The Lumière North American Company - Seeing is Believing!©

By Hugo Martínez Cazón

The world awakens to direct color photographic imaging, in Lyon France, .. and in Burlington, Vermont

Color photography changed the world of art, and how we see life today.

Burlington Vermont is home to one of the two earliest roots of direct Color Photography!

Watch Trailer for the Documentary

password: btvlumiere

Abstract -

The Lumière Factory building remaining intact, is in Burlington Vermont!!

Built in 1901-2, to make photographic plates

Produced the Autochrome direct color plate that dazzled Stieglitz in 1907!

Color photography was US born, jointly with Lyon, France in 1903-4 (~32 years before Kodachrome)

The first color portrait photograph in the US, was taken in Burlington Vermont.

Lumière father was feted in Boston, and Philadelphia

The Lumière brothers came to Burlington Vermont, themselves, to set up the factory.

The building is at potential future redevelopment risk, but stands today intact

The building should be a National Media Museum akin to the Eastman museum in Rochester NY

When in 2008 France celebrated the 100 years since the Lumières invented cinema, it was a national event, yet no mention was made of the factory building quietly enduring silence on the frozen banks of Lake Champlain, in the winters of Burlington Vermont.


Dedicated to: One hundred unnamed workers, who created the earliest color photographic plates

Introduction - The elusive search for color.


The arrival of new technologies like radio communication, x-rays, electric lights, and telephones announced what we today call modern society. These are symbols also with a change in society that promised an increase in equality, availability of more social options and better labor conditions than ever seen. These inventions were part of an intellectual revolution that was both social, as well as political, and was reflected in dramatic changes to our collective artistic expression.

We regard these achievements as the announcement of the arrival of the 20th century.

Among these exhilarating discoveries and inventions, was Direct Color Photography. It was known then as the Lumière process, or Autochrome. The world welcomed it breathlessly, and today the images it created still convey that moment of awe and discovery. The reproduction of natural color for the first time. The dawning of color.

Since the 1990s there has been an internationally increasing rediscovery of the importance of the photographic process that first offered direct color photography, Autochrome. Despite the renewed interest in the photographic image, the process, and the early adopters of this amazing new technique, there is little known or written about both of the factories where the process was born jointly, with the home plant in Lyon. With great thought and dedication from the inventors, the Lumière brothers established a twin factory for color photographic plates in Burlington Vermont!

I have focused on developing the picture of Burlington's role in this achievement. The main story is about how we (in Vermont) saw the birth of color take place on the Burlington waterfront, how we collectively forgot the story that now is cause for pride, and how we were able to “find” it again! However we do first need to travel back to how Burlington came to be the place where these most dramatic moments took place, as the century was opening in 1901.

The search for capturing direct image, the beginnings of photography

From the first paintings, humans have tried to create images of the world around them, as in the cave drawings by Neanderthals. We study these and others now, to show that our instinct goes beyond modern humans into the earliest records we have. Painting grew more sophisticated and lifelike as technique and as tools were further and further developed. The museums of the world celebrate the advances made by famous artists, and historic periods are often identified with the artistic movement of that time. The effort was continuously to make an image that reflected life.

We have searched for images that can uniquely identify what we see, to convey that direct image to others. In the year 18391 the world celebrated the advent of daguerreotypes. Although today these may seem simplistic, in the day they were marvelous images that one could say were the accurate direct depiction of a person or a landscape. It was the culmination of numerous efforts, using silver plated copper sheets, and mercury vapors to create an image .

The direct image became an increasing possibility. Chemists, optical physicists and inventors accelerated efforts with each new scientific development, and the earliest photographic images began to appear, leaving the world breathless: a blurry, long exposure, image of a simple shoeshine boy on a street, seen from an attic balcony, was a wonder!2 In just approximately ten years since 1822 optical imaging had gone from a heliographic sketch, to direct daguerreotype images of what the eye of the artist could see. But that image was in a contrast of black and white. Although the inventors of the era were elevated to national heroes, the search continued, because direct color was not yet on the horizon, and the eye has always been satisfied with color. Work and competition got more and more fierce. Coexistent were humanistic intentions of creating something that would be beneficial to the world, and the potential of the likely profit from new products.

In the United States the immeasurable power of the photographic black and white image presented the magnitude of devastation, of the brutality of slavery, and of the struggles of the civil war that attempted to end it. It was the first time that everyday people in distant places could feel a connection to an event. It was more powerful than the telegraph, and more powerful yet than the printed journals reaching distant lands by railroad and steamer. The wet-plate collodion negatives available by then required from 5 to 20 seconds exposure, and as a result there were no action photographs of the civil war possible. It was nonetheless an image that needed no words, because it was directly connected to the moment. Yet, as powerful as that, it was still an image in black and white.

