D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

R. Henry Scadin Web Exhibits
(1885 - 1923)



                              Waterfalls                                                          Portraits                                                           Architecture




Title R. Henry Scadin Web Exhibits (1885-1923)
Creator R. Henry Scadin
Alt. Creator Dewey Scadin, son of R. Henry Scadin  
Identifier http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/photo/scadin/scadin.html
Subject Keyword R. Henry Scadin ; Dewey Scadin ; Sapphire, NC ; Benzonia, MI ; Highlands, NC ; Hendersonville, NC ; Dana, NC ; waterfalls ; Ceasar's Head, NC 
Subject LCSH Photography, Artistic -- North Carolina
North Carolina -- Pictorial works
Landscape photography -- North Carolina
Henderson County (N.C.) -- Description and travel
Mitchell County (N.C.) -- Description and travel
Transylvania County (N.C.) -- Description and travel
Avery County (N.C.) -- Description and travel
Scadin, R. Henry, 1819-1921
Photographers -- Appalachian Region, Southern -- Biography
Photographers -- North Carolina -- Biography
Portrait photography -- Appalachian Region, Southern
Portrait photography -- North Carolina
Appalachian Region, Southern -- Pictorial works
Appalachian Mountains -- Pictorial works
Appalachian Mountains -- Social life and customs -- Pictorial works
Description This series of web exhibits bring the diaries of R. Henry Scadin together with  his photographs.  The "Waterfalls" series represents some of the most images found in Scadin's work. Those who have visited the many waterfalls located in western North Carolina  will appreciate this collection of images, as will those who are familiar with early photographic practices which required that the photographer carry cumbersome equipment, including large cameras, tripods, and glass plates up the slippery slopes of ridges, and across boulder-strewn streams.

R. Henry Scadin was a photographer and fruit grower who spent portions of his life in Sapphire, Highlands, Hendersonville, Tryon and Dana, N.C. His photographs and diaries also document his residence in Michigan and Vermont during other periods of time, and also include his travels to a summer home in Florida.

This Scadin collection contains approximately 1200 glass plates and 43 separate diaries kept by R.Henry Scadin, his wife Kate, and their son, Dewey. The diaries cover a period from approximately 1885 through 1920. The photographs begin c. 1888. Photocopies have been made of each of the original diaries and transcription of the diaries is complete, and available on the web. Glass plates are stored in the photographs area of Special Collections and in boxes labeled with the runs of glass plate numbers assigned by staff. The diaries are housed in the manuscript collections area (M80.1).

Publisher D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804
Contributor Dr. Bruce Greenawalt, Southern Highlands Research Center (Originally collected by Bruce Greenawalt, Director of The Southern Highlands Research Center at the University of North Carolina at  Asheville from Mark Walters, agent for Dewey Scadin.)
Contributor Southern Highlands Research Center ; Mark Walters, agent for Dewey Scadin
Date 2001-05-03, 2005-07-27
Type Collection ; Image ; Text

Glass plate negatives, positive prints, photograph albums. Approximately 2500 items, 1200 glass plate negatives. 41 glass-plate negative boxes. Total collection size, including diaries, is 6 cubic ft.

Source P80.1.1-41
Language English
Relation  R.H. Scadin Manuscript Collection including 43 diaries. The diaries are in manuscript cartons M80.1.1-3. Photocopies of the diaries are located in cartons M80.1.4-5. Scadin Exhibit materials are found on the Ramsey Library Exhibits page; Tryon holds a small collection of Scadin photographs that depict scenes of the region. They have been evaluated by Mike McCue, Art Advisor for the Polk Count Historical Association. His evaluation of the work is found in the Report on Scadin Holdings, Polk County Historical Association, Polk County History Museum, Tryon, N.C. ;
Coverage 1886-1923 ; Western North Carolina ; Northern Michigan ; Northern Florida. 

Any display, publication, or public use must credit the D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Donor Donor number 81
Acquisition 1980-02-05
Citation R. H. Scadin Photographic Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804
Processed by  Mrs. Jim Perry, III cataloged the photographs for Dewey Scadin. Lisa Roberts housed the collection in archival containers and built the original finding aid for the collection. Further research and additional annotation of the individual photographs is on-going. Lori Galloway, a senior history major, in 1999, partially researched the collection for matches of photographs with diary entries. Special Collections staff revised records 1980 ; revised 2001 and diaries transcribed by Melissa Baldwin and Helen Wykle. Rachel Mitchell revised the finding aid in 2008 and created a Scadin web exhibit.

R. Henry Scadin began photographing around the 1880s. He primarily photographed landscapes, portraits, and some architecture. He was particularly interested in taking views of waterfalls. Scadin generally used the collodion photographic process. This process involved coating a glass plate with chemistry to sensitize it to light. To produce the best results, exposure was made while the plate was still wet. The process became known as the wet-plate process. The process was later refined to include a layer of albumen (egg whites) or gelatin over the plate. This allowed the plate to be used when it was dry, still producing a detailed resolution. This later process is what Scadin preferred, and it is known as the dry-plate process. Scadin was both experimental and innovative.  In his diary entries, he makes mention of making platinum prints and " blue prints", or cyanotypes. It is likely that Scadin studied under Wallace Nutting. They were both in Michigan around the same period, and some of Scadin's hand-tinted images are similar to Nutting's. Scadin is largely unrecognized in the photography world, although his work is comparable to his contemporaries including; Stieglitz, Atget, Steichen, and Hine.  There is evidence that he was in touch with some of more well-known peers, making note of William Henry Jackson in his diaries.