Monday, January 20, 2020

Bradley and Rulofson

photographer: Bradley & Rulofson
Entrance, 14 Dupont Street
over city of Paris
Between Market and Geary
San Francisco

reverse of the card at the left

There are extensive and detailed biographies available on line describing the lives of Henry William Bradley and William Herman Rulofson. LOST GALLERY will concentrate here on a timeline of events to locate where they worked and when. Again, not all the accountings of the lives of these two men agree. There are some minor differences in dates and events. The following timeline combines the best version available.

During their studio days Bradley and Rulofson photographed hundreds of celebrities and notable Californians. These included such people as Bret Hart, Susan B Anthony, Queen Emma of Hawaii and Emperor Joshua A Norton.

Visit some of these fine sources:
From Broadway Photographs
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Prologue: Guilty Secrets an extensive review
From Rogue Scholar by Richard W. Bailey
Photograph examples
Cabinet Card Gallery examples


Henry William Bradley
William Herman Rulofson

1813 Nov 02
Henry William Bradley born in Wilmington, North Carolina
1826 Sep 27
William Herman Rulofson born in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada
Bradley returns to North Carolina from New Orleans, LA, where he was studying photography
Fredrickton, New Brunswick, Canada, Rulofson establishes a studio
Stockton, CA, Rulofson leaves wife and daughter to move to California and establishes a daguerreotype studio

- continued in next row -

1850 Feb
Bradley leaves North Carolina and opens a photography studio in San Francisco, CA, on west side of Montgomery st between Washington and Jackson sts; this was variously advertised as “over the Pacific Baths” and in July, “Opposite Delmonico’s” and in September “271 Montgomery st, upstairs”
1851 May 04
Bradley’s first studio burns down and he opens a new studio within two weeks over Jack’s and Blake’s Jewelry Store, opposite the post office on Clay Street; also begins selling photographic materials; He advertises his location from June 19 through August as “Moffats Building, opposite post office” and in January, 1852 as”Clay st corner of Kearney”
John B Cameron and William Herman Rulofson were in partnership as Rulofson & Cameron in Sonora. They conducted business in a car.
Bradley establishes a branch studio in Sacramento, CA, at 68 and 70 ”I“ street, between Third and Fourth streets
Bradley wins prize for photography at California State Fair
1857 January 18
Rulofson buys Cameron's remaining interest in the Sonora gallery.

Bradley closes his gallery at the corner of Clay and Kerney
1859 Sep 21
Wilmington, NC, Bradley marries Betsy Euphemia Cutlar
Bradley moves his wholesale photograph materials business to 622 Clay, San Francisco, CA
1861 or 1863
Rulofson leases out his Sonora Gallery gallery and moves to moves to San Francisco, CA
Bradley and Rulofson join forces in San Francisco, CA, buying out the portrait gallery of daguerreotypist Robert H Vance to establish the photographic art gallery of Bradley & Rulofson at 429 Montgomery st, San Francisco, CA
Bradley and Rolofson win the contract to photograph San Francisco’s defense facilities at Fort Alcatraz and Fort Point; the pair became embroiled in a dispute and resulting scandal in which they were accused of being Confederate spies because they claimed ownership to the nearly 2000 negatives and sold prints in their gallery; the military seized the negatives citing violation of War Department orders against publishing photographs of military installations; the negatives were returned after settlement of the dispute

Bradly and Rulofson begin offering patent enameled card photographs
Rulofson’s wife Amelia dies
W H Rulofson’s brother Edward H Rulloff is hanged for murder
The Chicago, IL, fire causes significant losses to Bradley and his photography supply business leading to bankruptcy in 1877
Bradley and Rulofson install an elevator to their second floor studio at 429 Montgomery
Rulofson wins gold medal in Vienna
Rulofson wins gold medal in Philadelphia, PA,
Rulofson is elected president of the National Photographic Association
Bradley and Rulofson employ Louis Thors at the gallery
The photographers publish “Bradly & Rulofson’s Catalogue of Celebrities"
Rulofson wins second gold medal in Philadelphia, PA, Centennial Exhibition
1877 Oct
Bradley files for bankruptcy

after bankruptcy, Bradley retires, his interest in the Bradley-Rulofson partnership had been assigned to John H Dall and the studio continues in San Francisco, CA. Still under the name Bradley and Rolofson
the Gallery issues a Celebrity Catalogue listing their inventory which ran 51 pages
1878 Nov 02
William Rulofson died after falling from the roof of the Bradley & Rulofson studio in San Francisco. According to a report by The New York Times, he was heard to have exclaimed, "I am killed" during the descent
Bradley closes his wholesale photographic supply business and retires
studio continues operation as Bradley and Rulofson, managed by Dall and a staff of photographers
Bradley and Rulofson Studio operates under Dall’s sole ownership but at several locations
the studio closes
1891 Apr 27
Alameda, CA, Bradley dies at home suffering from crippling rheumatism; he was 77

The cabinet card at the top was probably done between 1878 and 1887 when it was operated by Dall and a staff and changed locations often.

Go to the CABINET CARD GALLERY site for more excellent examples of Bradly and Rulofson.

San Francisco (CA) Chronicle - 21 Oct 1865

Feather River Bulletin (Quincy, CA) - 28 Feb 1874

The Petaluma (CA) Courier - 03 Jan 1878

Santa Cruz (CA) Weekly Sentinel - 14 Feb 1880

Record Union - 28 Jul 1882

Oakland (CA) Tribune - 28 Apr 1891

Example of one of the "Celebrity" photographs found on an auction site

Photographer: Bradley and Rulofson
Example from New York Library

photographer: Bradley and Rulofson
San Francisco, CA
example from auction site

photographer: Bradley and Rulofson
429 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA
example from auction site

reverse of card at left
Finished sometime after 1863

photographer: Bradley and Rulofson
Sam Francisco, CA
example from

photographer: Bradley and Rulofson
Sam Francisco, CA
example from

reverse of card at left

photographer: Bradley and Rulofson
429 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA
example from auction site

reverse of card at left

photographer Bradley and Rulofson
San Francisco, CA
example from auction site

Backing example from 1863-1877

photographer: Bradley and Rulofson
backing probably from after 1873

photographer: Bradley and Rulofson
CDV back
imprint probably used around 1864 or after

photographer: Bradley and Rulofson
CDV example from Marshall on facebook

photographer: Bradley & Rulofson
example from an auction site

reverse of the card at the left

Not the one you were looking for? Here's the photographer's INDEX by name. Listed here are all the Cabinet Card photographers of the 19th century found in LOST GALLERY. This is a work in progress. For a look at the original postings go to LOST GALLERY.

Some examples on this page have been enhanced or restored for clarity and presentation here.

This page is free for educational and research purposes only but, as always, if the original owner of any of these examples objects to the use on this page, just let me know and they will be immediately removed.

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