||The Klondike commercial photographers and some of the
amateurs liked large format cameras. They were heavy and
awkward but this did not prevent photographers, like Goetzman and Robertson and Darms, from strapping the
equipment on a sled. Dry plate negatives had become the norm
for professional photographers by the time of the gold rush and prints were not enlarged
from the negative size. Negatives were "contact printed" by placing the negative
in contact with photographic printing paper, in a printing frame, which was then placed in
the sunlight. The forming image was checked periodically, then removed from the frame,
fixed and washed. The print size was restricted to the size of the negative, but the image
quality was excellent.
Some of the more popular forms of photographs during the Klondike
gold rush included stereographs and lantern slides. Flash photography
was in an experimental stage. Movie footage is very rare, but Thomas Edison sent the
Klondike Exposition Co. to the Yukon to obtain film for the Paris Exposition of 1900 (view film). Edward
Larss was producing postcards of Hegg's Chilkoot photographs by November 1898 (below).
Some Yukon photographers would inscribe their negatives, often with titles, dates,
negative numbers and certainly the photographer's name, and these inscriptions would
appear in every print made. It is often possible to trace a photographer's route through
the goldfields by using the sequence of dates, places and negative numbers on the prints.
Postcard produced by Edward Larss
(Yukon Archives Coutts Coll. 86-15 #175)
© Government of
Yukon Heritage Branch 2001. All Rights Reserved