The Postcards of L. A. Huffman


There have been sevearl substantial books on Huffman's photography, but this is the only book on his postcards. Prepared and written by Huffman experts Bev and Gene Allen of Helena, Montana, this is a must addition to anyone's library on early western photography.

Printed in full, brilliant color on heavy paper stock for the finest illustrations giving the full flavor of Huffman's great Montana/western views.

Laton Alton Huffman (October 31, 1854 – February 28, 1931) was an American photographer of Frontier and Native American life. Born in Winneshiek County, Iowa, he spent most of his life photographing the area around his Montana home. Having initially worked at Fort Keogh, he started to sell prints of his glass plate negatives.

Huffman arrived in Miles City, Montana Territory in December of 1879. He was 25 years old and had come to seek the recently vacated position of post photographer at nearby Fort Keogh. Fort Keogh was a military post established shortly after the Custer incident in 1876 to provide a military presence in eastern Montana. He was appointed post photographer, an unpaid position that provided a dirt floor log studio and an opportunity to make and sell photographs.

This was a rapidly changing time in Montana's history. Hostilities between early settlers and Native Americans were drawing to a close and reservation life was beginning. The demise of the great buffalo herds was near, clearing the way for large scale cattle ranching. The railroad arrived in Miles City in 1881 and changed everything. The arrival of large numbers of farmers with their plows and fences would permanently alter the landscape of eastern Montana. During all of this, Huffman was there taking photographs - landscapes, animals, early ranches, street scenes and, especially, people doing their work. His photos of buffalo hunting taken between 1880 - 83 are some of the few that exist and are among the most historically significant images he produced.

Huffman died in 1931 at the age of 77. He took many of his most important photos in the early 1880's. He did so with relatively crude equipment and technology, yet produced images of a quality that could not be bettered today. Huffman left an unmatched visual record of early Montana. The importance and appreciation of his artistic legacy will increase with each passing generation.

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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 29 January, 2019.

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