BIERSTADT, EDWARD

Copyright 2000-2020 John N. J. Lupia, T.O.C.


Edward Bierstadt (1824-1906), was born on September 11, 1824, at Solingen, Prussia, son of Heinrich Bierstadt (1785-1866), and Christiana Tilmans Bierstadt (1792-1864). His family moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1832. His younger brother Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902), is an internationally famous painter in European and the Hudson River school style. Albert traveled to Europe studying painting and exhibiting bring back a Josef Albert's patented new technical process of printing photographs called the Albertype to his brothers who worked as photographers.

Edward and his older brother Charles Bierstadt (1819-1903), operated a photograph business inventing new techniques and devices as early American pioneers in photography.

In 1859, he and his brother Charles opened an art studio at 39 Purchase Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts.

In 1870, he moved to New York working in their photograph studio at 545 Broadway producing their Albertypes. 

In 1877, he opened a new studio on Reade Street, which later on was renumbered from 58 & 60 to 94, where he remained for 29 years selling paintings, engravings and stereoscopic images stamped with their company name "Bierstadt Brothers" and the Photo-Plate Printing Company, which was later on renamed the Artotype Printing Company. Albert rented a painting studio in the Tenth Street Studio Building.

In 1876, for the U. S. Centennial, he patented a new stereoscope.

In 1880, he developed a process to make color photographs but the process took several days.

Edward Bierstadt, 58 & 60 Reade Street, New York City, New York, correspondence with the Chapman Brothers regarding photographic plates, postmarked April 12, 1884. Note the handwriting appears distinctively different from his hand below in 1895/1896 and is probably that of his wife Adeline. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

He and Theo De Vinne invented a mechanical overlays for halftones.

In 1894, he developed a new process for color photographs from life that took only 10 minutes.

A heretofore unknown fact outside of the Lupia Numismatic Library is that Edward Bierstadt,  an internationally famous photographer and engraver beginning in 1884 worked for the Chapman Brothers making their photographic plates for their coin auction sales.

Edward Bierstadt correspondence with the Chapman Brothers informing them he will send them their plates sometime first week of January 1896. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

He died on June 15, 1906. He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York.

Bibliography :

The New York Tribune, June 17, 1906, obit.
American Printer and Lithographer Vol. 42 (1906) : 568 bio, obit and photo.

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