Biographical / Historical
Emilio ("Emil") Herbruger, Sr. was born in Rheda-Wiedenbruck, Germany in 1808 and died in New Jersey in 1894. Principally a daguerreotypist, ambrotypist, and photographer, he was also a composer, musician, and pharmaceutical agent. After immigrating to New Jersey as a young man, he lived and worked in several Latin American countries beginning in the 1840s. These include Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, and Panama. He is considered the first commercial photographer in Guatemala, where he established a gallery in Guatemala City around 1846. His photographs often depict local people, nature, and city scenes. He worked on occasion with his sons, Florencio C. Herbruger and Emilio Herbruger, Jr., also known as Emilio Herbruger Rietbrok. Additionally, the noted Guatemalan photographer Alberto Valdeavellano studied with the Herbrugers in Antigua, Guatemala.
Cruz, Keneth. "Día Mundial de la fotografía: ¿Por qué se celebra el 19 de agosto?" Prensa Libre. 19 August 2019. https://www.prensalibre.com/vida/escenario/dia-mundial-de-la-fotografia-por-que-se-celebra-el-19-de-agosto/
Garzon Díaz, Valia. "Panamá a través de la lente de Emil Herbruger Wheling (1808-1894),"Mesoamérica 45 (Enero-Diciembre 2003), Pp. 85-99.
Palmquist, Peter, and Thomas Kailbourn. "Herbruger, Emil, Sr.," Pioneer photographers of the far west: A biographical dictionary, 1840-1865, 295-296. Stanford UP, 2000.
1808 April 24
Born in Rheda-Wiedenbruck, Germany
Emigrated to U.S.
Participated in exhibition in Louisville, Kentucky
Travelled through Cuba, Mexico, and Central America
Established a gallery in Guatemala City, Guatemala
Traveled in Peru and Brazil
Opened Emilio Herbruger e Hijos in Panama City, Panama
Opened gallery in Guatemala City, Guatemala
Displayed at exhibition sponsored by Sociedad Económica
Published polka composition "La Unión"
Worked and traveled through Honduras
Established Fotografía Imperial gallery in Guatemala City, Guatemala
Operated gallery with son Emilio Herbruger, Jr. in Panama City, Panama
Died in Egg Harbor, New Jersey