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Arthur C. Pillsbury - His Words and Work
Although Pillsbury was born into an old New England family his curiosity about the world made him a natural entrepreneur who enjoyed giving his customers what they wanted and providing a place of business which was always warm and inviting to people of all ages and incomes. Ansel Adams's first roll of film was developed there and it was at the Studio of the Three Arrows that Adams learned the skills of photography. Pillsbury's was the only place in Yosemite which allowed customers to develop their own film.
Pillsbury began his lectures to a few people on the porch of the Studio of the Three Arrows in 1909, narrating the nature movie he had made. New films were made in rapid secession with new topics, themes, and stories about the world of nature.
As more people heard him, more wanted to experience his knowledgeable insights and share the images which they could find no place else. This resulted in lecture tours which took Pillsbury first around California and then across the United States, the South Pacific, Hawaii and England on regular tours scheduled for him by professionals. Pillsbury changes his presentations every year and because of this established a regular journey to people who had heard him before and told their friends. Pillsbury started speaking in 1909.
Over those years he filmed the Sierra Club on many occasions and became a spokesman for Yosemite, making its beauties known around the United States through his films and words.
He did not stop this until WWII and his failing health forced him to.
Pillsbury provided short features to Hollywood and also sold films to other speakers who used their for their own lectures. Clients had a choice of films, as you can see with this brochure from 1938.