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Photography

Vintage Postcards of Yellowstone by Frank J Haynes

As Yellowstone's official park photographer from 1884-1921, Mr. Haynes' photographs were widely published in articles, books and made into souvenir postcards


Frank Jay Haynes, Official Yellowstone Photographer
Frank Jay Haynes, Official Yellowstone Photographer

Frank Jay Haynes, known as F. Jay or the Professor, was Yellowstone’s official park photographer from 1884-1921. His photographs were widely published in articles, books and made into souvenir postcards in the late 19th and early 20th century.

F. Jay got started in photography in Minnesota where he opened his own photography studio. In 1885 he took his photography on the road Рor more appropriately coined Рon the tracks. He bought a train car from the Northern Pacific Railroad and turned it into a photo studio. The railroad pulled his car for a small fee and the agreement that F. Jay would take publicity photos of the train. This turned into a job as the official photographer for the Northern Pacific Railway.

1887 Winter Tour of Yellowstone

Castle Geyser in the winter of 1887 by Frank J Haynes
Castle Geyser in the winter of 1887 by Frank J Haynes

In 1877, F. Jay met Yellowstone superintendent Philetus Norris who urged him to take photos of Yellowstone’s wonders. It was another four years before F. Jay made it to Yellowstone, but he quickly made his mark. His 42 photos taken during the winter of 1887 were the first to ever be taken during this time of year and are some of his most famous.

After Mr. Haynes’ death, a peak in the Madison Canyon area of the park was named after him, Mount Haynes.

Postcards Made from Haynes’ Photographs

Below are a few of the vintage postcards made from Haynes photography. (Images courtesy of NPS)

Old Faithful by Frank J Haynes
View of Front of Old Faithful Inn; Frank J Haynes; 1923;
Grand Canyon and the Lower Falls from Artist Point. Photo by Frank J Haynes
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and the Lower Falls as seen from Artist Point;Frank J Haynes;No date;
Wylie Tent by Frank J Haynes
A Wylie Two-Compartment Tent Interior;Wylie postcard series #3; Frank J Haynes; No date;
Stagecoach in Yellowstone by Frank J Haynes
Stagecoach near the Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River; Frank J Haynes; No date;
Oblong Geyser by Frank J Haynes
Oblong Geyser; Frank J Haynes; No date;
Grotto Geyser by Frank J Haynes
Grotto Geyser; Frank J Haynes; Around 1913;
Kepler Cascade on the Fire Hole River by Frank J Haynes
Kepler Cascade on the Fire Hole River; Frank J Haynes; No date;