The California Scenery album contains 41 mounted prints taken circa 1885 by I.W. Taber, perhaps while on a photographic expedition
along the California coast. The general areas featured in the album are San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and San Francisco
Bay. San Diego area photographs include townscapes, beach scenes, Point Loma, San Diego's Old Town, the Horton House, the
Russ School, scenes of an Indian rancheria, and views of the Mexico-United States boundary monument and Tia Guana (i.e. Tia
Juana?) Hot Sulphur Springs. Santa Barbara area scenes include the residence of William Wells Hollister, the Arlington House,
the Santa Barbara Mission, Hope Ranch, Santa Barbara townscapes, and a large grape vine. The grounds of Monterey's Hotel Del
Monte are featured, as are San Francisco's Cliff House, Point Lobos, Fort Point, Black Point, and harbor area, all viewed
from San Francisco Bay.
Isaiah West Taber was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, August 17, 1830. Taber went to sea at the age of fifteen and spent
several years working on whaling ships in the North Pacific. He came to California in 1850, where he spent four years working
first as a miner, then a farmer. Taber returned to New Bedford in 1854 where he studied dentistry and began a dental practice.
An interest in amateur photography eventually became his life-work. He settled in Syracuse, New York, where he opened his
first studio. In 1864 he returned to California at the inducement of the photographers Bradley and Rulofson, whom he worked
for until 1871. Taber established the "Taber Gallery" at No. 12 Montgomery Street in 1871. His highly successful business
was well-known for portraiture and a vast stock of California and Western views--many of which were the unacknowledged works
of other photographers. Taber's success and stature in California and abroad are evident in his being awarded the photographic
concession of the Midwinter Fair of 1893-94 in San Francisco, his being sent to London in 1897 to photograph the pageant of
the Queen Victoria Jubilee, and his commission to photograph King Edward VII. Taber's career ended in 1906 when his entire
collection of glass plates, view negatives and portraits on glass were destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and fire.
He died February 22, 1912.
41 mounted photographic prints, 21 x 31 cm. or smaller; bound in album measuring 28 x 38 cm.
41 digital objects
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted
in writing to the Curator of Pictorial Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library
as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must
also be obtained by the reader.
Collection is open for research.