William H. Partridge (W. H. Partridge), Photographer - Fine Art Prints of Historical Photos

William H. Partridge, along with brothers Edward and Sam, all followed their father into the photography business. The father, Asa C. Partridge, was a daguerreotyper who owned a photo supply house in West Virginia, and later migrated to Boston.

Born in 1860 in West Virginia, by 1878 William was already listed as a photographer in a Boston business directory. He was soon joined by his older brother Edward, working with their father at A. C. Partridge & Sons.

By 1884, William and Edward had moved to Portland, where they established their own studio. In September of that year they exhibited a series of photos made at night by electric light.

Both Edward and William traveled to Alaska and brought back photos -- William in 1886 and Edward in 1887. Then in 1887, shortly after marrying Emma Abell, daughter of Portland photographer Frank Abell, William moved back to Boston. Both Edward's and William's Alaska and Oregon views sold briskly on the east coast, and many of their Pacific Northwest boudoir cards found today include a Boston imprint.

William continued his studio in Boston for many years, from 1886 until 1914. After his career in photography, he became involved in real estate. He died in Wellesley in 1939.

Thomas Robinson, in his book "Oregon Photographers, 1852 - 1917", now unfortunately out of print, speaks highly of the Partridge brothers. He writes, they "produced some of the most descriptive photography done in 19th century Oregon. The series 'speaks' the visual language of modern photography. The organization of visual elements never draws attention to itself. But the viewer is drawn into these pictures and the subtle effect they produce... is the closest any Oregon photographer came to realizing photography's potential to simulate a time machine."

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  1. Big Trees in Oregon - Partridge

    Big Trees in Oregon - c. 1885

    Oregon is and was known for its trees, and every photographer, even today, must have a few tree photos in their portfolio. Here is William Partridge's 1880s version. Learn More
  2. Coe Glacier at Barrett Spur, Mt. Hood - Partridge

    Coe Glacier at Barrett Spur, Mt. Hood - c. 1885

    This early view about 2000 below the summit of Mt. Hood was taken by William H. Partridge, an Oregon photographer responsible for many boudoir cards - 4 1/2 by 8 inch card-mounted photos that were very popular in the 1880s. Learn More
  3. Harbor of Sitka - Partridge

    Harbor of Sitka - 1886

    The Harbor of Sitka, Alaska, in 1886, showing the steamship dock and Sitka Sound. Learn More
  4. Looking Across Sitka Harbor, 1886 - Partridge

    Looking Across Sitka Harbor - 1886

    Looking across Sitka Harbor to the town of Sitka, 1886. Learn More
  5. Looking North across Pasture towards Mt. Hood - Partridge

    Looking North across Pasture towards Mt. Hood - c. 1885

    This early photo of Mt. Hood from the south was taken by William H. Partridge during his short career in Oregon in the 1880s, before he headed back to the east coast. Learn More
  6. Madonna - Partridge

    Madonna - c. 1900

    This art photo of a mother and child was created by William Partridge sometime after he moved from Oregon to Boston in 1886. This image was one of his most popular and sold for many years; our print is dated 1900. Learn More
  7. Multnomah Falls - W. H. Partridge

    Multnomah Falls - c. 1887

    Taken shortly before he moved back to Boston, Partridge captured this view of the falls by stepping back and to the right, giving a different angle than many of the straight-ahead shots of his day. Learn More
  8. Oregon City Shore, looking West - Partridge

    Oregon City Shore, Looking West - c. 1884

    This 1880s view of the Oregon City shoreline shows modest commerical buildings near the shore and homes behind the fence above them. Learn More
  9. Oregon City, before Electricity - Partridge

    Oregon City, before Electricity - c. 1884

    Looking south down Main Street in Oregon City in the about 1884. The cross street past the brick building is 6th Street. Learn More
  10. Peril Straits, near Sitka, Alaska - Partridge

    Peril Straits, near Sitka, Alaska - 1886

    The Peril Straits form a narrow water corridor between the Inside Passage and the town of Sitka, located on the west side of Baranof Island. Learn More
  11. Stairs Descending Bluff at Oregon City - Partridge

    Stairs Descending the Bluff at Oregon City - c. 1884

    Now boasting a municipal elevator, Oregon City originally provided wooden stairs to connect the two levels of the town. Learn More
  12. Stuck in the Snow, Winter of 1884 - Partridge

    Stuck in the Snow, Winter of 1884

    A rescue train attempts to get through snow drifts below the Dalles, during the blizzard of December, 1884. Learn More
  13. The Bay Beach, Fort Canby - Partridge

    The Bay Beach, Fort Canby - c. 1885

    This view is William H. Partridge's take on the garrisons of Fort Canby, located, as the title states, at the Bay Beach on the inside of the southern tip of Long Island peninsula. Learn More
  14. The Needles, on the Columbia River - Partridge

    The Needles, on the Columbia River - c. 1885

    This photo of the Needles, on the railroad line up the south side of the Columbia Gorge, was taken by William H. Partridge not long before he moved back to the East Coast. Learn More
  15. W. H. Partridge & Other Passengers Return from Alaska - Partridge

    W. H. Partridge & Other Passengers Return from Alaska - 1886

    This mixed party returning from Alaska by sidewheeler steamer in 1886 apparently includes the photographer William H. Partridge. Learn More

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