton by train, taking
many photographs along the way with Hill's Kodak camera. In May, 1892, their journey took them through the West, including
San Francisco, where they took a side trip down to San Jose to visit Mount Hamilton. After viewing Lick Observatory, Hill's
fascination with telescopes led him to design and make his own telescopes, including grinding the glass for the lenses. The
Hills lived in Chicago after their trip west, eventually moving back to New England in the mid-1890s.
Scope and Content of Collection
According to the donor, taken from information found in Fredrick W. Hill's diary for 1892, Hill and his wife, Nellie Francis
Eaton, took the train from San Francisco down to San Jose to see Lick Observatory, newly constructed in 1888. They waited
until May 16th for rain to abate, and took a 3.5 hour stagecoach ride up the mountain that morning, where they spent an hour
visiting the observatory. They stayed at the Hotel Vendome in San Jose as part of this trip. Pages from Hill's diary for these
dates are included as a digital image. All of the photographs were taken by Hill as part of this trip, and include images
of the refracting telescope, the Lick Observatory buildings, scenery along the stagecoach route, and the stagecoaches themselves.
One image depicts Nellie Eaton Hill next to the stagecoach. The photographs of Lick Observatory and Mount Hamilton were donated
in the form of digital images, both high resolution TIFFs and JPGs. The original negatives were sent to Lick Observatory,
according to the donor. A small number of original photographic negatives of the Hotel Vendome in San Jose, California, are
also part of the donation.
Hotel Vendome (San Jose, Calif.)
Hamilton Range, Mount (Calif.)