The work to make clearer sharper black and white images was at a fever pitch, and in Lyon, France one man worked tirelessly with some success, as he brought his children into the effort, both to increase the possibilities, but importantly, to try to control his progress from leaks to his competitors.

Antoine Lumière, and the quest for color

M. Charles-Antoine Lumière (1840-1913) had been working for over twelve years making improvements to the development process for black and white photography, and making photographic plates.

Throughout the latter half of the 19th century competition had fiercely produced unbelievable advancements in the production of black and white photographic images. In this well documented and complex competition involving commerce as much as art and science, Charles Antoine Lumière worked from Lyon France at producing quality development plates, with the help of his son Louis (5 October 1864 – 7 June 1948) and one of his daughters to make a reputable black and white image. With the additional involvement of his son Auguste (19 October 1862 – 10 April 1954), the company would become the distinguishable producer of history-making breakthroughs3.

By 1906, his facilities in Lyon went from making about 50 dozen plates, to 70,000 photographic plates per day as the production facilities grew to cover 4 hectares in six different buildings.4 He had made a name for himself and he had the respect of his competitors. Other inventors also were making competitive progress as well and it was not certain what was to come. Quietly he worked on the quest that eluded everyone: Color!

The chemical innovations that advanced the technology of photography was followed closely by a myriad of trade journals worldwide, as the chemists and photographers of Russia, Germany, France, England and the US made breakthroughs or shared improvements on existing methods. The journals announced new discoveries, and presented long technical explanations of the development processes. Nothing like direct color had ever been achieved and the sense of expectation and amazement was palpable in each article, as the possibility drew near.

Then from St Petersburg came word that someone had cracked the code to color. Mr. Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii demonstrated that he could create a lifelike color image. He had improved on the “three color” method explored by numerous European chemists working on improvements in the dye process. His breakthrough around 1906 was so noteworthy that he was subsequently given an audience in 1909 with the Tsar. This was at a time when Russia was steeply divided into social classes and the thought of meeting the head of such an enormous empire was unimaginable. Yet Prokudin-Gorskii impressed the Tsar to the point that he was given a commission to travel throughout the empire in a train coach-photoprocessing lab, to create a visual atlas of the peoples of the land. These images were stunning, yet they created a visual illusion. The process relied on making three independent images to create slides which in turn were projected, to create a visualization showing the three tone approximation of the original color. The images are gorgeous and rescue a lost agricultural life.5 But the goal of direct color imaging had not been reached. Direct lifelike and life accurate color remained still a tantilizing ambition. It was not yet possible to take “a picture” in color.

M. Lumière meanwhile perfected his lifelong project, and entrusted the next phase to the driving enthusiasm of his children. The twentieth century was awakening, and everything was about to change forever. The eyes of the world were about to open.

On Lake Champlain, a small town was a powerhouse of dye production. It would soon find itself coloring the images of the world.

A troublesome market – La Maison Lumière as a Transnational Enterprise

The US Dingley act of 1897 had substantially raised tariffs (up to over 50%) on imported goods overall. That was a reaction to the earlier lowering of import tariffs by the 1894 Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act. These measures had taken hold after the U.S. market collapse of 1893. These customs regulations were difficult to apply as tarrifs in an equitable manner because some of the competing photographic techniques in black and white relied on treated glass, versus paper film. The tariffs on “treated glass”, were not comparable to those for chemically treated photographic paper, so any company relying on glass plates would be in an uneven position relative to the photographic paper. This reflected the fact that the technologies for photographic processing were still in rapid development and the tariff system could not adjust apace.

The avoidance of these import tariffs was one of the other main reasons why Lumière North American Limited could hope to be successful. Demand for the amazing new technology was growing notably each year. “The Photographic Journal” of 1909, would later admit that in 1904 the firm had been established in Burlington, “to work in North America, and avoid the heavy custom duties6”.

The solution, to build a plant in the US, was a well measured one for the Lumière brothers, who were known to be very protective of their inventions and patents. They never established a European manufacturing plant outside the Lyon area. Setting up a plant in the US would be a risk, but it could also open an incredible market for an unchallenged technology, without any comparable competition.

A distant frozen land – The Choice of Burlington Vermont as location for the NA Factory

The inventive little town on the frozen Vermont lake would attract the attention of the century's greatest creative minds: the Lumière Brothers. At the time they were more celebrated than Edison and Marconi. What drove these French inventor-industrialists to such a small village in New England?

The growing popularity of the Lumière black and white photographic plates were enough for the Lumière family to consider exportation into the English empire, and a base for sales in London was very promising. At the same time the United States was another tempting market. That market however attractive, had with it, tariff hurdles that were difficult to navigate.

The location Burlington offered was unparalleled. Although distant from population centers in Boston or New York City, the town's port and robust railroad network allowed product delivery both to the East Coast, as well as easy access to the Midwest, as well as an export route to Canada. The Lumière's ability to communicate in French with the Burlington work force, and to have a French speaking vice president from Lyon to run the factory, was a great comfort that objectives would be understood.

