What comprised a Commercial Photography Studio during the 1950’s and 1960’s?


This question has come up occasionally at speaking engagements, from friends or from some of my children’s friends.  What was a commercial photography studio?  Simply put, a commercial photography studio provided professional photographic services to businesses, organizations and individuals. Most commercial studios included a professional photographer or two taking studio and on-location photographs and a lab technician developing and making prints. Brady Stewart Studio was quite different, they offered an extensive line of services geared to advertising agencies, art studios and major corporations.

Brady Stewart Studio display at Ketchum McLeod and Grove offices in the Chamber of Commerce Building

Brady Stewart Studio display at Ketchum McLeod and Grove offices in the Chamber of Commerce Building

The services included; on-location photography, in-studio photography, film processing (negatives and transparencies), black and white & color prints, reproduction of an original print or transparency (copy negative), color, B&W and/or kodalith 35mm, 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 super, 3″x 4″ lantern slides and 8×10 vu-graphs submitted from art and type, print mounting, photostats for advertising layouts, passport and Public Relations photos.

Robert Pavuchak getting ready to trim prints while Brady Stewart Sr is preparing a print for mounting on cardboard.

Robert Pavuchak getting ready to trim prints while Brady Stewart Sr is preparing a print for mounting on cardboard.

An important dynamic that drove the success of the commercial photographers was that 35mm personal cameras did not gain popularity until the mid 1960’s and there were no 1-hour photo labs to process film and make prints. So if you wanted quality photographic services, you went to a professional photographer. During this time, Brady Stewart Studio was the largest commercial photography studio in western Pennsylvania. The studio contracted business from the largest corporations, advertising agencies, architects, art studios, non-profit organization and small businesses throughout the region. A short list of clients included; Ketchum McLeod and Grove Advertising, Lando Advertising, Walker Advertising, W Craig Chambers Advertising, Wasey Ruthranff & Ryan Advertising, Fuller Smith and Ross Advertising, Town Studios, Peter Muller & Munk, the Pennsylvania Railroad, Railway Express (forerunner of the Port Authority), Alcoa, Westinghouse, US Steel Corporation, Calgon, Pittsburgh Coke and Chemical, Swindell Dresser, H.K. Porter, Reed Smith, Shaw and McClay Attorneys, Richardson Gordon Architects, Ingram Boyd and Pratt Architects, Israel Bonds, Pittsburgh Regional Planning Association, Eiben and Irr department store, Andy Gamble Interior Design, Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army and many more.

Brady Stewart Jr. working with an art director to create an acceptable product shot. - 1950

Brady Stewart Jr. working with an art director to create an acceptable product shot. – 1950

Up through the 1960’s, Brady Stewart Studio and other professional photographers primarily used large format cameras for assignments; 2 1/4 x 2 1/4, 4×5 and or 8/10. Based on the assignment and budget, the proper equipment and personnel were chosen to complete the assignment within the required time frame. The studio was designed and staffed to make sure all assignments were completed on time, within budget and with the highest quality,  They earned the reputation as the “go to” studio for complex photographic assignments.  And it helped that Brady Stewart Sr had over 50 years of photography experience in the darkroom and on-location; Brady Stewart Jr over 20 years and the rest of the staff a combined 20+ years of experience.  It was a creative environment where the staff’s input was solicited and valued.

Brady Stewart Jr and Ross Catanza on location at the Library with the 8x10 Deardorff camera - 1957

Brady Stewart Jr and Ross Catanza on location at the Library with the 8×10 Deardorff camera – 1957

I will try to give you a feel for what it was like at Brady Stewart Studio on any given day.  You never knew what was going to come through the door or where the staff photographers would be needed that day. Office hours were 9:00 to 5:00 but staff was always there early and late nearly everyday; mainly due to trying to avoid rush hour traffic.  One needs to remember that there were a lot more people commuting in and out of Pittsburgh during this time. The city population peaked in 1950 (677,000) and the region grew dramatically from 1950 (1.53M) to 1970 (1.85M). Lots of traffic and lots of road improvements during this time.

Sally Stewart answering the phones at Brady Stewart Studio - 1954

Sally Stewart answering the phones at Brady Stewart Studio – 1954

The phone would start ringing at 9:00 with pick ups all over town.  The last person hired would be the messenger boy while learning how to be a photographer’s assistant. Or if you were part of the family and needed money during the summer…  Cathleen Brady Stewart, Brady Stewart III and Michael Stewart were all “messenger boys” during the 1960’s.  Brady Stewart Sr loved to walk around town so he would break in the new messengers, he knew every inch of the city along with where every client was located.

The daily work was laid out for each photographer when they arrived at the office.  Most of the assignment were routine for regular clients but some would require a meeting to discuss the equipment and personnel needed for the job.  There was always a lot of lab work to be done; film processing, contact sheets, copy negatives, black and white prints, head and shoulder shots for PR, and photostats for advertising layouts.  The more professional work was done by Brady Stewart Jr Ross Catanza and Dave VanDeVeer which included; on-location assignments, studio set ups, 35mm slides and display transparencies. Complex location photography at manufacturing plants or at client headquarters was usually set up well in advance through an advertising agency, PR firm or art studio.

Ross Catanza filling out paperwork on his last assignment - 1956

Ross Catanza filling out paperwork on his last assignment – 1956

Then you got the in-day rushes from the advertising agencies and art studios that “had to be done” immediately so they could meet client deadlines.  These happened everyday and would always lead to someone having to work overtime to get them finished.  I must say, it was usually my father that got stuck with most of the overtime and weekend work.  For as long as I can remember, he was rarely home for dinner and always worked weekends… the downside of owning your own business. And having run the business after his death from 1980 to 1991, I usually made dinner, but routinely went back to finish up the work for the next morning.

