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CHARLES ROSCOE SAVAGE
Salt Lake City, Utah

Portrait of C. R. Savage.
[photograph by C. E. Watkins]


Charles Roscoe Savage was born in Southampton, England, in 1832. At age 14, he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During the winter of 1855-56, after serving missions in Switzerland and England, he emigrated to the United States. He began to take an interest in photography soon after his arrival in New York. In 1859, he set up his first gallery in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In the spring of 1860, he outfitted a wagon and team to take he and his family to Utah. There, he began a partnership with Marsena Cannon, an early Utah daguerreotypist and photographer.

One year later, Cannon moved to the southern Utah, so Savage took on a new partner, artist George Ottinger. The studio of "Savage and Ottinger" grew in prominence over the years, with the work of both artists distributed across the country. Many of Savage's photographs were reproduced in Harper's Weekly newspaper, which added to the national reputation of the firm. The partnership continued until 1870.

Savage's most famous photograph was that of the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit on May 10, 1869. He was also the first to photograph Zion National Park (before it was a park). He also captured hundreds of images documenting the growth of Utah towns. He traveled extensively over the western United States, taking pictures in such far-ranging areas as Canada and Mexico, and from California to Nebraska. His views were sold throughout the United States and Europe, and his studio at one time was the most widely known producer of western landscape views in the country. Savage's glass-plate negatives were destroyed by two studio fires, one in 1883, and another in 1911, two years after his death. But his work is preserved in existing albumen prints which enjoy a good market among collectors.

At least nineteen of the Yellowstone stereoviews of Savage are known. Savage visited Yellowstone in 1875 and 1884. His photographs from those two years are in the Mormon church collections and at Utah Historical Society, both in Salt Lake City. Savage was reputable in Utah in his day, but his Yellowstone photos are little known. He did leave a newspaper article on his 1884 trip through the Park.


Yellowstone Canon.

All views seen by Savage of Yellowstone have this basic style. Orange Cabinet mounts with little or no credits on the obverse.


Savage Orange Mount, Yellowstone Series Verso.

The versos of these Savage views list them as part of the "Yellowstone National Park Series" followed by the view title.


C. R. SAVAGE VIEWLIST


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Copyright 2007 Paul Rubinstein
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