This collection consists of 84 scans of 4x5 glass plate negatives taken between 1878 and 1882 by photographer William Edward Hook. The photos include scenes of buildings, life, people, railroads, and scenic vistas of the Salt Lake area and Utah.
Many are unidentified photographs of men, women and children in everyday scenes. Many show railroad depots, locomotives, tracks and construction/maintenance workers. The Denver & Rio Grande and the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad are the two railroads most easily identifiable.
The glass plates were discovered by Bruce and Jan Hubby when they bought the Blue Front Grocery building in Cripple Creek, Colorado, near where Hook had a photography studio. Kenneth W. Johnson donated the negatives to State History. (Manuscript Collection C-1611, available at the Utah History Research Center.)
William Edward Hook was born in 1833. From 1878 to 1882 he traveled 15,000 miles through Montana, Canada, the Yellowstone area, and Utah by horse and wagon, taking pictures.
As an established photographer, he opened a photographic studio in 1885 in the tourist town of Manitou Springs, Colorado. During the 1890s gold rush, he set up a studio on Bennett Avenue in Cripple Creek, Colorado.
Hook died in 1908 and was soon forgotten; since his death his photographs have rarely been seen.