Benjamin West Kilburn (U.S., d. 1904): Old South Church, Boston Fire. Albumen print stereoscopic view (one half shown), 1872.
The late William Culp Darrah observed,"For more than forty years the Kilburn name was famous and indeed their success made Littleton (New Hampshire) the world capital of stereograph production." Kilburn formed a partnership with his brother and began producing stereo views in 1865; Ben Kilburn was the firm's sole photographer until 1876.
Kilburn published at least ten stereo views showing the devastation in Boston, and his company's distribution network allowed for the rapid dissemination of these early examples of photojournalism. The Collection recently acquired an original display frame, presumably used by a retailer, showing Kilburn's images as half-stereos. These are accompanied by a bold calligraphic title, "Views of the Ruins of Boston Fire, November 9, 1872."
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