Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Robert Bagby Stereographs and Lantern Slides

Collection ID:
Bagby, Robert, d. 1972
1919 - 1970
Physical Description:
0.12 Cubic feet
1 box
Robert Bagby was a professional photographer and professor of photography at Rochester Institute of Technology. These slides depict the photographer himself, models, monuments in the Washington, DC area, and countryside scenes.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of thirty-three Stereo Realist color slides, with viewer, in a fitted case, arranged according to the container listing; and four 3-1/4" x 4-1/4" black-and-white lantern slides in a Kodak envelope. Several images depict the photographer himself, possibly self-portraits. One lantern slide shows him with a motorcycle. Other subjects include landscapes, houses, covered bridges, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, Mount Vernon, the Supreme Court, and other landmarks from the District of Columbia, cherry blossoms in Washington, fashion models, and a commercial still life. Although one of the lantern slides is a photograph of the young Robert Bagby astride a motorcycle, the other slides seem quite early (all dated 1919 on the labels) and were probably collected by Bagby from other sources. All lantern slides are cracked to varying degrees and are very fragile.

The collection is arranged into two series.
Series 1, 35mm slides
Series 2, Black-and-White Lantern Slides

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Robert Bagby was a well-known commercial color photographer whose subjects included landscapes and fashion. He specialized in advertising and was one of the first to specialize in advertising photographs, becoming known for his photographs of food for Vanity Fair in 1934. He later taught as a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, New York) from 1953-1968 and taught courses in color photography, specifically in advertising. He also wrote a book entitled Make Your Own Color Prints, published by McGraw-Hill in 1961.

Jennifer Burger and David Haberstich
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These items were acquired by the Rochester Institute of Technology after Robert Bagby's death and were given to the National Museum of American History Archives Center by Scott Engdahl on October 28, 2009. Mr. Engdahl is the son of David Engdahl, the former assistant director of the School of Photography at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Processing Information
Processed by Jennifer Burger (intern) and David Haberstich, archivist, December 22, 2009; finding aid revised by Kimberly Bassett (intern), August 11, 2010; supervised by Vanessa Broussard Simmons, archivist.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Lantern slides are cracked and extremely fragile. Contact the Archives Center for information at or 202-633-3270.
Preferred Citation
Robert Bagby Stereographs and Lantern Slides, circa 1919-1970, Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012