Burlington was a vibrant lumber port, distributor of Vermont's sizeable apple production, and an accelerating hotbed of industrial inventiveness. Burlington was the home of some of the nation's largest medicine fabricators such as Taft's Mhyrrline dental toothpaste, and the Wells & Richardson patent medicine company, as well as the related Diamond Dye company, which was one of the largest producers of chemical dyes in the world. The town had a thriving French speaking population as well. The first public passenger rail had arrived in Burlington in 1842, a short ten years after the first public rail transport had connected Liverpool and Manchester in Great Britain. Despite its smallness, Burlington was thriving with creativity and industrial momentum.

Burlington was an industrial center despite its size, with unique chemical and manufacturing expertise. As Vermont was also the birthplace of the precision machine tool industry, Burlington hosted mills that were early adopters to the innovations this made possible. Although the idea of photography quickly draws us to the reproduced image, the century of chemical advancements necessary to achieve improved black and white images, and even more so direct color photography is often overlooked. The placement of the Lumière factory in Burlington was both a commercial and a scientific strategy in need of a capable technical workforce.

A new type of factory is born - The factory at the Lumiere Park

In 1901 Trade Notes section of the journal The Photographic Times, announced that Lumière North American Limited, had acquired the rights to sell and manufacture the photographic plates of Lumière et ses fils of Lyon, France, throughout North America, Great Britain and Ireland7. The company had a declared capital of ₤200,000. By this time the Lumières had contracted the export and distribution of their products to “The English Company” as it would be later referenced.

Burlington Vermont was chosen as the location of the American factory, and the contracts for the construction of the plant have just been awarded. The new factory is to be completed by September and will cost according to press reports about $100,000. Mr F.G. White is the resident manager of the concern with offices at Burlington” So in 1901 the location for the new plant was announced.8 In today's dollars the factory would cost approximately $2,793,722. “The head offices of the company in America will be located at Burlington and branch offices will be established at New York, Chicago, Detroit and other points”.9

Mr. White upon arriving in Burlington purchased the historic Lucia Bradley Peck mansion,10 which had been vacant for years, since 1898. He would oversee the management of the construction project, on behalf of the London based representative Lumière North American Company.

The year 1902 opened auspiciously: “Work of building to be begun as soon as possible- Manager F. J. White returned Friday morning from Boston, where he has been for several days inspecting the plans for the buildings to be erected by the Lumière North American Co, They have not yet been completed in detail but will soon be ready for the contractor. It is expected that the contracts will be let by February 21st and as soon after that as possible work will be begun. It is not probable that the frost will be out of the ground sufficiently to allow the work to progress before April 1st, but if work is begun then, it is expected that the buildings will be completed some time in September. J. A. Poulaillon, the expert engineer of the company, will sail February 1st from France and is expected in New York about the 7th. Mr. White will meet him there and they will go at once to Boston to inspect the plans and then come to Burlington. Mr. Poulaillon will locate in Burlington permanently.”11 A different Mr. Poulaillon would enter the story in the near future.

By February 1902 the land for the manufacturing mill had been secured: “The deed transferring the Howard Park property at Burlington to the Lumière company of North America was filed in the city clerk's office last week. The price paid is $11,000.12” A search through historic sources like the Mannings City Directories, and the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of the time, show the location for the plant was the non-urbanized part of the town used as the Burlington Fair. Soon the campus would come to be called Lumière Park!

Immediately after the announcement of the buying of the representation rights, on March 13, 1902, it was announced that “The Lumière North American Company Limited Burlington Vt are having plans prepared for the erection of a $50,000 plant the contracts for the building of which will be let in about two weeks”13 The plans were soon ready to be inspected by “those desiring to bid for the contract.” The complex would consist of “three building, the main manufacturing plant, a structure 200 feet square, an office building, and a powerhouse14.”

The factory was not a “mill” type building, but was designed specifically to purpose, according to the design criteria of the Lumières. The building was to be light proof. The installation of the heating and drying system was an item of national pride: “The American Blower Company of Detroit Mich are installing heating and drying apparatus for the Lumière North American Company of Burlington Vt”15, indicating that the building erection and installation of machinery during November of 1902 was moving briskly.

The working conditions in the new industrial building were projected to be equally innovative: “Nearly every room is dark as night but the workingmen get so accustomed to it that they can see well, after a short time. The employees are dressed in Japanese silk, which material does not catch the dust. The air is filtered several times and it is as pure as it can be made. Immense quantities of ice are used to cool the atmosphere in summer16” It would be a “clean room” environment, for 1901.

