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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Charles T. Collier

Other: C.T. Collier 
Dates:  1853, 13 Sept - 1934, 8 December
Born:  US, MA, Cohasset
Died:  US, CA, National City
Active:  US
Charles Turner Collier was born in Cohasset, Massachusetts in 1853. By 1876 he was working as a photographer in Massachusetts. In a strange coincidence, C.T. Collier arrived in Riverside in 1884, the day before a fire destroyed the studio that had been used by Shaw, Turner, and Vale. Collier moved West with his wife and in-laws, including Albert Ames, an artist who he enlisted to add color tinting to his photographs when the sitter requested it.
Shortly after Collier opened his studio, the Riverside Press and Horticulturist wrote: [W]e advance the claim that no gallery in the State, not excepting the metropolis itself, can show superior workmanship. Mr. Collier is provided with the most modern and most highly improved apparatus and all the accessories required for first-class workmanship. In accuracy, clearness of outline and elegance of finish his pictures are not to be excelled.
These were themes that Collier emphasized in his business practice. He was noted for trips back East to attend photographic conventions and procure supplies that he could not readily get in California. His advertisements and articles in the newspaper about him frequently emphasized his up-to-date practices. In the 1880s and 1890s, trends in photography were starting to change, and Collier clearly felt it was important to work with new photographic products and techniques. On one trip to the East Coast, Collier learned photoengraving, which was used in book and newspaper publishing. This skill was what ultimately led Collier to leave Riverside, deciding to set up a photoengraving business in Los Angeles where he thought he would get more work.
Collier worked in Riverside between 1884 and 1893. When he left, he sold his studio to S.P. Tresslar, a photographer and photoengraver who had been working in Los Angeles. Later, Collier was an early investor in land in El Centro. He returned to Riverside briefly in 1906, but spent the remainder of his life in Imperial and San Diego Counties. Suffering a prolonged illness, Collier died in a sanitarium in National City in 1934. Collier worked in Riverside for nine years, the longest duration of any photographer working in Riverside in the nineteenth century. Because of this, he also appears to be the most prolific. Collier produced photographs that thoroughly documented the city and its people.
Leigh Gleason (Museum of Riverside, 2015, text label) 
Stereographs project 
Business locations 
Cohasset, MA, US 
Bridgewater, MA, US 
Los Angeles, CA, US 
Riverside, CA, US 
[7] "Photographs of Cohasset"; single view seen from Cohasset address on green/green CM, of men gathering seaweed on beach. Was assoc. with Burrell's branch studio in 77; listed in Bridgewater 76-77.
[8-9] Single view reported of southern CA; active in Riverside ~85-90; by 96 he operated the Collier Photo Engraving Company at 536 S. Broadway, Los Angeles. 
T.K. Treadwell & William C. Darrah (Compiled by), Wolfgang, Sell (Updated by), 11/28/2003, Photographers of the United States of America, (National Stereoscopic Association)
Credit: National Stereoscopic Association with corrections and additions by Alan Griffiths and others.
NOTE: You are probably here because you have a stereograph to identify. Please email good quality copies of the front and back to so we can create reference collections for all.

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