This photograph shows landscape photographer Henry Hamilton Bennett seated with his three children. Before Bennett, few Americans had ever heard about-much less seen-the Wisconsin Dells, a section of the Wisconsin River characterized by eye-catching sandstone cliffs and wooded glens. Opening a photography studio in nearby Kilbourn City in 1865, Bennett hoped to specialize in portraiture. However, when the studio failed to attract enough clients, he decided to pursue landscape photography instead. His images captured the Dells' unique beauty and helped to transform this once-remote place into one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Midwest. In addition to running a successful studio, Bennett was forever experimenting with his equipment. He built a remarkable large-format panoramic camera, created some of the earliest instantaneous photographs, and devised a new system for flash photography.

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  • Title: H. H. Bennett
  • Creator: Henry Hamilton Bennett
  • Date Created: 1887
  • Physical Dimensions: w54.1 x h43.3 cm (Image)
  • Type: Albumen silver print
  • Rights: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Larry J. West
  • Classification: Photograph