Redwood And Lumbering in California Forests. Edgar Cherry, Charles Goodwin Noyes, Dr. Albert Kellogg.
Redwood And Lumbering in California Forests.
Redwood And Lumbering in California Forests.

Redwood And Lumbering in California Forests.

San Francisco: Edgar Cherry & Co., Publishers, 1884. 4to, original brick-red cloth, 107 pp., 24 mounted albumen photographs within printed purple borders, 21 with printed titles, 3 untitled.

First edition, one of five hundred copies. An important California book illustrated with a fine, evocative series of original photographs documenting the felling, transportation and milling of the mighty redwood, published as a promotional work for the redwood lumbering industry.

Although unsigned, the photographs were taken by the publisher Edgar Cherry himself, who states in his preface that "The object desired to be attained in presenting views by the photographic process is, to set aside all doubt as to the enormous growth of the Redwood. Inasmuch as engravings are usually cut from sketches, drawn perhaps by enthused artists, perfect satisfaction is not given; but with photographic views, which cannot lie, argument as to truthfulness is unnecessary." The photographs capture both distant and detailed views of the redwood forests, lumbermen sitting on great stumps or standing beside fallen trees, the use of the so-called donkey engine to move the enormous logs, logging trains, and scenes in and about the lumber mill.

In an article included in the Book Club of California reprint of this title (1983) photographic historian Peter Palmquist observes: "The book's intended audience included investors, and potential investors, most of whom had never set foot in a redwood forest. Some would go to the investors and suppliers of equipment designed for the industry. Another group of books would be given to prominent members of the logging community, both in recognition of their contributions to the industry, and as a way to reward their support" (pages 13-14). Palmquist recorded two hundred different photographs used to illustrate various copies of this work. No two copies appear to be alike in either the order of the photographs or the images included.

Edgar Cherry (1845-1930) entered the publishing business in the year of the publication of this book, and seems to have published little thereafter. His publishing partner, Charles Goodwin Noyes (1833-1890), was a professional journalist and the (uncredited) author of the main text, which provides a history of redwood lumbering in California and a detailed account of lumbering techniques and operations. Dr. Albert Kellogg of the California Academy of Sciences, author of Forest Trees of California, contributed an article "of an historical character, showing the relationship of the Redwood to the Mammoth trees and others of the cedar genus."

A classic of Californiana, and a notable work in the genre of photographically illustrated books.

REFERENCES: Cowan I, p. 186. Cowan II, p. 525; Fritz, California Coast Redwood 1209; Kurutz, California Books Illustrated with Original Photographs 7; Miles & Reese, Creating America 74; Truthful Lens 135; Palmquist, Peter. The Edgar Cherry Edition (introductory essay to the Book Club of California edition).

CONDITION: Good, rubbed, small losses to cloth at head, foot, and lower edge of spine, few small stains to upper cover, lower cover stained, paper at inner hinges partially split, but binding tight, contents very good.

Item #1933