Brady Stewart Jr finishing up a studio set-up assignment -1959

Brady Stewart Jr finishing up a studio set-up assignment -1959

For the most part, our clients were great to work with and made the long hours bearable.  One of our favorites was renown Pitt professor of Radiology, Dr. Lewis Etter.  He used to come in with human skulls and skeletons to photograph for his landmark books about the skull.  More about Dr. Etter in the next post.  On another day, Dr Stuart from the University of Pittsburgh dental school called in a said she needed a “fresh sample” photographed immediately and she would be at the office in 20 minutes.  Given that she was from the school of dentistry, they thought it would be teeth but were shocked when she arrived with the stomach lining of a cow!

Dr. Lewis Etter's artwork for his book on the Human Skull - 1

Dr. Lewis Etter’s artwork for his book on the Human Skull – 1954

We were contract staff photographers for the Pennsylvania Railroad and Railway Express during the 1950’s and early 1960’s. They each had staff photographers but due to the sheer volume of work, they often needed us to photograph an accident scene or show up for an employee award ceremony.  Both were large employers in Pittsburgh during this time.and gave us a lot of work.

Assignment for Railway Express a truck and trolley accident - 1954

Assignment for Railway Express a truck and trolley accident – 1954

The 1950’s and 1960′ have been called by some the golden age of Pittsburgh Advertising.  There were a large number of quality advertising agencies and art studios throughout the city. After all Pittsburgh was headquarters to a large number of Fortune 500 companies that all needed quality Advertising and Public Relations services.  Depending on the project, the studio either worked directly for the corporation or through their advertising agency  or art studio.

Major Henry Dries at Brady Stewart Studio for PR shot while product photography for American Standard in the background - 1955

Major Henry Dries at Brady Stewart Studio for PR shot while product photography for American Standard in the background – 1955

Every since the start of the business in 1912, Brady Stewart was interested in creating slides for presentations to family, friends and peers.  From 1907 to 1912 he was director of Lantern Slides for the Photographic Section, the Academy of Science and Art of Pittsburgh (today the Pittsburgh Photo Club). He created beautiful hand-colored slides of his travels to Idaho and other favorite scenes from his early life. He carried that passion forward to Brady Stewart Studio where from 1950 to 1991, the studio was best known for creating any kind of slide in any format (35mm-8×10 vu-graphs) and any film type (ektachrome, kodalith, B&W, diazochrome) for any presentation environment.

Brady Stewart and friends camping near Twin Falls Idaho - 1910

Brady Stewart and friends camping near Twin Falls Idaho – 1910

With the advent of television, advertising agencies needed slides formatted to project well on a television screen. The studio created grids to fit inside 35mm. cameras and also added a grid inside a light source to project on the table so the type and graphic fit perfectly within the TV area.  And with the introduction of 35mm Ektachrome film in 1955, the studio’s most consistent work was creating 35mm. color slides of advertising and artwork for client approvals and business presentations.

Duquesne Brewery Company Beer Advertisement - 1967

Duquesne Brewery Company Beer Advertisement – 1967

Brady Stewart Studio offices were located at 725 Liberty Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh from 1952 to 1966.  It was a centralized location to get to most of their larger accounts and easy access in and out-of-town.  My favorite lunch spot around the office were The Brass Rail, Palmer’s Restaurant, and the Atlantic Grill… and we can’t forget DImling’s Candies next door!  There were also good lunch counters at Sun Drugs and G.C. Murphy’s.  The street car (trolley) stopped right out front at Max Azen’s Furs so it was easy for us to get in and out-of-town traveling to the South Hills.  And we got all of our sporting goods right across the street at Eiben and Irr Department Store.  It was a great place to visit and look around at all the new stuff.

Pittsburgh PA:  New Wilson Golf clubs and RCA Color Televisions for sale at Eiben and Irr Department Store - 1958.  Eiben and Irr Jewelry and Department Store operated in downtown Pittsburgh at the corner of Wood Street and Liberty Avenue from 1953-1979.

Pittsburgh PA: New Wilson Golf clubs and RCA Color Televisions for sale at Eiben and Irr Department Store – 1958.

After Brady Stewart passed away in 1965, the studio moved to the Empire Building next to the Jenkins Arcade.  It was a practical move since Ketchum McLeod and Grove had  moved to Gateway Center 4 a few years earlier; they were the studio’s largest account.  The business started to change in the mid-1960’s and a number of the professional photographic services were no longer exclusive to the commercial photographic studio.  There were a lot of new photographers that only shot location photography and used photographic laboratories to process and make prints.  The Kodak Photographic labs took off during the 1960’s due to the dramatic increase in the use of 35mm cameras.  Advertising agencies and art studios purchased their own photostat equipment so a lot of the “steady” work was gone.

Westinghouse Showcase of Televisions - 1968

Westinghouse Showcase of Televisions – 1968

The studio changed with the times and downsized to match the daily workflow.  Ross Catanza joined the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and had a long award-winning career.  Robert Pavuchak joined the Pittsburgh Press and also had a long and award-winning career.  Dave VanDeVeer left in 1968 to open his own successful commercial photography business.  And finally James Garvey left for a new calling, he joined the Catholic Church as a priest.

The Photographers of Brady Stewart Studio; Dave VanDeVeer, James Garvey, Bobby Pavuchak, Ross Catanza

The Photographers of Brady Stewart Studio; Dave VanDeVeer, James Garvey, Bobby Pavuchak, Ross Catanza

For the next 25 years, the focus was on studio photographic services that included; presentation slides and vu-graphs, studio set-up photography, darkroom film services and prints, with some location photography mixed in.  You can view more of the photography work from 1950 to 1970 on the web site; http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/ (Living in Western Pennsylvania 1950 to 1960 and 1960 to 1970).  We will be digitizing more of the advertising work in the upcoming months.

The New Schlitz Aluminum Softop Beer Can - 1962.

The New Schlitz Aluminum Softop Beer Can – 1962.

A reminder that new images were added to the web site and they can be found at  http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list.  Gallery: Living In Western Pennsylvania 1950 – 1960 AND 1960-1970.  We also created a new Gallery “April 2015 New Images”. And all the images online are for sale and the proceeds are used to digitize and identify more prints and negatives from the archives.

