Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Gutekunst Album Gift

In December, the Greer family gave the Library Company an oversized album of 19th century photos taken by Frederick Gutekunst. A native of Germantown, Gutekunst was a celebrated post-bellum photographer whose subjects included Walt Whitman, Thomas Eakins, and Woodrow Wilson.

The Greer album focuses on Gutekunst’s images of the Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1870s. These pictures magically capture the evolving Pennsylvania landscape during Reconstruction, especially the built environment of bridges, telephone poles, and train stations taking shape across the Quaker State. This gift extends our impressive Gutekunst holdings, which already include 142 stereographs of the Pennsylvania Railroad following the Civil War.

The photographs were in David Greer’s hands for more than two decades before he decided to donate them to Franklin’s library. “This is the right place for them,” he believes. “They will get the proper attention and use here.” The family was pleased with LCP’s plans to digitize the album and make its indelible images easily available online. This, Greer added, would offer a nice tribute to his father, David St. John Greer, a Navy Veteran and Drexel graduate who spent his entire working life on the Pennsylvania Railroad. 


  1. This is a wonderful and meaningful gift. I look forward to seeing it. Don Cresswell (shareholder)

  2. The clarity of this one photograph is incredible. Can't wait to see the other 79.

  3. Looking forward to view the images created through the eyes of Gutekunst. David A Lauver PA photographer


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