Publications and Photographs - 6 of 11

Publications and Photographs FAQs - 11 Found

Where can I find historical photographs from the Great Surveys of the American West?

The USGS has placed online a number of images taken by some of the photographers who worked for or otherwise accompanied the "Great Surveys of the American West."

Before the USGS was established by Congress as a part of the Department of Interior, four preceding surveys of the westernmost parts of the United States took place between 1867 and 1879. Surveys lead by Ferdinand Hayden and John Wesley Powell were sponsored by the Interior Department, and the Surveys lead by Clarence King and Lt. George M. Wheeler were sponsored by the War Department.

1. The King's survey was called the "U.S. Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel" and included photographers Timothy O'Sullivan and C. E. Watkins.

2. The Hayden's survey was known as the "U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories," with photographer William Henry Jackson.

3. Timothy O'Sullivan was also one photographer for the Wheeler's survey named the "U.S. Geographical Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian."

4. J. K. Hillers and E. O. Beaman were the photographers for the Powell's survey, which became known as the "U.S. Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region."

You may access these images via the USGS Photographic Library website by selecting "Pioneer Photographers" on the left column of the page under ‘Categories’.


Learn more:

The Four Great Surveys of the West


Tags: Maps, Photographs, Education, Historical