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Brady Stewart Studio’s commitment to local charitable organizations


The Pittsburgh Masonic Community

From the early 1900’s, Brady Stewart was involved in local charitable organizations.  Learning from the example set by his parents, Homer Clark and Alice Brady Stewart, Homer Stewart was Cashier for the First National Bank of McKeesport and very prominent in the fraternal circles in Pittsburgh. He was a charter member of the Fort Pitt Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons.

Homer Stewart in his Masonic uniform

Homer Clark Stewart

The masons were very active in the community raising money to help their own members who fell on hard times along with supporting local churches and soup kitchens.  One of the biggest fundraising activities was marching in parades around Pittsburgh.

Masonic Parade mustering on First Avenue in Pittsburgh

Masons assembling on First Avenue for St Patrick’s Day Parade

Brady became involved in local charitable organizations in 1901 (age 19).  He became an officer in the local Methodist Boy’s Brigade of McKeesport; a group that helped young male orphans and troubled youth gain structure and discipline through a military-like organization.  The Boys Brigade was one of the organizations that the Boys Scouts was modeled after.

McKeesport Boys Brigade

McKeesport Boys Brigade

Pittsburgh City Photographer

Brady Stewart began a career as a Pittsburgh City photographer in 1912.  Given the nature of the work, photographing before, during and after photos of public works projects, he did not work everyday.  In order to stay busy and make extra money, he started B.W. Stewart Studio in 1912.  Originally a portrait studio, the business evolved into a commercial photography studio in 1916.

Brady Stewart on location

Brady Stewart on location

During the many years of taking photographs around the city, he saw first hand how poor the living conditions were for many of the residents.  You can view a large portion of his City Photographer’s work on the University of Pittsburgh’s web site “City Photographers Collection”.  http://digital.library.pitt.edu/images/pittsburgh/cityphotographer.html.  During the early part of the Great Depression, he used the camera lens to capture one of his most famous photographs of Shantytown in the strip district.  It was also known as one of the nations’ “Hoovertowns”. named after President Hoover who many blamed for the depression.  The collection of photographs were published in the newspaper and created quite a stir and eventual action to help Father Cox and the residents of Shantytown.

Shantytown in Pittsburgh 1931

Shantytown in Pittsburgh 1931

Brady Stewart Studio Inc.

After World War II, Brady Stewart and Brady Stewart Jr focused on growing the studio into the best in the city.  They hired and trained a young group of photographers who made significant contributions to the business. The group included;  Ross Catanza, Dave VanDeveer, Robert Pavuchak, James Garvey and Carmen Sabatasso.  Ross Catanza later joined the photography staff at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and was an award-winning photographer,  Dave VanDeveer opened and ran his own successful photography studio, Robert Pavuchak became an award-winning photographer at the Pittsburgh Press, Jim Garvey changed his vocation and became a priest and finally Carmen Sabatasso remain at Brady Stewart Studio until 1991.

The Photographers of Brady Stewart Studio; Dave VanDeVeer, James Garvey, Bobby Pavuchak, Ross Catanza

The Photographers of Brady Stewart Studio; Dave VanDeVeer, James Garvey, Bobby Pavuchak, Ross Catanza

Pittsburgh’s Charitable Organizations

During this time, many local Corporations became actively involved in charitable causes.  The middle class wages were growing and Pittsburgh’s corporations were growing at a tremendous rate. Corporations would routinely assign personnel to help the charities become better organized and more efficient.  Executives would join the boards of local charities to help guide the fundraising and direction of the charity.  And the service sector; Lawyers, Advertising Agencies and Architects were also very involved in helping the organizations raise money and create more awareness.  We helped Attorney C.K. Robinson create a brochure to raise money for the Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind.  Ketchum Advertising was always working on some kind of charitable brochure or mailing.

Western PA School for Blind

Western PA School for Blind

Brady Stewart Sr. and Brigadier Dries of the Salvation Army were long time friends, The Brigadier was a frequent visitor to the studio in his role directing Public Relations and disaster services for the Salvation Army from 1952 to 1968.  The studio provided professional services at no charge to most of the groups and I remember a “special” price list for churches and community organizations.

Brigadier Dries (center) of the Salvation Army and Brady Stewart photographer's, Dave VanDeVeer (left), Ross Catanza (right)

Brigadier Dries (center) of the Salvation Army and Brady Stewart photographer’s, Dave VanDeVeer (left), Ross Catanza (right)

Another significant group that helped support area churches, community organizations and civic projects were the first families of Pittsburgh.  The Mellon, Hillman, Frick, and Heinz families created foundations that provided monies yearly to support a wide range of charitable activities.  The one that was closest to our family was Allegheny Valley School for Exceptional Children.  In 1960, Patricia Hillman Miller and Bob Prince co-founded the school in the Crafton-Ingram section of Pittsburgh.  The School was established to help children with severe disabilities after a local state-run facility closed.  Both Bob Prince and later Myron Cope donated their time and created awareness for the school in many ways.  Bob Prince created the “Green Weenie” as a good luck charm for the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 1966 season.  Prince donated all the profits from the Green Weenie and speaking engagement to the school.  Less than 10 years later, Myron Cope, legendary announcer for the Pittsburgh Steelers, launched the Terrible Towel during the 1975 playoffs.  Myron’s son, who had severe autism, lived at Allegheny Valley School and like Prince donated all profits from the Terrible Towel to the school.  Upon Myron Cope’s death, he turned over the rights to the towel to the school.  Myron Cope also started the annual Vintage Grand Prix; an event in Pittsburgh that continues to benefit the school today.  The school estimates that Bob Prince was directly and indirectly responsible for at least $3M in donations and Myron Cope $4M.

