Bradley & Rulofson San Francisco, CA
Medium Albumen prints (seven)
Mount on original printed mounts
Photo Date 1870-80s Print Date 1884-85
Dimensions 7-1/8 x 8-15/16 in. (181 x 227 mm)
Photo Country United States (USA)
Photographer Country United States (USA)
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Set of seven photographs of important pre-earthquake and fire images with Bradley & Rulofson printed backs on gray mounts with 14 Dupont Street address. All in very good condition with nice tonalities. Important early buildings in San Francisco, including a view of the Grand Opera House; three views of the Palace Hotel, including an interior of the hotel's spectacular atrium; one view of an unidentified but large and spectacular Victorian house; another of the house as a part of a block of other Victorian homes; and a slightly smaller photo of an early view of the Cliff House by George Fiske for Bradley & Rulofson.
Henry W. Bradley (1813- 1891) and William H. Rulofson (1826-1878) joined forces in 1863, buying out the portrait gallery of daguerreotypist Robert Vance to establish the photographic art gallery of Bradley & Rulofson. The duo worked well together; Rulofson completed the managerial operations, and Bradley the curatorial tasks. Bradley & Rulofson bragged about their gallery facilities, and advertised to the public their "magnificent Reception Room, Toilet Room, Sitting Room" and "Largest Sky Light in America." The firm could also boast associations with photographers Isaiah Taber, and later Eadweard Muybridge, who left Thomas Houseworth & Company, at the time of their decline, to publish some Pacific Coast views with Bradley & Rulofson.
A striking blow fell upon the business when the great Chicago fire of 1871 created unredeemable financial losses. The two men worked together until 1877, when Bradley filed for bankruptcy, and John H. Dall took his place.
Rulofson was subsequently killed from a fall off the gallery roof in 1878.
John H. Dall and the Rulofson estate continued the studio for a number of years after Bradley's retirement in 1878 and Rulofson's subsequent fall to his death from the roof of the studio.
Due to financial difficulties, the firm moved from 429 Montgomery Street to Geary and Dupont (now Grant), San Francisco. In Langley's 1884 San Francisco Business Directory, there is an ad for the "new" photography studio at this address for Bradley & Rulofson.
After the mid-1880s, the studio again changed addresses before finally going out of business in 1889-90, when the March 8, 1890 San Francisco News Letter reported that their former studio space was up for rent, which was the only mention that year of the studio's existence.
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