Albert E. Schaaf The Ferry, King's Lynn
Medium Gum print
Photo Date 1920c Print Date 1920c
Dimensions 8-7/8 x 13-1/4 in. (225 x 337 mm)
Photo Country United Kingdom (UK)
Photographer Country Canada
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Signed and titled in the bottom margin of the recto of the print.
According to the National Gallery of Canada, Albert E. Schaaf was born in Thorold, ONT, Canada on July 29, 1866, although several other sources claim that he was born in Erie, PA, in 1855. The death notice in the 1950's New York Times claimed that he was 83 at the time of his death, which would make the 1866 date the correct one. It is possible that he wanted to keep his Canadian roots secret for social and political reasons. It does appear that he might have been in Erie early on in his life, although some elements of his early life may have been confused with another Schaaf.
Schaaf eventually became a business executive in bicycle and automobile manufacturing. He might even have been involved in early aviation.
By 1909, Albert E. Schaaf was hired as manager of the Poughkeepsie, NY Fiat factory. By establishing the plant in the U.S., Fiat could eliminate payment of a 45% duty imposed on all imported autos and this savings was passed on to the consumer.
Schaaf founded the Air-Maze Corp., a manufacturer of a variety of air and liquid filters, in 1925. The company originally made air filters for automobiles, but it soon became a pioneer in the development of a variety of filters. By 1944 it had designed filters of more than 3,000 types and sizes for use in industry, by the military and in air-conditioning systems.
Schaaf became photographically active in the teens and 1920s. He was known to work in alternative processes, including gum prints, oil prints, bromoils and bromoil transfers. The New York Times obituary reported that the Smithsonian asked for several of his photographs for its collection when he died.
Schaaf died in Cleveland, OH, on June 7, 1950. He was survived by two sons.
King's Lynn is a seaport and market town in the ceremonial county of Norfolk in the East of England. It is situated 97 miles (156 km) north of London and 44 miles (71 km) west of Norwich. During the 14th century, King's Lynn ranked as the third most important port in England, behind Southampton and London. It was considered as important to England during the Middle Ages as Liverpool was during the Industrial Revolution.
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