There was mounting anticipation as the building was erected, with every indication of being an advanced design in manufacturing buildings. The Old Fairground (Howard Park) was seeing deep changes. Refrigeration would be an important part of the industrial process, and pipes extending 1,100 feet into Lake Champlain were laid. The local paper invited watchers to observe the innovative installation technique, declaring also: “The new building for the Lumière North American Co are rapidly nearing completion”, adding that the buildings “are entirely different from any manufacturing building erected in the State” of Vermont.17

At the dawn of the century, in 1903: “Burlington had a population of 18,640; the city was served by three railroad lines: Central Vermont Ry, Rutland and Rutland Canadian”. Burlington was then “one of largest lumber markets in the world”. “Wholesale manufacturing trade amounted to $14,000,000 annually”(about $391,121,131.75 in today's dollars). The Winooski river furnished water power and it brought with it a cluster of industries: “W & DG Crane, lumber, Robinson Edwards Lumber Co, JR Booth lumber; Champlain Mfg Co, and Mason & Co interior house finishings; EA Pope & Co packing boxes; Burlington Cotton Mills; Queen City Cotton Co; Burlington Woolen Co, Branch of American Co; Burlington & Winooski Mills; Vermont Spool & Bobbin Co; Queen Anne Screen Co; Vermont Shade Roller company; Baldwin Refrigerator Co; Eclipse Refrigerator Co; Monarch Refrigerator Co; Cutlery Co; Goodhue Lang Mfg Co, machinery; Horatio Hickok Co, wooden boxes; The Wells-Richardson Co, patent medicines, and dyes; The Lumière North American Co, mfrs of photo plates and papers; Burlington Shirt Co, and Henry Johnson & Lord, patent medicines; and smaller industries employing 3,500 people with monthly wage receipts $140,000”.18

Frederick S. Hinds, of Boston was the mill architect and engineer for the enterprise. It was an era of standardization of mill design, to ensure better fire resistance, yet this would be an entirely tailored mill, suited to the specific innovative work that would be performed in complete darkness. However in 1903 Hinds was sued and it was claimed that he had not provided the proper design documents or suitable general supervision of the work, including claims that certain plans were seen to be faulty, and in need of correction. The suit was for $10,000 a sizeable amount equal to close to 10% of the value of the finished building. The significance of the construction work deserved front page attention in the local news.19

The 1904 trade magazines were abuzz about the accomplishment of building a “mill” to suit, for such an unprecedented and advanced industry: “The Lumière North American Company will begin work at once at its new plant in Burlington Vt. The company is a branch of a wealthy French company engaged in the manufacture of dry plates and other photographic material. The parent company being capitalized at $1,000,000. The local branch purchased Howard Park from the fair association and has built within the past two years buildings at a cost of over $100,00020”. This would be approximately $2.8 million dollars today. The construction had closed within the budget announced in 1901.

Four carpenters on the project went on strike April 28, 1904 when demands were not met to bring their salaries from $2.25 to $2.50 a day. The Carpenters union supported the workers declaring that after May 1 the minimum wage for journeymen carpenters would be $2.50 for a nine hour day. The Lumière plant hired new carpenters.21

A local tragedy in July 1904 underscored the significance employment at the new factory held. James Corcoran until recently had been living at the poor farm, and had been able to leave it three weeks earlier. “Corcoran was employed by the Lumière North American company” He had been sadly run over by “one of the Rutland railroad trains” on the 18th of July22.

The Burlington plant's success was enhanced in 1905, when production of X-ray plates was added to the line of products bearing the Lumière North American trademark23.

By 1905 the operational plant had a steady workforce. “The extensive plant of the Lumière North American Co for the manufacture and preparation of photographic supplies with about 100 employees” was finally functional24

During the years of the plant's operations, the Barre Vermont labor newspaper, Cronaca Sovversiva, did not have articles describing labor strife or strikes.

In 1906 The Mannings City Directory referred to this as yet non urbanized part of Burlington simply as Lumière Park! Clearly for Burlington this amazing custom built factory building was a point of justifiable pride. The wonder of color had only two production points, and only one outside of Lyon. This land had been previously referred to earlier as the Howard Park, in honor of the renowned local family, and it was equally noteworthy to rename it now. The park had been purchased for $11,000 with an exemption from taxation granted by the City.25 The purchase also saw the passing of the Burlington Fair, which had traditionally taken place at the former Howard Park26.

Eastman's Challenge or The Challenge presented by Eastman

To highlight how deep the speculation ran, and how far the real or imagined conspiracies went, already in 1901 the Lumières were moved to ask their licensed, London based agent, to refute the stories that Eastman had purchased the Burlington plant!27 Tersely, the statement said all that was needed: “The Lumière North American Company who are the sole proprietors of the celebrated Lumière products for Great Britain, India, the Colonies, and North America wish you, on behalf of Messrs Lumière of Lyons, to emphatically deny the purchase of their business by Mr George Eastman, or any other person and we shall be obliged by your giving prominence to this denial.”23 This was signed by the London director of the company.

