88-92 West 4th Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota (Razed)
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|Address:||88 4th Street|
|Neighborhood/s:||Downtown, Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|Ramsey County, Minnesota|
|Historic Function:||Photographic Studio|
Truman Ingersoll was born February 19, 1862 in Saint Paul. Ingersoll’s family moved to Saint Paul in 1855. His father Daniel Wesley Ingersoll owned one of the oldest dry goods businesses in Minnesota, and Ingersoll Hall was the first substantial public hall in Saint Paul.
At the age of seventeen Truman Ingersoll went west to become a civil engineer during the construction of James Hill’s Great Northern Railroad. During his adventures in the Western United States Truman Ingersoll made a friend of Theodore Roosevelt. When Truman took up photography he produced many photos of Roosevelt decked in western apparel and apparatus. He even got an exclusive White House photo shoot when Roosevelt became the President upon McKinley’s death.
Ingersoll was also a friend of George Eastman. Given Ingersoll’s proven mechanical aptitude and the fact that he was given exclusive rights to sell the handheld Kodak camera in Minnesota, some people believe that Ingersoll helped George Eastman to perfect the Kodak camera.
Around the turn of the century Ingersoll traveled the world to create and publish photographs. He published the first guidebook of Yellowstone Park in 1889. He traveled to Alaska and all over Europe. Ingersoll was the first person to photograph the Vatican and the Pope. In 1906 Ingersoll was given a letter from the St. Paul Chief of Police asking that Ingersoll be permitted free access to the devastation caused by the San Francisco earthquake and subsequent fire. This is a very early example of a press pass.
Through his personal connections and his devotion to the art of photography, Truman Ingersoll created a significant and vital collection of photographs.Ingersoll occupied the studio on 88-92 W. 4th Street from 1906 until 1911. It was on the same block as George Kraft's studio. Both studios were taken down to make way for the Saint Paul Central Library, which still occupies the entire block south of Rice Park.
Memories and stories