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 James William Shipler

James William Shipler

Original Name James William
Birth
Mercer, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 10 Mar 1937 (aged 87)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Burial Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Plot P_292_2
Memorial ID 164733 · View Source
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Son of Peter Shipler and Margaret Wharton

Married Elizabeth Tayler, 25 April 1872, Trumbull, Ohio

Child - Harry Shipler

When James first came west he opened a photographic studio in Denver in 1872, about seven years before William Henry Jackson, who was his good friend. After a number of trips back to Pittsburgh, he came to Salt Lake City in 1890, staying first at the Valley House; then to Dan Loftus house, east on 3rd South; then to a large residence in the 21st Ward owned by a Mrs. Staines. Part of the house was occupied by Judge J. W. Powers. His first studio was two rooms adjoining the Kenyon Hotel, but when the Hooper Building was completed, February 1, 1891, he secured a studio there on the fifth floor. The building had been remodeled at his request to provide a large sky-light 20 feet long, which sloped toward the north to within three feet of the floor. Such a sky-light was essential to the early photographer to provide steady light. Exposures for photographs in those days always took from thirty seconds to three minutes, and a head rest was necessary to help the person being photographed to sit still.

Mr. Shipler went through the period from 1885 to 1895, when there came a revolution in photography, when the business switched from wet plates to dry plates. The wet plate, after exposure, had to be plunged immediately into a bath of silver nitrate and developed; but the later dry plates could be kept for some time before finishing. A later improvement came in changing from the old-time albumen covered paper, which could be easily over-exposed, to the modern type which is staple.

At that time newspapers objected to giving free advertising. They seldom published the name of the photographer with a portrait; but Mrs. Harry Shipler recalled that careful observation of the background and the lighting effects would usually reveal the gallery from whence the picture came. When distinguished guests came to the gallery, Shipler usually charged $2.50 to $3.00 a shot for photography, but he made a special rate of $2.00 to the newspapers if the publication would include his name when printing the picture.

In 1902, Harry Shipler withdrew from his father's establishment and went into business on his own. In 1910 he secured a room near the Tracy Loan and Trust Co. building, and started a side-line of photography, "for men only." When Auerbauch Company moved from Main Street, he obtained their old pattern department, a very long, narrow building, and conducted his business there.

Harry Shipler, his son Bill, assisted by a grandson, W. Hollis, had a prosperous business, carrying a large commercial line and selling photographic supplies.

Additional Biography - Shipler Collection


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  • Created by: SMSmith
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 164733
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James William Shipler (20 Jul 1849–10 Mar 1937), Find A Grave Memorial no. 164733, citing Mount Olivet Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by SMSmith (contributor 46491005) .