The Autochrome process is born

The patent for the Autochrome process would come in 1904. The process patented by A Lumière et Fils of Lyons depended on a color screen built up with very tiny potato starch grains dyed with three primary colors: red, green, and blue-violet, overlaid with a thin panchromatic sensitized film. The dye works of Burlington were a perfect match for this new technology. These would be Patent 22,988 and Patent 25,718 from 1904, and Patent 9,100 of 190628. Ironically the images illustrating the Autochrome process in the journal are in black and white, as the reproductive printing of color photography was yet to be developed.

Acclaim for Lumière

An article in American Photography, after detailing the 1904 decision to locate in the US, went on to credit the Lumières among other things as: “One of the most important features of the work of this firm has been the attention of Messrs. Auguste and Louis Lumière have given since 1887 to the scientific investigation of the chemistry of various photographic problems and processes, and the liberality with which the results have been given to the world. Most of them have been communicated to the Societe Francaise de Photographie,..29

Now the factory in the US was constructed, and functional, the patents were secured, and the story could have been of unfettered success. The astounding uniqueness and quality of the products also attracted a complexity of issues.

The Legal Challenge 1903-1907, Controversy and Resolution

As with every breakthrough, there can be jealousy, conflict, and controversy. 1907 proved a difficult time for the North American enterprise, to resolve the conflict that opened in 1903, representing four years of uncertainty. The Atlantic Reporter, Volume 64, p1121 provides some of the details of the case that year, at the Vermont Supreme Court, of Lumière North American Co versus White.

Mr White was the “agent” of the original British delegate of the Societe Lumière et ses fils' , the London based British company, licensed to sell the Lumière Autochrome dry plate in the US. White's mission had been to oversee the erection of the original buildings, on behalf of the “British Company” and then to the running of the company, to the Lumière Brothers' standards, and share holders satisfaction. Mr. White had a five year contract, beginning September 5, 1901 worth $4800 per year (about $134,000/yr in today's dollar). In the terms of contract he was to be at the full disposal of the Lumière North American Company (The “British company”). On October 15, 1903 however Lumière North American informed Mr White that the entire company had been leased to “a French company” (the Societe Lumière) that would continue to operate and would honor his salary, granted he sought out no other work. Mr White is described in the docket as engaged by an “English Company” with principal offices in London, organized to manufacture and distribute the photographic plates, in the US, Canada, and India. An October 7 1903 letter presented in the case, indicated that the “French company” intended to take over operations in Burlington Vermont, and to name the staff it saw fit “which they were sending from Lyon”. In the case Mr White demanded the balance of his salary. He was contracted by the “English firm” and therefore could not recognize instructions from the “French Company” until that time when a contract with him could be drawn.

The Lumière et ses fils declared that Mr White's engagement was for the oversight of the building of the “manufactory” and that his role on the advisory board was completed. The Lumière Society offered Mr White the option to remain under pay, and to be fully at their disposition. Conversely they were disposed to a conversation about conditions for termination of the contract, if Mr White decided to stay in the US, and seek employment elsewhere. On the 19th of October 1903, Mr White was declared in breach of contract, which is the reason this record exists in the Supreme Court, and allows us to have solid evidence of events. The case became known as precedent in cases of alleged breach of contract and wrongful dismissal.

The case law substantiates that in 1902-1903 the firm passed into the direct control of Lumière et ses fils, and began to produce Autochrome locally. In a letter presented in the case file, April 1, 1903 the building is described as completed, despite some remaining conflicts with the building contractors. The “English company” was bought “lock, stock and barrel” by the “French company” at that time.

The case imperiled the inauguration of the building and the production of dry plates. The local newspapers in Vermont followed the developing story with fascination. At the time of the purchase by Societe Lumière (the Lumière Company in the newspaper), the manufactory building suffered significant damage from frozen pipes30. Coincidentally Mr. White placed a legal attachment for $50,000 on the property, to get his five years of salary. The attachment however also interrupted the arrival of the manufacturing machinery, in anticipation of the inauguration for January 1, 1904.31 Mr. White it seems was also apprehended to jail, although the details are not clear.

The local press statewide, in Vermont, recognized the implications and followed the case closely. Papers from West Randolph, St Johnsbury, Barre, Rutland and Middlebury shared the interest shown in the Burlington press. Even at a time when the patents were not yet released, and there was no certainty of a success, the Lumière brother's inventiveness heralded a threshold unimagined.

The press reported that Mr. White alleged that even though the North American Company was to be succeeded by “A. Lumière Company” of Lyons, France, his contract as manager was still binding26. His presence in Burlington was noted, in October 23, 1903, but he did not make public declarations. Claiming that he had suffered damages through his wrongful discharge, papers were served by Sheriff Horton placing an attachment of $50,000 (about a third of the cost of the buildings) on the Lumière North American Company32.

