The Brady Stewart Collection of 20th Century Photographs – Portfolios 1912-1919


Waiting for the phone to ring at B.W. Stewart Studio



B.W. Stewart Studio

Upon his return from Idaho, Brady Stewart made a decision to start his own Portrait Photography business.  He continued to work part-time for local newspaper along with the City of Pittsburgh.  The first studio was located in McKeesport Pennsylvania.

Honeymoon in Washington DC

Brady Stewart originally met Sarah Mathews in 1908 just before he left for homesteading in Idaho.  They kept in touch during the Idaho adventure and upon his return they dated and were married (1912).  In late 1912, Brady Stewart received a free lance assignment in Washington DC from one of Pittsburgh’s daily newspapers, the Pittsburgh Dispatch.  Since the timing corresponded with their wedding, Sarah and Brady decided to take the assignment and combine it with their honeymoon.

The 100th Anniversary Parade celebrating the Battle of Lundy’s Lane

In July 1914, Brady and Sarah Stewart traveled by train to Niagara Falls NY & Canada to sightsee and witness the 100th Anniversary parade of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane.  The Battle of Lundy’s Lane was a pivotal battle during the War of 1812.  The battle took place on 25 July 1814, in present-day Niagara Falls, Ontario. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, and one of the deadliest battles ever fought on Canadian soil.  Brady Stewart’s interest in the battle was due to his Great Uncle’s participation in the battle, Colonel Hugh Brady.  In 1812 Hugh Brady received a commission from President Thomas Jefferson and once again rejoined the ranks of U.S. military officers. He was given command of the 22nd Infantry Regiment and saw action at the Battle of Chippewa and the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, where he was severely wounded. The wounds ended his service during the War of 1812.  Brady would remain in the military after the war, until his death in 1851.

Hand-colored Lantern Slides

Brady W Stewart was a member of the Photographic Section of Academy of Science and Arts of Pittsburgh since the early 1900s.  He was elected to the position of Lantern Slide Director due to his expertise in creating and coloring the 3″x4″ slides.  The Collection includes over 150 lantern slides created for the group’s meetings.

The most unique group of Lantern Slides were created from Brady Stewart’s homesteading adventure in Idaho.  The images can be viewed at – Gallery “Brady Stewart Homesteading in Idaho 1909-1912”.

Lantern Slides were the first projectable photographic images.  Brady Stewart contacted and exposed an existing photographic negative with another negative to create a positive image/negative.  Once completed, he used a magnifying glass and photographic inks to turn the black and white positive image into a full-color representation.  A Lantern Slide Projector was used show the slides, very similar to the way 35mm. slides are presented today.

Lake Erie Vacations

The Stewart family continued vacationing on Lake Erie for most of decade.   Brady and Sarah continued to travel throughout the tri-state (Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia) area on weekend trips and summer vacations. Brady photographed trips to the Mathews farm in Southeastern Ohio, Bear Run Creek in Fayette County Pennsylvania, Lake Erie Pennsylvania and also to visit Sarah’s sister on the shores of Lake Erie near Cleveland Ohio.

Starting a Family

Prior to starting a family, Brady and Sarah moved to Wilkinsburg Pennsylvania. Wilkinsburg was one of Pittsburgh’s most outstanding suburbs. Residents were upwardly mobile, and the schools were very good. During this time, bars were not allowed in Wilkinsburg and it had one of the largest concentration of churches in the Pittsburgh area.

Brady and Sarah had their first child (Helen) in late 1916.  Given his passion for family and photography, Brady took every opportunity to photograph his daughter.   Over the succeeding years, Helen became very comfortable in front of the camera.  During this time, it was very difficult to photograph children due to the length of camera exposure.

World War I

A lifelong Republican, Brady Stewart was strongly influenced by Teddy Roosevelt.  The family has long believed that Brady Stewart’s pursuit of travel and adventure was a byproduct of reading about Teddy Roosevelt’s adventures.

During a Teddy Roosevelt speech in Pittsburgh (1917), Brady photographed the event for the newspaper and was moved to action by its content.  Teddy Roosevelt was in Pittsburgh to garner support for the United States to enter the World War I.  Given Brady’s age (36), he was not able to enlist until President Woodrow Wilson raised the age limit for service in the armed forces to 40 years old.  Brady enlisted in 1918 and served with the 80th Division was first organized August 5, 1917 in the National Army and headquartered at Camp Lee, Petersburg Virginia. The Division originally consisted of men mostly from Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia and was nicknamed the “Blue Ridge Division.

Photos can be viewed at


About bradystewartcollection
The Brady Stewart Collection of photographs, made by Brady Stewart, Brady Stewart Jr. and associates of Brady Stewart Studio Inc., consists of photographs taken in and around Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Lake Erie, Lake Chautauqua, New York, Southwestern Ohio, Washington DC, Niagara Falls and Idaho. The historically significant collection spans most of the 20th century (1900-1990) and includes a wide array of Black &White, Sepia and Color photographs on Advertising & Products, Buildings and Churches, Children, Homesteading in Idaho, Manufacturing & Equipment, People & Lifestyle, Pittsburgh City Scenes, Sports and Transportation. The Brady Stewart Collection encompasses over 20,000 glass plates, prints and film negatives of all shapes and sizes. Today, Brady Stewart Studio is a fourth generation photography business. We are one of the longest operating family-owned commercial photography studios in the United States (1912-1991, 2008-). The Collection Images can be viewed at our hosted web site,

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