George R. Fardon's San Francisco album: photographs of the most beautiful views and public buildings of San Francisco,
Scope and Contents note
The album consists of thirty images of San Francisco in 1856, published as a portfolio by Herre & Bauer. The San Francisco album is considered the first published compilation of photographs of any American city and the major work of Fardon’s career. This is one of ten known variant copies.
- Creation: 1856-1856
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.
Conditions Governing Use note
Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.
George Robinson Fardon, born in Birmingham, England in 1807, arrived in San Francisco sometime around 1854, probably from New York City where he had worked as a commission merchant, a buyer and seller of goods on commission. Nothing is currently known about Fardon’s photographic education and training. His first appearance relative to photographic history is in late 1854 when he occupies a vacated photographer’s studio in San Francisco.
Though Fardon operated a portrait studio, he was known primarily for his views. Indeed, the Photographic and Fine Art Journal called the daguerreotypes on his studio walls “not good”. His views, on the other hand, they considered “beautiful specimens of the Art.”.
Fardon left San Francisco in 1858, following the gold rush to British Columbia. Here, in Victoria, he operated a studio, but again it was his views that attracted notice. The London Illustrated News reproduced a wood engraving of the city of Victoria in its January 14, 1863 issue that was based on Fardon’s panorama on display at the 1862 international exposition in London.
In 1871 Fardon went to Oakland, CA. to work in partnership with William H. Bluett. His stay was brief, however, and he returned to Victoria, where he died in 1886. [Information from Eastman House.
0.25 linear feet (1 album) ; pages: 8.5″ x 11″
Language of Materials
George R. Fardon (1806-1886) was an English photographer who operated in San Francisco, CA and Victoria, BC. The album consists of thirty images of San Francisco in 1856, published as a portfolio by Herre & Bauer. The San Francisco album is considered the first published compilation of photographs of any American city and the major work of Fardon’s career. This is one of ten known variant copies.
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
General Physical Description note
1 album (30 photographs)
Processing Information note
Collection processed by Normandy S. Helmer.
Genre / Form
- Guide to the George R. Fardon's San Francisco album: photographs of the most beautiful views and public buildings of San Francisco,
- Complete Description
- Finding aid prepared by Normandy Helmer; updated by staff
- c2010; updated 2023
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.