Allegheny Valley School first location in Crafton-Ingram

Allegheny Valley School first location in Crafton-Ingram

Our uncle, Edward J. Zapp started working at the Crafton-Ingram school in 1965, after working 20 years for the State Department in foreign service.  He was ready to settle into a more stable profession.  He loved the work, the children and the overall mission of the school.  Brady Stewart Jr. was also very interested in the school and helped when he could with photographic services.  The concept for the new school in Coraopolis (1972) was to create job centers on the campus to help the young adults learn a trade.  The objective was to help them get a job in the community and to become more self-sufficient. Brady Stewart Jr. built a photographic studio on the campus so students could learn how to take photographs and process and print them.  It was a big success.  Other trade classes included; barber and beauty, sewing, and wood working.

Photographic Darkroom at Allegheny Valley School

Photographic Darkroom at Allegheny Valley School

During the 1970’s, Edward J Zapp was instrumental in establishing and proving the concept of group homes.  The group home was a way to enable young adults with disabilities to live and work in communities versus an institution.  Based on his work, the group home concept has been an overwhelming success.  After our uncle past away, Allegheny Valley School named a facility after him; The Edward J. Zapp Program Center in Coraopolis PA.

Bob Prince and the Pittsburgh Pirates

We added new images to the web site that relate to Bob Prince’s work with charities.  The Pittsburgh Pirates held an annual game with a team from the American League called the HYPO Game (first inter-league games).  The event included an old-timers game along with the baseball game

Roberto Clemente at the 1965 HYPO Game

Roberto Clemente at the 1965 HYPO Game

And we just added a number of images on Goodwill Industries (1966) when Bob Prince, Willie Stargell and other Pittsburgh Pirate players visited the facility.  The visit was in support of creating more awareness and to highlight the benefit of donating goods to Goodwill Industries.

Bob Prince and Willie Stargell at Goodwill Industries

Bob Prince and Willie Stargell at Goodwill Industries

Pittsburgh has a long tradition of giving to the less fortunate.  We remain one of the largest contributors per capita to the United Way Agencies along with many other church-based charity campaigns.  Yes we are biased, there are good people here and the city remains a great place to live and raise a family!

A reminder that new images were added to the web site and they can be found at  http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list.  Gallery: Living In Western Pennsylvania 1960-1970.  And that the images online are for sale and all proceeds are used to digitize and identify more prints and negatives from the archives.

Pittsburgh’s Great Renaissance 1950 to 1970


Over the last month, we added 100 new images to the http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list.  Galleries: Living In Western Pennsylvania 1950 to 1960 and 1960 to 1970.

We continue to digitize images for the Living in Western Pennsylvania 1950 – 1960 and 1960 – 1970 galleries.  These images document the biggest changes in the Pittsburgh skyline, a building boom throughout the Pittsburgh area, continued growth in the suburbs and the increase in churches and community organizations to support the growing population.  The following image includes one of Brady Stewart’s favorite clients and good friend, Brigadier Henry Dries of Pittsburgh’s Salvation Army.

Brigadier Dries (center) of the Salvation Army and Brady Stewart photographer's, Dave VanDeVeer (left), Ross Catanza (right)

Brigadier Dries (center) of the Salvation Army and Brady Stewart photographer’s, Dave VanDeVeer (left), Ross Catanza (right)

Brady Stewart Studio, Inc. 1950 – 1970

In 1950, Brady Stewart Studio was the largest commercial photography studio in Pittsburgh.  Brady Stewart, Brady Stewart Jr,. and the photographers below, photographed many parts of Pittsburgh’s Renaissance 1.  The studio worked with major corporations, advertising agencies, art studios, architects, printers, and all types of local businesses  to capture arguable the greatest 20 years of Pittsburgh’s growth in population and infrastructure.  The major construction projects included; the Greater Pittsburgh Airport, Squirrel Hill and Fort Pitt Tunnels, Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne bridges, Gateway 1,2,3,4, Gateway Towers, Hilton Hotel, Pittsburgh Press building, Civic Arena, crosstown parkway, Westinghouse Building, US Steel Building and connecting the parkway East and West through Pittsburgh.

The Studio employed between 10-15 people during this time with four on-call location photographers; Brady Stewart Jr., Ross Catanza, Dave VanDeVeer and Robert (Bobby) Pavuchak.  Brady Stewart Studio was located in downtown Pittsburgh from 1935 to 1991. First downtown location was at 812 Market Street, during the 1940’s and early 1950’s; 817 Liberty Avenue, during the mid 1950’s and 1960’s; 725 Liberty Avenue, late 1960’s through early 1980’s; 211 Empire Building and after the Empire Building and Jenkins Arcade were demolished for 5th Avenue Place, the studio moved to 227 Fort Pitt Boulevard until 1991.

Ross worked for the studio for over 15 years and went on to a successful and award-winning photographer with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Brady Stewart Photographer Ross Catanza

Brady Stewart Photographer Ross Catanza

Dave VanDeVeer  worked for the studio for over 15 years and went on to establish his own successful Commercial Photography studio in Pittsburgh.

Brady Stewart Photographer Dave VanDeVeer

Brady Stewart Photographer Dave VanDeVeer

Bobby Pavuchak worked for the studio for over 10 years and went on to a successful and award-winning career with the Pittsburgh Press.

Brady Stewart photographer Robert (Bobby) Pavuchak.

Brady Stewart photographer Robert (Bobby) Pavuchak.

The client base of Brady Stewart Studio ranged from the largest corporations and advertising agencies to the smallest mom and pop stores throughout the Pittsburgh area.  The next post will include an in-depth look at Brady Stewart Studio, products offered and clients served.

Pittsburgh’s Gateway Center Construction 1950 – 1953

The cornerstone of Pittsburgh’s Renaissance 1 was the demolition of nearly all the buildings south of Stanwix Street to make room for Gateway Center.  The Gateway Center project started in 1949 and phase I was completed with the opening of Gateway I, II & III in 1953.

Pittsburgh's Gateway Center construction 1951

Pittsburgh’s Gateway Center construction 1952

Brady Stewart started photographing the ever-changing Pittsburgh skyline  in 1904.  Ross Catanza continued the tradition photographing each new addition to the skyline from 1950 to 1965.  Other notable events were the Pittsburgh floods of 1956 and 1959

View of the New One Gateway Center - 1953

We added images of the opening of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels (1953), Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne Bridges (bridge to nowhere), Greater Pittsburgh Airport, and Mellon Square to http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list.  Galleries: Living In Western Pennsylvania 1950 to 1960 and 1960 to 1970.

