The images in this exhibit were taken by George E. Curtis (c. 1841-1910) during his visit to Niagara Region. Curtis photographed both the American (Niagara Falls, New York) and Canadian (Niagara Falls, Ontario) side of Niagara Falls and surrounding areas between 1860-1870. These are albumen photographs predominantly of the Falls also include several images of sites, parks and other locations on both the Canadian and the American side of the border. 

George E. Curtis, born ca. 1841, his birthplace has been given in various sources as Buffalo, NY, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. He died 16 December 1910 in Niagara Falls, NY and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery with his wife Emma Symonds Curtis. In 1864, Curtis enlisted in the United States Navy at Erie, Pennsylvania and served aboard the USS Michigan and USS North Carolina. He was discharged in February of 1865. Active from 1860s-1910, he is well known for his stereoscopic views of the Niagara Falls. Additional photographs located in the collections of the Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY and the New York Public Library: Photography Collection and others.

This collection came from photographer James Cremer of Philadelphia as a sample set of Curtis’s images of the falls stored in a period sample box. The sample box was manufactured by Samuel Peck and Co., a New Haven-based company that manufactured photographic accessories in the 1870s. James Cremer, a stereoscopic photographer himself, is best known for a series of photograph views of the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition and owner of the Stereoscopic Emporium on South 8th Street in Philadelphia, Pa. The collection comes from the estate of his grandson Henry Richardson Cremer, a photographer himself.

(source: Brock University Archives and Special Collections)

About the Exhibit

The photographs have been catalogued by the numbers written on the back or by the letters assigned to the unnumbered images. The numbers and descriptions found on each photo may be in Curtis' own hand. Those responsible for the creation of the digital George E. Curtis Exhibit have decided to organize the images based on thematic categories, that allowed us to group the photographs based on features such as; tourist locations, tourist attractions, structures of interest, images of nature and the views of the Falls themselves.