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Where the Tides Climb the Temple Stairs, Miyajima

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Japan (photographed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1904 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ponting, Herbert George, born 1870 - died 1935 (photographer)
    Underwood & Underwood (publishers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stereoscopic photograph

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 546, box D

Physical description

Stereoscopic photograph. Mounted on thick grey card and inscribed with title and brief description of the scene.

Place of Origin

Japan (photographed)


ca. 1904 (photographed)


Ponting, Herbert George, born 1870 - died 1935 (photographer)
Underwood & Underwood (publishers)

Materials and Techniques

Stereoscopic photograph

Descriptive line

Stereoscopic photograph by Underwood & Underwood depicting 'Where the Tides Climb the Temple Stairs, Miyajima'. Japan, ca. 1904.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Underwood & Underwood were early producers and distributors of stereoscopic and other photographic images, and later pioneered the field of news-bureau photography.

The company was founded in 1881 in Ottawa, Kansas, by two brothers, Elmer Underwood (born Fulton County, Illinois 1859 - died St. Petersburg, Florida 1947) and Bert Elias Underwood (born in Oxford, Illinois 1862 - died Tucson, Arizona 1943). They moved to Baltimore and then to New York City in 1891.

At one time, Underwood & Underwood were the largest publisher of stereoviews in the world, producing 10 million views a year. The Underwood brothers developed a selling system of thorough canvassing using college students. They distributed stereographs for Charles Bierstadt, J.F. Jarvis and the Littleton View Company. By 1887, they outgrew their original office in Ottawa and moved to New York City. Offices were also opened in Canada and Europe.
In 1891, Bert learned how to operate a camera and thus the firm of Underwood & Underwood Publishing entered a new merchandising sphere. By 1897, the company had a number of full-time staff and free lance photographers. In the same year, the Underwoods purchased the businesses of Jarvis; Bierstadt; and, William H. Rau. Underwood & Underwood was publishing 25,000 stereographs a day by 1901. The firm still canvassed and sold its own stereographs. Around 1900, Underwood & Underwood introduced boxed sets, with specific themes, such as education and religion, and travel sets depicting popular tourist areas of the world.

By 1910, Underwood & Underwood had entered the field of news photography. Due to this expansion, stereograph production was reduced until the early years of World War I. In 1920 they moved into the field of aerial photography and their stereograph production was discontinued, selling their entire stereographic stock and rights to the Keystone View Company before ceasing business altogether in the 1940s.





Subjects depicted

Stereoscopes; Stereograph; Temples; Tides


Photographs; Tourism & Travel


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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