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Rainier National Park Mountain-Glacier Wonderland Photograph Album

Hikers in Ice Cave
Hikers in an Ice Cave, ca. 1925

The Rainier National Park Mountain Glacier Wonderland Photograph Album is a series of images produced by Ranapar Studio of Tacoma Washington to highlight the scenic, recreational and tourist activities to be found in Rainier National Park. The album dates from the mid-1920s and documents the early development of Mount Rainier National Park.

This digital collection includes 51 photographs from an album entitled: "Photographs - Rainier National Park Mountain-Glacier Wonderland". On the inside of the album is stamped "Ranapar Studio. Rainier National Park Company, Tacoma Washington", indicating that this album was probably used as a promotional tool for the tourism industry. "Ranapar Studio" might have been a trade name used to market the images in the park by the park concessionaire, Rainier National Park Company.

The Rainier National Park Company was founded by important members of Seattle-Tacoma society to develop recreational and tourist facilities in the park, including the construction and operation of Paradise Inn, in 1917. In the 1920s, the park drew hundreds of hikers and more ambitious mountaineers to the mountain's major attractions: summit climbs and excursions to its famous glaciers and ice caves. Touring the park in "auto stages" on the newly developed scenic roads became popular, and wildlife viewing, including feeding the animals, was encouraged. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, additional public campsites and picnic areas were added, as well as new tourist enticements such as dogsledding, tobogganing, and horseback tours with guides outfitted as cowboys. Many of the images in the database, including scenic views of the mountain itself and the surrounding parkland, are documented in this album published by the Rainier National Park Company.

About the Database

The information for the Rainier National Park Mountain-Glacier Wonderland Photograph Album was researched and prepared by the UW Libraries Special Collections staff in 1999. Research, writing, and image scanning were done by Kristin Kinsey. Not all the photographs from the collection were included in this database: the database consists of digital images chosen from a group of approximately 64 photographic prints. The photographs were scanned using a Microtek Scanmaker 9600L and saved in .jpg format. Some 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 album resides in the UW Special Collections Photographics and Graphic Division as the Rainier National Park Mountain-Glacier Wonderland Album Collection no. 52.

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