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Boyd and Braas Photographs of Seattle and Washington State, ca. 1888-1893

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The Great Seattle Fire

Aftermath of the fire of June 6, 1889
1st Avenue, looking south

William F. Boyd was one of Seattle's earliest and most important photographers. His original studio, set up in 1889 was burned out by the great Seattle Fire of June 6, 1889. He then formed a partnership with George H. Braas which lasted until 1893 when he began his own business. This small collection shows early views of Seattle and the Puget Sound Region.

William F. Boyd was born in Ohio on Sept. 5, 1848, and later moved to Madison County, Iowa where, in 1865, he apprenticed in a photographic establishment. After operating a successful gallery in Des Moines for a number of years, he relocated to Seattle in 1888. A year after he arrived, his gallery was destroyed in the Seattle fire of June 6, 1889. He resumed his photographic business in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood at 2310 Front St., and in the Spring of 1890 he established a partnership with George H. Braas to form the Boyd & Braas Company. The business continued successfully until the Spring of 1893 when Boyd retired from the company to establish his own business.

About the Database

Hop pickers Puyallup Valley WA, ca. 1889
Hop pickers Puyallup Valley WA, ca. 1889

Boyd and Braas photographs: The information for the Boyd and Braas collection was researched and prepared by the UW Libraries Special Collections staff in 1998. Research, writing, and image scanning were done by Kristin Kinsey. Not all the photographs from the Boyd and Braas collection were included in this database: the database consists of 45 digital images chosen from a group of 74 vintage photographic prints. The photographs were scanned using a Microtek Scanmaker 9600L and saved in .jpg format.

Boyd photograph album: Research, writing, and image scanning were done in 1998 by Kristin Kinsey and Margaret Fulton. Because the photographs from the Boyd album are mounted in an album that precludes direct scanning; these image were recopied as 35mm color transparencies, and then scanned. Not all the photographs from the collection were included in this database: the database consists of 43 digital images chosen from a group of 104 vintage photographic prints. The 35 mm slides were scanned using a Nikon Super Cool Scan LS-2000 at 1350 dpi in JPEG format at compression rate 3 and resized to 768x512 ppi.

Some manipulation of the photographs was done to correct for color inconsistencies and to present the clearest possible digital imageSome manipulation of the photographs was done to correct for color inconsistencies and to present the clearest possible digital image. The scanned images were then linked with descriptive data using the UW CONTENT program. The original collection resides in the UW Libraries Special Collections Division as the Boyd and Braas Collection. PH Coll 277, William F. Boyd Album. PH Coll 34, and the Seattle Fire Collection. PH Coll 684.


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