Photographs: silver gelatin glass plates, 5" x 8" or smaller, stereograph negatives made with stereoscopic cameras, plus duplicates, interpositives, and negatives, stereoscopic and non-stereoscopic, apparently all derived from stereographic negatives
160 cu. ft.: ca. 28,000 glass plates
240 drawers, 22" L. x 9" W. x 6" H
Underwood & Underwood was established at Ottawa, Kansas by brothers Elmer and Bert Underwood, 1882. Originally they were distributors in the West for eastern photographers' stereographs, but they began publishing stereographs in 1890. They established an educational unit in 1895 and became a leader in armchair travel photography. Although the firm was highly successful in marketing sets of stereographs for a number of years, they eventually decided to concentrate on non-stereoscopic photographs and sold their glass stereo collection to a competitor, the Keystone View Co., in 1912 and 1921. The photographs in this collection represent the material which Keystone did not purchase.
The major part of the collection, series 1-4, contains nearly 28,000 glass plates, including original stereoscopic negatives, interpositives, and both negative and positive non-stereoscopic plates used to produce lantern slides and paper prints. The photographs were taken all over the world. The majority are from the Underwood & Underwood active files, but plates from other publishers are also included. Series 5 is a small collection of paper stereographs. Series 6 contains 4 Underwood & Underwood descriptive sales catalogs and 1 H. C. White & Co. catalog (numbers on the Underwood plates correspond to the numbers on catalog captions). Series 7 is apparatus--four stereoscopes.
Photographers represented include Herbert G. Ponting and Clarence W. White. A photographer and/or publisher named J. J. Killela is also represented.
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History