Isaac G. Davidson - Fine Art Prints of Historical Photos
It's unlikely that Isaac Grundy Davidson was himself a photographer, but in 18 months from 1877 to 1878 he propelled a small Portland studio to the highest volume photography operation in Oregon. Prior to entering the photography business he'd been an accountant for one of Portland's largest printing shops.
Initially he partnered with his brother John, and their imprints bore the name of Davidson Brothers, but soon he bought out his brother and most of the imprints we see today say simply "I. G. Davidson".
Davidson hired many of the best photographers of his time, including Andrew Wulzen in August of 1878. Wulzen had earlier worked for Carleton Watkins and proceeded to shoot for Davidson many of the same Columbia River views popularized by Watkins in his 1867 series. The next five years were the peak sales for boudoir size views, and according to Thomas Robinson, Davidson "produced one of the finest series in Oregon".
Built in 1856, this blockhouse was only used for a few years but lasted for decades afterwards. The Cascades were a strategic military site during unrest between early settlers and the Native American inhabitants. Learn More
This is a photograph by Davidson, made about 1888, of a painting by an unknown artist dating from about 1855. Davidson created a number of scenic boudoir cards that were photos of paintings from earlier decades. Learn More
This early overview of Portland shows both sides of the Willamette, shortly before electric power lines began to line city streets. About a third of the way up are the Park Blocks, with their newly planted trees. Learn More
The Morrison Bridge was Portland's first bridge across the Willamette, completed in 1887, about a year before this photo was created. At its opening, it was the longest bridge west of the Mississippi. Learn More
This view is reproduced from a boudoir card published by Isaac G. Davidson in about 1880, a few years after the locks were opened. The locks themselves are not a lot different than they are today. Learn More