1903 - Photographing John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt
In 1903 Arthur C. Pillsbury was already a well known photographer whose work included photojournalism. In 1903 Hearst hired AC to set up a state of the art photography department for his newspaper empire, a position AC occupied until he quit in 1906 to start the Pillsbury Picture Company in March of that year.
AC's work included working as a stringer for Underwood and Underwood, with whom he had become familiar while photographing the Yukon. Since we know, for a fact, that AC was already photographing the Presidential journey and himself, produced postcards of the event, in the absence of other evidence it must be assumed Underwood and Underwood had paid AC to provide their own needed photographs. AC would photograph nearly every event where TR appeared in the next decade.
Note here the continued attempt to disappear AC from history carried over many years.
Underwood and Underwood was one of the few companies in the country who hired stringers. AC had provided photos for them consistently from the time he returned from the Yukon.
Dr. Arthur F. Pillsbury, AC's son, reported that every time he accompanied his father on a shoot, which happened frequently, AC was also carrying out requests for photos from publishing houses, newspapers, and other businesses which needed these shots. AC photos were appearing in these places routinely, sometimes identified with his name and for the most part, without attribution.
The post card below sold widely through the Pillsbury Picture Company from 1903 on. Backed by the gorgeous surface of the giant sequoia it is a collector's
Arthur C. Pillsbury was a respected professional photographer, widely known by news people and publishers after his work in the Yukon. His solitary journey down the Yukon River after meeting Muir in 1899 was well documented and for this as well as the excellence of his photographic work he won the respect of individuals well aware of the dangers which could be encountered in the wilds.
After returning to the States in late 1899 Pillsbury settled in Los Angeles, where he worked as a stringer for Underwood and Underwood while developing his own line of post cards, newly approved by the US Congress.
William Randolph Hearst hired Pillsbury in 1903 to set up the photographic department for his chain of papers. Pillsbury also worked as a photojournalist for Hearst from 1903 until March of 1906, when he left the paper to start his own business, the Pillsbury Picture Company.
Pillsbury routinely used a motion picture camera for his work as well, having had one in his practice since he purchased his first in 1892, during his first year as a student at Stanford University.
The 'film' below is made up of stills made by the photographer, which the evidence indicates was Arthur C. Pillsbury, of the Roosevelt visit to Yosemite - but AC could have made a film as well.
For more details on the chronology of Teddy Roosevelt's visit to Yosemite and with John Muir, go to our second page on this event.