Saturday, March 6, 2010

Vander Weyde's "News-Photography." -- March 6, 2010

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde wrote the series of articles which gave this blog its name. Among his many accomplishments was taking some of the first Daguerreotypes in the United States. PH's son Henry Van Der Weyde served in the Union Army during the Civil War and later emigrated to England, where he became a popular photographer and a pioneer in taking photographs with artificial light.

This article, from the December, 1898 Broadway Magazine, concerns PH's grandson, William Manley Vander Weyde (that's how he spelled the family name), who followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and uncle.



"VANDER WEYDE? Why, who is this chap Vander Weyde, anyhow?"

This question has been asked many times by people in all parts of America who read the up-to-date illustrated daily, weekly, and monthly publications that call New York City their home. One can scarcely pick up two consecutive copies of progressive newspapers like the World and Journal, The Illustrated American, Harper's Weekly or Munsey's Magazine without seeing on one or more of the most absorbing pictures the legend, "Copyright by Vander Weyde."

These words are never found on a "slow" picture. The legend always guarantees that the subject of the picture is one in which the people have a vital interest.

The gentleman in question is William Manley Vander Weyde. No doubt, countless people will say, "That information is no information," for so extreme is the modesty of Mr. Vander Weyde that outside of a limited coterie of working journalists he has never pushed his own personality forward, although in his twelve years of continuous residence in New York City he has ably filled some of its choicest journalistic berths.

Mr. Vander Weyde's department in photography is one of his own invention. When the progressive newspapers began to devote so much attention to illustrating from photographs a year or two ago, Mr. Vander Weyde was pained to see that while the articles were of the mind-absorbing character, the photographs as a rule were of the dull, haphazard style.

Mr. Vander Weyde, being a photographer in an amateur way himself, resigned his position as a writer and struck out for the new field of "News-Photography," and his success, though constantly on the increase, was assured from the very first.

There were other reasons besides his journalistic experience why Mr. Vander Weyde's "News-Photography" should have met with its wide public approbation. From each of three celebrated ancestors he has inherited one distinct talent. His father was John J. Vander Weyde, for many years editor and proprietor of the South American Review, the best known newspaper in the republic of Uruguay. His grandfather was Prof. P. H. Vander Weyde, the eminent scientist, author and inventor, who, with Prof. John W. Draper, made at the University of the City of New York the first photograph ever made anywhere in the United States. Another ancestor is Roger Vander Weyden, the famous Dutch painter, whose works are displayed among the "Old Masters' Collection" at the Metropolitan Museum, in this city. Mr. Vander Weyde is also a nephew of Henry Vander Weyde, whose famous "Light Studio" in London has made his name known throughout all England.

Mr. Vander Weyde was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, twenty-eight years ago, and remained there until his surviving parent died when he was only ten years of age. He lived with relatives in New Orleans up to the time that he entered newspaperdom in this city in 1886. He was founder of Doings, a Brooklyn society magazine, and has since been connected with the editorial departments of the Recorder, Times, Journal, Post and World.

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