Opening of the new Mellon Square in downtown Pittsburgh - 1953

Opening of the new Mellon Square in downtown Pittsburgh – 1953

The Building Boom in the Oakland Section of Pittsburgh 1950 – 1960

Brady Stewart Studio’s relationship with Ingham & Boyd began in the 1931 with Buhl Foundation’s Chatham Village project.  Ingham, Boyd and Pratt became one of the city’s leading architects focusing on local secondary schools, universities and hospitals.  We digitized a number of architectural drawings and renderings of the various PCW proposed buildings.

Ingham, Boyd and Pratt's model of the new Pennsylvania College for Women new campus

Ingham, Boyd and Pratt’s model of the new Pennsylvania College for Women campus

Ingham, Boyd and Pratt was very busy during the 1950’s and 1960’s with a complete redesign of the Pennsylvania College for Women (Chatham University today), new buildings at the University of Pittsburgh, new hospitals in Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties along with new schools in Mt Lebanon.

University of Pittsburgh new Memorial Field House - 1958

University of Pittsburgh new Memorial Field House – 1958

Pittsburgh Community Organizations during the 1950’s and 1960’s

During this period, Pittsburgh small businesses and major corporations were very active in supporting community and faith-based organizations.  Brady Stewart and Brady Stewart Jr were both soft touches when asked to provide photographic services for a good cause.  The following image was used in a brochure to create awareness and raise money for the Western Pennsylvania School for the blind.  The assignment was for local attorney, Charles K. Robinson.

Mrs. Davis and children from the Western PA School for the Blind

Mrs. Davis and children from the Western PA School for the Blind

Charles K. Robinson was also very involved in the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association and the Caddie Scholarship fund.  The Committee under chairman Charles Robinson,created the Caddy scholarship fund in 1941 and awarded their first scholarships in 1951.  Worthy students/caddies at member golf courses were eligible for the annual award.  The program continues to be a successful part of the WPGA’s programs today.

Western Pennsylvania Golf Association's Caddy Scholarship Dinner at the Edgewood Country Club

Western Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Caddy Scholarship Dinner at the Edgewood Country Club

The studio provided photographic services for a number of community organizations including;  Salvation Army, Allegheny Valley School, United Way, Goodwill Industries, Bethel Park Athletic Association and many more.  We also provided services for area church groups including; Pittsburgh Council of Churches, the Pittsburgh Presbytery, the First English Evangelical Lutheran Church and a number of area Catholic churches.  The next group of digitized images will include images of the above mentions community organizations and churches.

A reminder that the 100 new images can be found at  http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list.  Gallery: Living In Western Pennsylvania 1950 – 1960 and 1960 – 1970.  And prints can be purchased from any of the images online. All proceeds are used to digitize and identify more prints and negatives for the collection.

 

Pittsburgh Highways during the 1900s


This week, we added 50 new images to the http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list.  Gallery: Living In Western Pennsylvania 1900-1910.

Pittsburgh to Greensburg Turnpike

The 15 images of Brady Stewart traveling in and around the Greensburg Turnpike are special in many ways.  Brady Stewart had just come through the worst year in his life due to the death of his best friend and younger brother Clark Stewart.  So in 1906, he purchased a new Buick Model F for around $1,300 and began to travel and take photographs all over western Pennsylvania and went to neighboring states to visit friends and relatives.  The specifications for the Buick Model F included; seats 4-5 passengers, 2 cylinder engine, 2-speed manual gearbox, rear wheel drive,  16 gallon fuel tank and roughly 20-25 miles per gallon.  The photo below in Oakland before starting off of one of his trips.

Brady Stewart's new Buick Model F

Brady Stewart’s new Buick Model F

Motoring Clothes for Automobiles

In 1906, there were approximately 79,000 automobiles on the roadways throughout the United States.  Clothing manufacturers saw an opportunity to take advantage of the new craze by developing lines of “Motoring” clothes for men and women.  As you can see from the images, the early cars did not offer much protection from the elements.  For men, there were coats, hats and gloves for driving and for changing a tire.  And let’s not forgot those great goggles that you have seen in the movies. For women, there were stylish motoring coats along with specially designed face veils that covered hats and protected them from the elements.  You can see examples in the photographs included in the blog and on the website  http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list.  Gallery: Living In Western Pennsylvania 1900-1910.

 

Going on a Picnic in the new Buick Model F

Going on a Picnic in the new Buick Model F

Owning and Driving an Automobile in 1906

We have all experienced challenges with our automobiles but I am not sure we can imagine what it was like in 1906.  To start with, there were no paved roads, highways, gas stations, and yes, no AAA outside the major cities.   AAA started in 1901 but did not become nationwide until the 1920’s.  Maps were first published by AAA in 1905 but they were very limited in size and scope.  They started paving roads around 1915, building highways in the 1920’s, and Gulf Oil opened the first “filling station” and sold maps in Pittsburgh in 1913.  In 1906, you purchased gas from a local general store, blacksmith or pharmacy.  Repairing your car could be an adventure depending on the problem;  frame damage needed a qualified blacksmith, engine issues required the dealership and minor issues such as flat tires… you.

Brady Stewart's Car stuck in the mud after a heavy rain

Didn’t listen to Joe Denardo, stuck in the mud

Automobile problems on the Greensburg Turnpike

Automobile problems on the Greensburg Turnpike

And when these problems occurred out in the country… good old horses saved the day!

AAA of Westmoreland County in 1906

AAA of Westmoreland County in 1906

Other Images Added to Living in Western Pennsylvania 1900-1910:

1.)  27 additional images to the 1904 family vacation to Lake Erie, near North East Pennsylvania

2.) 1 additional image to the Wabash Railroad progress photographs

3) 1 image of the 1904 Pittsburgh flood

4) 3 additional images of Highland Park during the winter of 1903

A reminder that the new images can be found at  http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list.  Gallery: Living In Western Pennsylvania 1900-1910.  And that the images online are for sale and all proceeds are used to digitize and identify more prints and negatives.

