Biographical / Historical
The Lomen Brothers Co. Was a photography studio founded in Nome, Alaska in 1908 by brothers Carl, Harry, Alfred, and Ralph Lomen. Gudbrand J. Lomen originally came to Nome, Alaska with his son George as part of the 1900 gold rush. G.J. Lomen soon established a profitable law practice in Nome. In 1903, G.J. Lomen's wife, daughter Helen, and sons Ralph, Harry and Alfred moved from Minnesota to join him in Nome. G.J. Lomen's son George arrived in Nome in 1906, opening a men's furnishing store in 1907. The family was involved in many commercial and civic interests including law, the Lomen Reindeer Corporation, lighterage, and retail.
In 1908, the brothers bought a photographic studio. Carl, Harry, Alfred, and Ralph Lomen were partners in the business. Harry managed the studio, and all four took photographs; however, Alfred became the most avid photographer. As part of their photography business, the Lomens regularly purchased the negatives of several other photographers including Dobbs, Nowell, Goetze and Kinne to be reissued under the Lomen Brothers Co. studio name. Their photographs focused on a variety of subjects related to Nome and the surrounding areas, including Nome mining operations, business in Nome, dogsled teams, ships and boats, aviation, and indigenous communities throughout Alaska and Canada.
In September 1934, a fire destroyed their studio along with 25,000-30,000 negatives and 50,000 commercial prints. Approximately 3,000 negatives were salvaged. The Lomens never reopened their photography business. By the 1940s they had all moved to Seattle, Washington, where George died in 1934, Alfred in 1950, Harry in 1957, and Carl in 1965.
Adapted from Archives West, Orbis Cascade Alliance.