In December that same year, the Middlebury press front page reported that, in the first hearing, Judge Tyler denied the petition by Lumière North American Co. to have the attachment dismissed or reduced.33 This was echoed in the Burlington news. The St. Johnsbury press was able to report in January of 1904, that Mr. White was not owed a salary, and the attachment had been reduced to a “bond of $7,000” allowing the company “commence business at once and give employment to 200 hands.”34 The news was echoed in West Randolph35. By September 29 of 1904 a “struck jury” was chosen at the county court, with the expectation that the breach of contract case would resolve in a week. This was news statewide, both for the labor that was at stake, as well as for the drama of the large investment it represented. One potential juror requested to be excused, as he had only one man to tend to his “20 odd cows36”. The October 5, 1904 jury decision returned a decision for the plaintiff, Mr. White, for the amount of $12,92037. According to the report, there was evidence that the company had offered to settle with Mr. White for his salary. The story would not end there, and Mr. White brought his case to the Vermont Supreme Court. In 1906 the court affirmed the $12,920 decision for Mr. White, indicating that if the amount was not paid that the property could potentially be executed38.

The Lumières establish the factory in Burlington

The transcript of the legal case also indicated that: “Messers Lumière” “will arrive in Burlington, on the 19th of October” of 1903! Burlington Vermont saw the arrival of the most significant inventors of the age! (It gives me shivers that I've walked around that building, where the founders of the company, the inventors of Cinema, the creators of Direct Color photography stood: in Burlington!!)

By taking this step the Lumière Brothers had committed to the decision: they would conduct the fabrication process directly through their manager. They would produce Autochrome in the US!

The Lumière Brothers put the Burlington company in the management of M. Claudius Poulaillon. This was not merely a business or administrative decision. M. Poulaillon was himself scientifically and technically competent in the development of the technology and its chemistry. He was able to engage in the technical discussions on the chemistry of the new process in English. M. Poulaillon's article in 1904 made this point in his critique of Profesor Namias' suggestions for changing the Lumière's original anhydrous sulphite of soda based formula.39

The New York offices for the Lumière North American Co. advertised that a free dry plate was available for the asking, highlighting the locations of the factories, in Lyon, and Burlington.

In the contract signed in Lyon, France, on the 27 of January 1906, Auguste Lumière, representing the “Lumière et ses fils” company, along with the two largest share holders, Mr Blien and Mr Brosse, stated that Societe Lumière North American Company would have shares available, the factory was transferred to them. The ship was righting course.

The economic report of 1906 by the agent of Crédit Lyonnais indicates five factories of “la Société Lumière”: one at Lyon-Monplaisir, one small factory recently built for color plates, not yet in operation, two factories at Feyzin, and “a factory in Burlington (United States) for the manufacture of photographic plates to be sold in the United States40.”

Lumière's Autochrome is announced to the world

1907 saw Autochrome's successful release as a consumer product. The Polytechnic, on Regent Street in London had a Christmas season competition of Autochrome portrait photographs, during that winter. It was finally possible for an everyday person to take a color photograph!

Frank Morris Steadman, a famous portraiture photographer, in his article “Color Photography with Lumière Autochrome Plate”, in “Camera Craft”, volume XIV, page 396, 1907 of San Francisco declared that: “The photographer, either amateur or professional, would be satisfied to make a single exposure, not too long, and then to be able to secure the colors in the picture by direct development. The arrival at just this point of simplicity, by the Autochrome Plate process of A. and L. Lumière, is the sensation of the year in photography”. The news was also spreading across the US, and it was changing how we saw the world.

In 1907 Alfred Stieglitz had his opportunity to experiment with the Autochrome plates, and would say: “The possibilities of the process seem to be unlimited. All who see the results achieved by Mr Steichen are amazed at the remarkably truthful color rendering the wonderful luminosity of the shadows that bugbear of the photographer in monochrome the endless range of greys the richness of the deep colors.” “From a letter in the Photographer of a week ago we gather that the Lumière Company at Burlington Vt is experimenting with the plates with complete success”41

Camera magazine celebrated that on December 17, 1907, just two days before returning to France, M. Antoine Lumière had been honored with a dinner at the Majestic, Philadelphia, “In appreciation of the advances that the house of Lumière has made in color photography and the fact that the only practical step so far advanced has been accomplished by them42” Representatives from Drexel University, The Franklin Institute were present, along with Edouard Lumière, and J. E. Brulatour of the Lumière Company New York, who also gave a speech.

The December 1907 International Steam Engineer magazine reported that after 14 “untiring” years of development, the Lumières had revealed in June 1907 their perfected direct color photography, in Paris. The magazine declared it only second in importance to the original discovery by Daguerre, and poetically added: “The Lumiere autochrome plate photographs color with as great ease and directness as the Marconi wireless transmits its aerial message through space and is no less wonderful as a revelation of the only half guessed possibilities inherent in the natural forces of the universe43 Color was no longer solely the domain of the painter.

