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Collection Detroit Publishing Company

William Henry Jackson Career Chronology

The best known photographer represented in the Detroit Publishing Company is William Henry Jackson. He was an early leader of the company but personally produced only a moderate number of the company's negatives. The Detroit collection includes many of Jackson's views of the west (especially the "mammoth plates" from the 1890s), family photographs, and a few images of Jackson himself. Jackson was also well-known for his round-the-world expedition photographing railroads and other types of transportation in twenty-four countries for the World's Transportation Commission (see World's Transportation Commission collection information).

The following chronology highlights Jackson's career and some key events in the history of photography.


  1. 1839

    Invention of photography.

  2. 1843

    William Henry Jackson born in Keeseville, New York.

  3. 1851

    Collodion wet-plate glass negatives introduced.

  4. 1867

    Jackson opens a photography studio in Omaha, Nebraska.

  5. 1870-1878

    Jackson begins photographing the landscape of the Rockies, especially the Yellowstone area and Colorado, for Francis V. Hayden's Geological and Geographic Survey of the Territories.

  6. 1879

    Gelatin dry plates become commercially available in the United States.

    Jackson opens a photography studio in Denver.

  7. 1889

    Eastman begins production of nitro-cellulose film.

  8. 1890-1892

    Jackson photographs for various railroad lines, including the Mexican Central, Baltimore & Ohio, and New York Central, using 18x22-inch glass plate negatives.

  9. 1893

    Jackson's photographs commissioned by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad are exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition.

  10. 1894-1896

    Jackson photographs for the World's Transportation Commission.

  11. 1897-1924

    Jackson joins the Detroit Photographic Company. His negatives become the basis for the Company's postcard and photographic view business.

  12. 1942

    Jackson dies in New York City.