Historical Pittsburgh Images 1900-1910


Historic Pittsburgh Images of the Boys Brigade 1903

As discussed in the previous blog, we are digitizing the entire collection of Living in Western Pennsylvania by year; this group is online,  http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list.  Gallery: Living In Western Pennsylvania 1900-1910.

The following sets of images were taken in 1903 in McKeesport and Gettysburg Pennsylvania.  Brady Stewart was part of a youth church group called the Boy’s Brigade.  I have to admit that prior to digitizing the images, I had not heard of the Boy’s Brigade.  After some online research, I found out that they were, and still are, a large international faith-based organization focused on building character and values within young boys and girls.  The Boys and Girls Club along with the Boys and Girls Scouts were loosely modeled after the Boy’s Brigade;

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Historic image of the Methodist Boys Brigade

The Methodist Boy’s Brigade from McKeesport participated in the 40th year anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.  Each boy in the Boy’s Brigade belonged to a company and each company was attached to a church.  The company is under control of a Captain who has a staff of Lieutenants, Warrant Offices, Helpers and Instructors. Each company was split into a number of sections by age;

1)      Anchor Boys:  for ages 6-8

2)      Junior Boys:  for ages 8-11

3)      Company Section: for ages 11-15

4)      Seniors:  for ages 15-18

The Boy’s Brigade uniforms from the beginning had a military look since it reflected the military approach of the organization which stressed drill and discipline.

Pittsburgh’s Boys Brigade In Historic Gettysburg 1903

The new images include Brady Stewart and members of the McKeesport Boy’s Brigade, participating in the 40th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.  The images also include members of the Pennsylvania National Guard along with Troop F of the 15th US Cavalry Unit.

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There are a total of 13 new Boy’s Brigade / Gettysburg images online now and can be viewed at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list.  Gallery:  Living in Western Pennsylvania 1900-1910.  The next post will include new images of members of the Fort Pitt Masonic Lodge marching in the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade in Pittsburgh 1903.

Additional Historical Pittsburgh Images

We added two new images of Westmoreland County Coal Company and eight (8) Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania maps from 1750 to 1865.

And a reminder that all the images online are for sale and all proceeds are used to digitize and identify more prints and negatives.

The Strip District of Pittsburgh


We have been busy documenting another filing cabinet full of negatives and prints.  We will add many more images to the Collection over the next month.  We added 11 new images to the Brady Stewart Collection Archive web site and created a new Gallery – New Images added in November 2012.  We created an additional Gallery called “The Strip District in Pittsburgh” where we included many more views of the Strip from 1925 to 1965.  The new images can be viewed at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list. All images in the blog are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc.  If you are interested in downloading an image or to purchase a print, please contact Brady Stewart Studio by phone (724.554.9813) or email bstewartphoto@aol.com.

View from Smallman Street up 17th Street toward Penn and Liberty Avenues

The new images include location photography of the Thorofare Grocery Store offices in the Strip District. The assignment was contracted by Commonwealth Realty to show off the Thorofare property at 17th Street and Smallman Street.  Brady Stewart Jr. took this assignment and completed it on two different dates; early morning during the normal Saturday rush and Sunday when the traffic was at a minimum.

View Northeast up Smallman Street toward St. Stanislaus Kostka Church and Rectory

View of the Pennsylvania Railroad produce yards looking southwest toward the 16th   Street bridge and downtown Pittsburgh.

Looking down Smallman Street toward 16th Street Bridge and Pittsburgh

View of the Thorofare offices on 17th Street with 1953 Pontiac Bonneville in front of the door.

17th Street toward Smallman Street and Thorofare Offices

We added three images from a Railway Express file.  Railway Express was “the” door-to-door package delivery company in Pittsburgh for many years… similar to UPS today.  Railway Express was a very good client of Brady Stewart Studio, we were on call to photograph any accident site for insurance and legal purposes. The view below was an accident near the Railway Express yard in the Strip District.  The location of the accident was at Liberty Avenue and 22nd Street.

Liberty Avenue in the Strip District – 1951

We also created a new Gallery, The Strip District of Pittsburgh.  The view below was taken by my grandfather in 1925 right before the Pennsylvania Railroad built the produce yards to alleviate the traffic problems in the area.

Liberty Ave and 22nd Street in the Strip District – 1925

Historical Pittsburgh Photographs of the Point-Area Before Gateway Center


We added 40 new images to the Brady Stewart Collection Archive web site and created a new Gallery – New Images added March 13th 2012. The new images can be viewed at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list. All images in the blog are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc.  If you are interested in downloading an image or to purchase a print, please contact Brady Stewart Studio by phone (724.554.9813) or email bstewartphoto@aol.com.

Renaissance 1, the revitalization of Pittsburgh’s downtown, became a reality in 1946 after the election of David L. Lawrence.  Mayor Lawrence worked closely with Richard K. Mellon, Chairman of Mellon Bank, to develop a plan transform the “smokey city” into a more livable and metropolitan city.  Most are unaware that for over 30 years (1955-1985), Pittsburgh was home to the 2nd largest number of Fortune 500 companies… next to New York City.  The list included; US Steel, National Steel, Rockwell, Rubbermaid, Alcoa, Allegheny International, HJ Heinz, Koppers, Inc, PNC Bank, Mellon Bank, Ampco-Pittsburgh, Bayer Corporation, Fisher Scientific, Gulf Oil, Joy Manufacturing, L.B. Foster Company, LTV Steel, Jones and Laughlin Steel, Mobay, Pittsburgh Steel, PPG Industries, Swindell Dressler, Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel, & Consolidated Coal.  It is clear that many of the area companies along with others would not of made Pittsburgh corporate headquarters without Renaissance 1.  As you can see with images prior to 1950, the city was a typical manufacturing city in the rust belt; unattractive, dirty, older buildings and not very metropolitan. Since I travelled extensively for business from 1975-2008, I visited nearly all of the rust belt cities and Pittsburgh is the only one that transformed itself into a spectacular skyline.  Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Wheeling, Harrisburg, Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester are examples of rust belt cities.

