Item 2017.010.14.012 - Stereoscopic Albumen Print of"Pillars of Hercules" and the great Columbia River

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Stereoscopic Albumen Print of"Pillars of Hercules" and the great Columbia River

General material designation

  • Graphic material

Parallel title

Picturesque Grandeur of Columbia River, Oregon

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description



Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1902 (Creation)
    Underwood & Underwood

Physical description area

Physical description

1 stereoscopic photograph : albumen print ; 8.7 x 17.7 cm (mount) ; 8 x 15.6 (images)

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Underwood and Underwood was established in 1882 by Bert and Elmer Underwood in Ottawa, Kansas. Originally they distributed stereographs made by eastern photographers in the Western United States. In 1884, they had expanded their franchise across North America and by 1889 opened offices in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and Liverpool, England. By 1890 Underwood & Underwood began publishing original stereographs taken by Bert Underwood. Underwood & Underwood was considered one of the most successful stereoscope publishers in North America in 1901.Underwood & Underwood began producing 25,000 views per day and 300,000 stereoscopes annually. It is suggested that in the earlier years of the company, Underwood & Underwood used H.C. White Company’s stereoscope model until developing their own. The principle stereoscope design by Underwood & Underwood included aluminum hoods, cardholders, and a folding handle. An easy identifiable feature of Underwood & Underwood stereoscopes is the friction joint built to fold the handle.

In 1910 the firm began specialising in news photography, ultimately stopping production of stereographs in 1920. Between 1912 and 1925 the company would sell the entirety of their glass stereo collection to competitor Keystone View Co.. By 1925 both brothers retired, leading to the reorganization of the company into four independent organisations all staying beneath the title of "Underwood & Underwood." These four branches included Underwood & Underwood Illustration Studios of New York, Chicago and Detroit; Underwood & Underwood Portraits, Inc., New York, Philadelphia and Cleveland; Underwood & Underwood, Washington and Chicago; Underwood & Underwood News Photos, Inc., New York.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Item consists of 1 albumen print. Print shows the picturesque grandeur of the great Columbia River, overshadowed by the "Pillars of Hercules," with a train travelling alongside.

Notes area

Physical condition

Good condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The collection was collected by the late Dr. Martin J. Bass and Gail Silverman Bass and donated to the Ryerson University Library and Archives by Gail Bass in 2018.


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Open. Records are available for consultation without restriction.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Associated materials

Related materials


General note

Also has parallel title translated into different languages on back

Signatures note

Back is printed on: You are looking down the river towards Portland and the Pacific Ocean fifty miles away at the west. This train is east-bound, on its way to the Dulles. The extraordinary gate through which it is streaking is one of an endless number of picturesque turns in its route up the river valley. This superb water way - the Columbia itself - is one of the most magnificent streams in the whole country, beautiful enough to keep artists in love with it, and so full of commercial possibilities as to make this great North-west which it grains the probable field of enormous business development in times to come. It gathers these waters from seven states and British Columbia. (See Oliver Wendell Holmes' Two Streams. The river was first called the Oregon. For more than a thousand miles it is safely navigable, now that a ship canal at the Cascade rapids provides safe passage past those tumultuous five miles.
Lewis and Clark went down past these picturesque pillars on the famous exploring expedition in 1805, and less than fifty yeas later a little stern wheel steamer began to come up the river from Astoria. Astor himself a hundred years ago dreamed of making the river-mouth a midway station for international trade with the Orient, using this magnificent stream as a road up into the heart of the country and reducing the then burdensome overland journey to the comparatively short transit from its headwaters to those of the Mississippi System.
The salmon fisheries above here are famous all over the world.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area