Fredrick W. Hill Photographs
Title: Fredrick W. Hill Photographs
Collection Number: 2008-136
Creator/Collector: Hill, Fredrick W.
Extent: 49 images
Repository: 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.
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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.
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.)