Aerial View of Pittsburgh - 1947

Harry Truman’s Housing Act of 1949 was the key piece of legislation that enabled the city of Pittsburgh to clear the blighted areas near the point for Gateway Center.  The Act was of great importance in that it governed the way the financial resources of the federal government would shape the growth of American cities in the post-war era. The following photographs were taken by Brady Stewart Studio in support the architectural plans of Ludgate, Lear & Company.

Point-area Companies to be Displaced by Gateway Center Construction

Some of the more well-known companies displaced by Gateway Center construction are:  Commonwealth Heating & Lighting, Demmler-Schenck, Rosenbloom Finance, M.A. Baskind, Blaw-Knox Company, Home for Aged Women, Hotel Carr, Pittsburgh Case Sales, Heyl and Patterson, Pittsburgh and WV Railways, Follansbee Steel Company, Point Restaurant and Cafe, and Esser Costume Company.  The next image highlights “old Pittsburgh” before it was transformed by the implementation of Renaissance 1 & 2.

 

Pittsburgh's Point - 1928

The next image is a street level view of Liberty Avenue at Fancourt Street (left) and Fourth Avenue (right).   Company signs in the area include; Commonwealth Heating Company, Eppy’s Parking Lot, M.A. Baskind & Company, Demmler and Schenck Co., and the Albert Brahm and Company.

Liberty Avenue and Fancourt Street - 1950

The next image is a view of the point-area looking across the Boulevard of the Allies and Third Avenue towards Liberty Avenue.  Company signs in the area, Eppy’s Parking Lots, Follansbee Steel Corporation, Wonderlite Manufacturing Co.,  Dravo Corporation, Esser Costume Company,  Amoco Service Station, and a Victory Sausage billboard.

Point-Area before Gateway Center Construction - 1950

The last image is an aerial photograph of the Point-area prior to the Gateway Center Construction.  The view is looking from the Monongahela River up Ferry Street toward Liberty Avenue and over to the Allegheny River.  The Pittsburgh Press Building is in the foreground and the Bessemer and Fulton Buildings in the background.

Aerial View of the Point-Area before Gateway Center Construction - 1950

Additional images of the point-area can be found at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list… City of Pittsburgh Street Scenes.  All images in the blog are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc.  If you are interested in downloading an image or to purchase a print, please contact Brady Stewart Studio by phone (724.554.9813) or email bstewartphoto@aol.com.

Historical Photographs of the Pittsburgh Skyline – 1904


We added 40 new images to the Brady Stewart Collection Archive web site and created a new Gallery – New Images added March 13th 2012. The new images can be viewed at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list. All images in the blog are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc.  If you are interested in downloading an image or to purchase a print, please contact Brady Stewart Studio by phone (724.554.9813) or email bstewartphoto@aol.com.

Brady Stewart started his professional photography career shooting Wabash Railroad progress photos in 1903.  His next project was shooting a panorama of the city from the top of the Empire Building (1904).  He used his father’s contacts (Homer Stewart, Treasurer of First Guarantee Trust) to gain access to the rooftop of the Empire Building to take the panorama.  The Empire Building was located on Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street and was situated next to the Jenkins Arcade for over 70 years.  Both buildings were torn down to make room for the Fifth Avenue Place.  The Empire Building was also the home of Brady Stewart Studio for over 20 years.

Farmers Bank and Frick Buildings

Brady Stewart’s objective was to capture the dramatic changes to the Pittsburgh Skyline during the early 1900s.  This image included some of the new Pittsburgh Skyscrapers included;  the Frick, Farmers Bank, and Carnegie Buildings.  Some of the painted building signs included; Pittsburgh Coal Company, J.R. Weldin & Company, Germania Savings Bank, Solomon’s Outfitters, and Geo Reineman’s Restaurant.

Arrott and People Savings Bank Buildings

The next image is looking south toward the Arrott Building, Monongahela River and South Side.  The company signs painted on buildings included; J.R. Weldin & Company, Germania Savings Bank, Solomon’s Outfitters, Geo Reineman’s Restaurant, German Fire Insurance Company, and Pittsburgh Savings Bank.

Liberty Avenue Looking East

The next image is looking east up Liberty Avenue toward the Pennsylvania Railroad Station.  Notice the three sets of streetcar tracks going up Liberty Avenue.  Company signs painted on buildings included; C.A Verner Shoes, Pickering Furniture, Rosenbaum Company, Home Trust Company of Pittsburgh, Lyle Brothers Hardware, New York Dentist, John Wallace Produce, Monongahela National Bank, Renwick Brothers Millinery, and J.C. Lindsay Hardware Company.

Bessemer Building and Allegheny River

The next image is looking north toward the Bessemer Building, Allegheny River and the North Side.  The Bessemer Building was the sister building of the soon-to-be-built Fulton Building (1906).  The Bessemer Building was torn down for the Sixth Avenue Garage and the Fulton has been renamed the Bynum Theatre.

The new images can be viewed at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list. All images in the blog are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc.  If you are interested in downloading an image or to purchase a print, please contact Brady Stewart Studio by phone (724.554.9813) or email bstewartphoto@aol.com.

New Historical Pittsburgh Photographs of Oakland


We added 40 new images to the Brady Stewart Collection Archive web site and created a new Gallery – New Images added March 13th 2012. The new images can be viewed at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list. All images in the blog are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc.  If you are interested in downloading an image or to purchase a print, please contact Brady Stewart Studio by phone (724.554.9813) or email bstewartphoto@aol.com.

We discovered an excellent image of Schenley Park taken by my grandfather from the top of Flagstaff Hill (1907).  The image includes the statue of Edward Manning Bigelow, the Electric Fountain, the Bellefield Bridge, St Pierre Ravine, and the Carnegie Institute.