The success of Autochrome is reflected in the ubiquitous advertisements in each photographic journal of the day. Any reader could expect to see multiple advertisements in each isssue of the main photographic journals of the day. (See appendix A for some examples).

The Photo-era Magazine44 reported that a historic dinner was held in honor of Antoine Lumière, father of Louis and Auguste, and who had been the technical director of the Lyon factory almost until his death. Interestingly the article reported that the 1907 dinner had been at the Hotel Brunswick in Boston, and attended then by Mr. Antoine Lumière himself. Noteworthy at that time was the attendance of C. Poulaillon, and J.E. Brulatour, each described as attending, from the “Lumière agency.” A photo of Antoine Lumière appears in the article. Ten years later the 1907 dinner itself was so memorable and noteworthy, that another dinner was held in commemoration.

The first official presentation of the Autochrome process was at the Photo-Club de Paris in June 1907. Eduard Steichen would subsequently make an Autochrome portrait of Steiglitz who commented “the pictures themselves are so startingly true that they surpass anyone's keenest expectations...45

1907 was the banner year for Autochrome in the US. A “Camera Craft” 1907 article declares the first color Autochrome pictures have been taken in the US, in Burlington! Using six of twelve plates brought from Lyon, the first portrait was also taken. The Burlington factory was about to produce the plates themselves. The writer highlighted that these images were taken without any prior experience with Autochrome. In the bright sun of the garden at the house of Joel Gates, Mister F. Morris Steadman composed the first photograph of a person in the US. Camera Craft describes it as: (Martha Poulaillon taken by F. Morris Steadman, the “The First Subject for Autochrome Portraiture in the United States”, according to Camera Craft, volume 14 , Number 9, page 398, September, 1907. Using a four second apperture the photographer notes: “The subject has hair of very light gold, black eyes and a fair complexion. The dress was a light rose color and hanging from the neck was a large gold locket with smooth surface a red rose being placed so that the locket reflected its color. Besides the usual beautiful colors of the birch tree trunk there was a band of dark wine color where the bark had come away It suffices to say that every color in front of the lens was reproduced to perfection including the faint green of some trees in deeper shade in the background and the reflection of the red rose in the gold surface of the locket.” A street directory of 1903 shows that Mr. Gates lived at 230 Pearl Street which, if numbering has not changed, was at the Northwest corner with S. Williams Street.

The Lumière process was amazing European and US critics who observed, “in Paris a reproduction of a Persian carpet by the method and could imagine no more perfect rendering of color. Mr FT Beeson of Messrs Newnes Ltd also speaks from his experience with the new plates as opening up undreamt of possibilities in the copying of paintings and other colored originals for photo mechanical reproduction in color. Mr Alfred Stieglitz says: The possibilities of the process seem to be unlimited”46

Upon his return to New York from Paris, where he experimented on artistic alterations of the Autochrome process, with his colleagues Eduard Steichen and Frank Eugene, Stieglitz declared that he had autochrome plates of superior quality from the ones in Lyon. The Burlington plant was quiet about when they would release plates47. Beside the article is an advertisement for direct color photography with the Autochrome process, listing the only two manufacturing locations: Lyon France and Burlington Vermont.

That same year, 1907, Stieglitz opened his “Little Galleries” exhibit, in New York City, to present the work of his “Secessionists” colleagues in Autochrome plates48. The writer for American Photography, previewing the November exhibit a month earlier, was unable to find words to describe his impressions, as he was moved to tears, thinking he would never live to see this advancement. He describes “the Godlike power that had been given to man” to reproduce these images and that “the colors are in the highest degree artistic” and “must be seen to believed”. Enigmatically he does mention that the plates are available in Scotland, but “not in this country”.

Stieglitz was tireless in his praise claiming that “Thanks to the Lumiere plate every photographer can now readily make real color photograph. All he needs is his own camera and lens a box of the plates with the Lumière adjusted color screen, and Lumiere's little booklet of instructions49.”

Despite the heated competition by a large number of inventors and chemists throughout Europe, as the century dawned, only the Lumières would get this praise: “ Lumière had actually overcome the most important difficulties in the way of a truthful representation of the color of natural objects and that the process was soon to be made known to the world”, ...” Lumière and his sons have finally succeeded in making a plate that will faithfully reproduce with the most exquisite subtlety the gradations of color in nature and to France must be accorded the honor of having contributed to the world a discovery in the scientific application of light second in importance only to the initial discovery of Daguerre”.50

Legal resolution and smooth sailing

The year during which the legal case was drawing to a close, saw the crowning of the Autochrome process as an artistic breakthrough and a scientific wonder.

An article in the West Randolph News, of 1907 offers details of what became of Mr. White: “Frederick G. White, former superintendent of the Lumière North America Co.'s business, attached (sic) the plant at Burlington November 7, in an attempt to recover $20,000 damages for malicious prosecution. White three years ago was arrested of a body writ for $22,000 at the instance of the company, as he claims, without cause51”.

