Saturday, July 10, 2010

Why the Photographer Asked Burrelle -- July 10, 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 11-May-1905 Los Angeles Herald, concerns PH's grandson, William Manley Van der Weyde, who followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and uncle. The Burelle's, founded by Frank Burelle in 1888, is still in business as BurellesLuce Clipping Service ( Hetty Green, "The Witch of Wall Street," was a businesswoman who was reputed to be a miser. Jim Farley was a famous provider of strikebreakers to business and industry.

The photo is from the December, 1898 Broadway Magazine.

Why the Photographer Asked Burrelle

W. M. Vander Weyde, the New York photographer whose name appears on so many remarkable pictures, is the originator of a specialty. After many years' experience as a professional photographer he now directs all his efforts on the "hard to get" people. These are the celebrities like Hetty Green and Farley, the strike breaker, who do not care to have anyone know what they look like. These people do not want to be photographed and yet Vander Weyde has recent photographs of both.

Talking of the matter the other day, this specialist said: "I guess I get pictures that others cannot because I go after people at the right minute. And I want to say right here that I attribute about three-quarters of my success to one thing."

"What's that"? asked the questioner eagerly.

"I want to give every possible bit of credit to a firm called 'Burrelle's.' Burrelle has a big establishment in this city where he conducts the largest press-clipping bureau in the world. What has press clippings to do with my idea? I'll tell you. I want to know every prominent man and woman who is to visit America in the future. I want to know every big event that Is going to take place. If it is a national banquet, I want to know who will preside; if it is an international wedding, I want to know the clergyman who will officiate; if it is a yacht race, I want to know who will be prominently connected with it. Burrelle reads every paper published and from these papers he furnishes me the information months and sometimes years in advance. In this way I am able to get at people sometimes half a year before others in my line wake up to the realisation that these especial photographs will be needed. Burrelle is the secret of success and people in all sorts of business would do well to connect with Burrelle quickly."

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