WThe New York Public Library  /  Photographers’ Identities Catalog
PIC ID: 7623

International View Co.

American, active 1890s-1900s

No Gender (Business or Collective)

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Charles L. Wasson was owner and principal photographer for the International View Co. of Decatur, Illinois. Advertisements seeking canvassers for the company are found beginning in November, 1899. In 1901, Gus Johnson was reported to travel eastern Illinois for the company, though it is not clear whether he was a photographer or canvasser. In October of that year, Wasson photographed President McKinley's funeral, the Pan-American Exposition and Niagara Falls. While at the Falls, he set his tripod dangerously close to the edge. A crowd gathered close behind him to watch him work. Too close, in fact, as the tripod was tripped, sending his camera, "one of the costliest made," into the Falls. The Decatur Herald noted that a photographer had died some years earlier photographing too near the ledge.In 1902, owing to the growth of the business, the company moved to the Thatcher Building. They advertised for high-school aged boys, preferably with an interest in reading and experience with a printing press, and various positions, including forewoman and finishers, for women in the business. In 1904, Wasson photographed the Louisiana Exposition in Saint Louis, when he was struck in the nose by a spear during a reenactment of the Boer War and required emergency treatment.In 1904, and again in 1905 the company sent E. W. Rallings on a European tour to take photographs. On the the latter trip, he visited Russia and possibly Palestine, taking with him a specialized tripod which enabled him to to take views from as high as twelve feet elevation.In 1906 the company changed its name to the International Stereograph Co., though newspaper mentions of the old name persist as late as 1909. Also that year, a fire destroyed their building.

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International View Co. has 4 locations.

Studio or Business (1899)

828 North Main Street
Decatur, IL

Studio or Business (1901)

259 East 35th Street
Chicago, IL

Studio or Business (1901)

309 East Wood Street
Decatur, IL

Studio or Business (1902-1906)

733 North Water Street
Thatcher Place
Decatur, IL