Schenley Park became a reality on October 30, 1889, when Mary Schenley gave 300 acres to the City for the creation of a proper city park.  Edward Bigelow, Director of Public Works, was instrumental in securing the land from the Schenley family to create Schenley Park.  The first image includes the Bellefield Bridge which was completed in 1897. It was a single-arch stone bridge across St. Pierre Ravine and served to link the outer end of Bigelow Boulevard (formerly Grant) to the spur of land extending southward from the rear elevation of Carnegie Institute.  The Bridge was buried at the time of the filling of the Ravine around 1911-1912.

View of the Carnegie Institute and Schenley Park from Flagstaff Hill

The next image is a closeup of the Carnegie Institute.  Dedicated by Andrew Carnegie and opened to the public on November 5, 1895, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and The Carnegie Institute was Andrew Carnegie’s largest philanthropic endeavor, up to that time.  The image contains billboards of the following companies and products; Cubanola sheet music, Hershey’s Cocoa, Keech’s Furniture, Pickerings Furniture, Red Raven Splits, and Tom Keene Cigars.  It is easy to forget that during the early part of the 20th century, there were no radio and television advertisements… newspapers, billboards, painted advertisements on buildings and direct mail were the only ways to advertise.

The Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh - 1907

The next image is a closeup of the Edward Bigelow statue and Electric Fountain.  In 1894, the electric fountain, a circular basin 120 feet in diameter, was constructed at the foot of Flag Staff Hill.  The elaborate arrangement of pipes permitted a variable display of jets of water while underwater lights with revolving, multicolored lenses created stunning nighttime performances.

Edward Bigelow statue and Electric Fountain - 1907

The new images can be viewed at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list. All images in the blog are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc.  If you are interested in downloading an image or to purchase a print, please contact Brady Stewart Studio by phone (724.554.9813) or email bstewartphoto@aol.com.

New Historical Photographs of Pittsburgh added to the Brady Stewart Collection Website – Vol. 11


We added 27 new images to the Brady Stewart Collection Archive web site and created a new Gallery – New Images added in February 2012. The new images can be viewed at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list. All images in the blog are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc.  If you are interested in downloading an image or to purchase a print, please contact Brady Stewart Studio by phone (724.554.9813) or email bstewartphoto@aol.com.

Buildings & Architecture:  We have digitized 14 Pittsburgh-area buildings for the collection.  Images include: Arlington & Coronado Apartment buildings in Shadyside – 1930s, Highland and East End Savings & Trust Buildings in East Liberty – 1920s,  Westinghouse Electric Supply Company (WESCO) building on the North Side – 1950s, Hardie Brothers and Pittsburgh Gage & Supply Company Buildings in the Strip District – 1940s, Gateway Center One in Pittsburgh – 1950s, Stephen Foster Memorial Chapel and the University of Pittsburgh Nurses Home in Oakland – 1950 & 60s, and the St John the Baptist Church in Lawrenceville – 1950s.

East End Savings and Trust Company and Highland Buildings in East Liberty - 1921

The Arlington Apartments on S Aiken Avenue and Centre Avenue in Shadyside - 1930s

Pittsburgh-Area Sports:  We added two images of the Pittsburgh Pirates at the 1964 charity baseball game against the Cleveland Indians (HYPO Game) and three images of the Cincinnati Reds arriving at the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport for a game against the Pirates during the 1960 season.  One of the Pirate images include “The Deacon” Vernon Law, and Bill Mazeroski posing for a photo before the annual HYPO Charity baseball game.  Additional background on the images; Forbes Field was a baseball park in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, from 1909 to 1971. It was the third home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the first home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the city’s National Football League franchise. The stadium also served as the home football field for the University of Pittsburgh Panthers from 1909 to 1924. The stadium was named after British general John Forbes who fought in the French and Indian War, and named the city in 1758.
My favorite image is of Bob Purkey Sr. of the Cincinnati Reds arriving at the airport for a game with the Pittsburgh Pirates – 1960.  The on location photographic assignment was for United Airlines. The 1960 Cincinnati Reds finished in sixth place in the National League standings, 28 games behind the National League and World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates!  The highlight for me in this set of images was of the one of Bob Purkey Sr.  I had the opportunity to know Bob Sr while playing high school baseball with his son, Bob Purkey Jr.  For many years, Bob Purkey Sr had a successful insurance business in Bethel Park Pa.

Pittsburgh Pirate Vernon Law and Bill Mazeroski talking with Big Jim Daniell - 1964

Pittsburgh Business Images:  We added 6 business-oriented images that include; two PR photographs of the owner of Samuel B Casey Company in Aspinwall Pennsylvania – 1962.  Tee Samuel B Casey Company was a contractor on large commercial projects throughout the region including sections of the parkway; an addition to the former Kaufmann’s Downtown store; a swimming pool at Kennywood Park; and plant expansions for U.S. Steel and National Steel.  The company purchased Swindell Dressler, another local engineering company, in 1959.   Two images of a Saleswoman buying a new car from Don Allen Chevrolet – 1958.  A Relax-A-Cizor salewoman sitting on a new Chevy from Don Allen.  Relax-A-Cizor was a medical device similar to the abacizor and many other countless exercise devices on the market that claim to let you exercise while relaxing without effort. This is one of the early versions from the 1950’s. It is much better and more versatile than the ones made now. These devices don’t work for exercise purposes and many are unsafe.  Two views of a secretary typing a letter – 1967.  Cathy Stewart working in the offices of the National Union Insurance Company.  Cathy left Pittsburgh for New York City in 1969.  Over the next twenty years, she established herself as one of the top advertising executives in New York City.  Working for American Home Products, a few advertising agencies before becoming the highest ranking woman at Shearson Lehman, American Express (VP of Marketing).

Cathleen Brady Stewart working at the National Union Insurance Company in Pittsburgh - 1967

The new images can be viewed at http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-list. All images in the blog are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc.  If you are interested in downloading an image or to purchase a print, please contact Brady Stewart Studio by phone (724.554.9813) or email bstewartphoto@aol.com.

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