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William H. Tipton, Gettysburg Monuments Sample Book

Tipton’s Sample Book! Unique!


William H. Tipton’s Gettysburg Monument Sample Book.

After the war, visiting Gettysburg Battlefield and Cemetery quickly became a popular trip for veterans and their families. What better way for a veteran to remember the trip and commemorate his service than a stunning photograph of one of the monuments? Visitors would stop at Tipton’s studio, peruse one of these albums and select their photograph. Those photos surface occasionally, but a sample book from the studio is a unique find!

The book reveals the monuments while they were still new and unblemished. More importantly, behind the stone markers the battlefield is seen in its original state–the terrain each regiment actually saw during the battle itself. Barns, houses, fences, boulders, landscape details surface; all pristine.

Each photograph bears a handwritten Inventory Number written in pencil.

Also included is an original Tipton sales receipt for “W. H. TIPTON The Battlefield Photographer;” from 3 July 1893 for purchase of Negative #1620 and signed by Ira Tipton for W. H. On the verso is a printed “Notice” guaranteeing safe delivery of the photograph and what to do if it does not arrive. This Notice includes Tipton’s promise of customer satisfaction; “I have been constantly employed on the Gettysburg battle-field ever since the battle in July ’63 and do not know of a dissatisfied customer anywhere and aim to keep up this record / Yours truly, / W. H. Tipton.”

About William H. Tipton

William H. Tipton was a noted late 19th century American photographer. He is most noted for his extensive early photography of the Gettysburg Battlefield and the borough of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Born in Gettysburg, he apprenticed with Charles and Isaac Tyson, two of the earliest Gettysburg photographers. In 1868, Tipton purchased much of assets of the Tyson studio and went into business for himself.

He became quite popular as an outdoor portrait photographer, taking thousands of photographs of visitors to the Gettysburg battlefield. where he established Tipton Park. By 1888, he had produced an estimated 5,000 views of the battlefield of Gettysburg and more than 100,000 portraits. He eventually became one of America’s best known photographers, but images of Civil War battlefields remained a mainstay.

Tipton, William H.; Original Photographs] Gettysburg Monuments Sample Book, consisting of Fifty (50) boards bearing One-Hundred (100) albumen photographs, on the recto and verso of each board. Photographs vary from 8 x 10 inches up to 8-1/4 x 13-1/4 inches. Album overall, 14-1/2 x 10/1-2 x 3-1/4 (thick) inches. Rebound in full morocco with leather spine label; gilt title on front board.