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Collection Guide
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Putnam-Valentine Collection, ca.1880s-1930
P-002.1  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Putnam-Valentine Collection, ca.1880s-1930
    Dates: 1885-1930
    Collection Number: P-002.1
    Creator/Collector:
    Extent: 68.5 linear feet (Boxes: letter, ½ letter, 3-ring binders). Photographs, negatives.
    Repository: Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
    Los Angeles, California 90007-4057
    Abstract: John R. Putnam and Carlton Valentine documented the growth and development of Southern California over a fifty year period with John R. Putnam primarily handling the photography and C. O. Valentine the business end of the company. (Putnam's son, Arion Putnam, was also one of this collection's photographers.)
    Language of Material: English

    Access

    Research is by appointment only

    Publication Rights

    Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder

    Preferred Citation

    Putnam-Valentine Collection, ca.1880s-1930. Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

    Biography/Administrative History

    John R. Putnam and Carlton Valentine were commercial photographers in Los Angeles from about 1895 into the early 20th century. There were two Putnams, John R. and Arion. Arion was the son. Arion Putnam was the (a?) official photographer for the Southern Pacific Railway. (Source: Correspondence in the workroom file cites California photography scholar Peter Palmquist.) Photographers of Nineteenth Century Los Angeles County, by Barbara Dye Callarman (Hacienda Gateway Press, Los Angeles: 1993) culled information from city directories for John R. and A. Putnam from 1895-1902. The guidebook lists Putnam and Valentine from 1902-1905. Biographies of Western Photographers, by Carl Mautz (Carl Mautz Publishing, Nevada City, California: 1997) list the partnership of J.R. Putnam and W.S. [sic] Valentine, stereo photographers active in Los Angeles, c. 1898-1912. Touring Topics (Automobile Club of Southern California, various issues from 1909- 1914) published Putnam-Valentine photographs. Several articles chronicled C.O. Valentine’s automobile trips to Lake Tahoe and other places. Touring Topics (May, 1914, Volume 6, Number 4, p. 26) contains an article beginning with “Putnam and Valentine, commercial and manufacturing photographers of Los Angeles, who were located in the Temple Block in Los Angeles for many years, have recently moved into enlarged and specially built quarters in the new Aristo Building at 757 South Los Angeles Street.” Touring Topics (June, 1914, p. 26) has a photograph of their commercial building. Workroom file notes indicate a possible obituary published for Carlton O. Valentine in a Costa Mesa/Newport Beach area newspaper between October 23, 1970 – November 1, 1970. The file does not contain the obituary.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    John R. Putnam and Carlton Valentine documented the growth and development of Southern California over a fifty year period with John R. Putnam primarily handling the photography and C. O. Valentine the business end of the company. (Putnam's son, Arion Putnam, was also one of this collection's photographers.) Collection consists of 8 x 10 glass negatives, of which 1.04 linear feet are original prints. It covers California views, including the Los Angeles region and Southern California. Out-of-state views include Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Orleans and San Antonio, Texas. Subjects cover social, cultural and natural resources: everyday life, commerce, people and buildings and the outdoors (i.e. lakes and rivers, Lake Tahoe, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Yosemite). Also are numerous floral studies, California missions, and native peoples in the Southwest. The negatives are arranged numerically with shelf lists available. The prints are arranged geographically in 3-ring binders mixed with the Greene photos. Although some of the prints were made by Putnam and Valentine, most were made by Greene after he purchased the original negatives. See also P-121 Putnam-Valentine Original Print Collection, ca. 1900-1910. See also P-2 Al Greene (1906-1980) Collection, ca. 1880-1950.