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H.N. Tiemann & Co. Photograph Collection

Call Number

PR 129


[1880-1916], inclusive


H.N. Tiemann & Co.


3.75 Linear feet (10 boxes)

Language of Materials

The documents in the collection are in English.


This collection of negatives from the commercial photography company H.N. Tiemann & Co. documents Manhattan buildings, bridges, churches, hotels, prominent residences, and civic events from ca. 1880 through 1916. Copy negatives of other photographers' works are included.

The H.N. Tiemann & Co. Photograph Collection is digitized and available in the Shelby White and Leon Levy Digital Library.

Biographical Note

H.N. Tiemann & Co. was a Manhattan-based commercial photography company which primarily recorded prominent New York buildings, bridges, civic celebrations, and fashionable street scenes for publication or general sale beginning in the 1890s.

Hermann Newell Tiemann (1863-1957), founder and president of H.N. Tiemann & Co., was born in New York on February 2, 1863. His father, Julius William Tiemann, was the brother of New York City Mayor Daniel F. Tiemann and a partner in D.F. Tiemann & Co. paint manufacturers in Manhattanville. His mother was Julius Tiemann's second wife, Marie Antoinette Megie of Brooklyn. Hermann Tiemann married Belle Louise Minor in her hometown of Newtown, Connecticut on June 22 1892. He lived with his family in Connecticut from 1905 until his death in 1957, although his business remained in New York City through 1948. His name is often misspelled as "Herman", without the final "n", in city directories and other publications.

Trow's New York City Directory of 1891 lists Hermann Tiemann as a commercial photographer, but he was already active as an amateur by 1885 when he showed his work in the First Annual Exhibition of the Society of Amateur Photographers of New York. Tiemann continued to exhibit through the Society of Amateur Photographers of New York and then as a member of the Camera Club of New York throughout the 1880s and 1890s.

Tiemann's first studio opened at 13 West 42nd Street in Manhattan; it moved to number 19 and then 17 West 42nd Street between 1893 and 1898. From 1904 to 1919, H.N. Tiemann & Co. was located at 4 East 30th Street, moving in 1920 to 176 Lexington Avenue where it remained until 1948, the year of the firm's presumed dissolution (when the firm ceased appearing in directories). Beginnning 1920, directories list the firm as a purveyor of photographic supplies. Hermann Tiemann died in Connecticut in 1957 at the age of 94.


Materials have been arranged by Tiemann's original stock numbers; unidentified negatives have been placed at the end.

Scope and Content Note

The H.N. Tiemann & Co. Photograph Collection spans the period from ca. 1880 to 1916 and contains 283 black and white negatives (measuring 8 x 10 inches) of views of prominent Manhattan locations. Most negatives are glass, but a few film negatives are included. Negatives are filed by Tiemann's stock numbers. The collection was purchased as a discrete group of 480 negatives in 1952 and was originally integrated into the Negative File (PR 045). Some of the negatives were filed without indication of their creator and remain in the Negative File. Gaps in the numbering sequence reflect the existence of those negatives. Some of the images in this collection were cataloged individually for inclusion in the department's in-house card catalog; they were originally assigned numbers consisting of the prefix 63200- followed by the Tiemann stock number. Most negatives bear Tiemann's imprint, "THE H.N. TIEMANN CO. NEW YORK CITY" or are marked with the firm's distinctive numbering. Titles in this finding aid represent the captions which were handwritten or stamped onto the negatives with abbreviations left intact; titles in brackets have been supplied by N-YHS staff. Dates reflect Tiemann's as they are written on the negatives; dates in brackets have been provided by N-YHS staff.

Negatives in this collection portray Manhattan streets, buildings, hotels, churches, residences and landmarks. Most views are of prominent locations, tourist attractions, grand architecture, or fashionable street views. However, some photographs of shanties show a less glamorous Manhattan at the turn of the 20th Century. Among heavily represented subjects are the 1909 Hudson-Fulton Celebration, Queensboro Bridge, Croton Reservoir, Fifth Avenue, the Flatiron Building, the American Museum of Natural History, Grand Central Terminal, Madison Square Garden and Union Square. Photographs of residences include those of notable New Yorkers A.T. Stewart, Harry F. Sinclair, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Gouverneur Morris, Jr. A few photographs depict scenes outside of New York City, including one copy negative of a photograph of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. and a view of a military camp in Peekskill, New York.

Included in the collection are numerous copy negatives of engravings, lithographs, and photographs by other artists, many of which depict earlier views of Manhattan. Copies of photographs by Irving Underhill, J.S. Johnston, and Joseph Hall are present in the collection; most original photographers represented have not been identified. Copy negatives of lithographs by W.C. Rogers & Co. and G. Hayward are included.

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit

Use Restrictions

Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff.

Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit:

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as H.N. Tiemann & Co. Photograph Collection, PR 129, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, The New-York Historical Society.

Location of Materials

Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit


Purchase, 1952.

Related Material at The New-York Historical Society

This collection was originally integrated into the Negative File (PR 045); some negatives were filed without reference to Tiemann as the photographer and remain in the Negative File. Vintage prints by H.N. Tiemann & Co., received from a variety of sources, can be found in the Geographic File (PR 020). The Album File includes an album of Tiemann's photographs of the unveiling of the monument marking the site of Fort Washington in 1901 (PR 002-58) as well as an album of photographs of old New York which includes 50 photographs by Tiemann (PR 002-345).

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital copies are available in the Shelby White and Leon Levy Digital Library.

Collection processed by

Jennifer Lewis

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-21 15:49:56 -0400.
Language: Description is in English.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from Tiemann.xml


New-York Historical Society
New-York Historical Society
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