H. H. Bennett, Photographer; His American Landscape

A new biography of Wisconsin photographer, Henry Hamilton Bennett (1843-1908) whose images captured both rugged landscapes and manufactured cityscapes with an artistic eye. Wes Cowan of Cowan’s Auctions, Inc., History Detectives, and featured appraiser on PBS's "Antiques Roadshow,", says "H. H. Bennett, Photographer, portrays Bennett as a husband, father, entrepreneur, booster, and preservationist and ranks among the best of a mere handful of biographical accounts of a nineteenth-century photographer’s life.”

Henry Hamilton Bennett shortly after being discharged from the Union Army.

Henry Hamilton Bennett came to Wisconsin from Brattleboro, Vermont, in 1857, at the age of 14. He fought in the Civil War, was wounded, and returned to Kilbourn City (now Wisconsin Dells) to pursue a new career in photography. The story of his life is one of peril, romance, failure, success and sorrow. This volume will contain a large variety of Bennett's photos -- of cityscapes, Wisconsin countryside (including the Apostle Islands, Waupaca's Chain o'Lakes, Milwaukee, Oconomowoc, Chicago) as well as the Minnehaha Falls and the St. Paul's Ice Carnival in Minnesota and his iconic images of the Dells.


Ashley Bennett leaping the chasm at Stand Rock. Photo taken by H. H. Bennett with his new "instantaneous shutter" in 1886.