No further news followed on this cause, so it seems the claim never prospered.

The US market obviously was so important to the Lumière Brothers, that it had been worthwhile for them to come in person to set up the operations with the management staff brought here from Lyon. M. Claudius Poulaillon would be a pivotal piece of the story, and became the “efficient manager” of the entire Burlington operation. According to the “Inland Printer”, page 252 of 1910, Mr Poulaillon edited the annual “Agenda Lumière” publication, which was a brochure for developers and photographers, with practical related technical information. In 1910 he published a five language compendium of photography and developing terminology. Of note for the “Inland Printer” journal was that the frontispiece of the Agenda featured a “three color” reproduction of an Autochrome portrait. Also noteworthy was Mr. Poulaillon's foresight in the multi-language reference, so that markets throughout the world could easily understand the development process.

The Mannings City Directory, a comprehensive source for the addresses of each of Burlington's households, does not disclose the address for Mr. and Mrs. Poulaillon. However the Sanborn Fire Insurance map indicates an unattached “office” building, where the caretaker also resided. In light of the unsettled transition of the company, maybe this was the residence of the Poulaillons.

Clearly the Lumière's were concerned about Mr. F.G. White's demands and increasing frustration after his position was terminated with the “English firm”. Yet 1907 was the year that Autchrome established itself worldwide.

The competition to the Lumière Autochrome process came almost immediately, and the Jougla company of Paris announced that they would soon release their competing process called Omnicolore in 190752. Eventually Jougla and Lumière would join forces, but Autochrome would remain the uncontested direct color process.

The advertisements in numerous trade publications highlight the wonder, novelty, and increasing demand for the Autochrome direct color plates. American Photography ran many ads, in 1908, for the Lumière North American Autochrome, showing plants located in Lyon and Burlington53

Throughout the year 1908, publications for the photographic trades repeatedly show that the color Autochrome plates are announced as cheaper than in the previous publication. As demand increased the prices were dropping, enhancing its adoption54.

By 1908 advertisements for retail Autochrome plates was commonplace in photographic journals. The 1908 advertisement on page 711 of the American Photography journal announces that Lumière Autochrome Plates are available for “direct color photography” and the advertisement lists the only two points of production Lyon, France..........and Burlington, Vermont. Packages of four plates varied from $1.50 to $4.00 depending on the size plate. Color plates were approximately fifteen times more expensive than a black and white plate.

Quickly Autochrome Plates went from the realm of scientists, and professional artistic photographers, and became increasingly a consumer's product, as discussed in the Barre Vermont press. “The plates render color... not as tones of monochrome”, “.. all that is asked of the user is correct exposure” explaining that the colors were “not merely nearly perfect or almost a good but absolutely and perfectly true to nature”, indicating that “this marvel could be bought for a few dollars55.”

The wonder of Autochrome was also immediately recognized as a tool in science presentations. In 1909 the New England Federation of Natural History Society session was opened by a lecture on spiders, by Mr. Emerton, which was supplemented by “a series of color photographs exhibited by Dr. H.F. Perkins of Burlington... the majority of them loaned by the Lumière North American Company56.”

The Board of Trade banquet in Randolph Vermont, announcement declared: “Much is expected from the display of special photographs to be given each day by means of projecting them upon a screen” “These photographs, taken by the Lumière process, show every tint and shade of color. Just as it appear naturally57.”

Vermont Leads the World - The Vermont Exhibit of 1909 held in Burlington highlighted how Vermont led the world in several large industries. Very much as today, Vermonters were surprised to see the number of notable industries that were located in the state. The significance of the production of Autochrome color plates was such that attendants were advised: “It is impossible to give adequate idea of its magnitude or value, but an hour is well spent going through the Exhibit and seeing the wonderful Lumière Colored Pictures that are thrown on the screen from 9 in the morning until 10 at night58.”

The “Tercentenary Exhibition” of June 1909 was a highlight event in Burlington. In Morrisville “representatives of the Lumière North American Co. were in town Tuesday taking colored photographs of local point of interest” for the exhibition.59 The images were now called “colored photographs” and as an image of every day life the Autochrome had entered eternity as the norm.

The year ended with an exhibit of Dr. H. F. Perkins' Lumière Autochrome plates loaned by the Lumière North American Co. These were about forty “views” including 22 pictures of Yellowstone Park, and the Canadian Rockies, alongside local images. The announcement stated that “By using the Lumière plates, the color of nature are produced with absolute accuracy60.” Soon the images would be printable.

The Autochrome process changes journalism and printing

The Autochrome photograph captured the true image of events, and the publishing world would find the power of mass reproduction of these images as the record of fact, as commemoration of history, as illustration of concepts, as art.

By 1910, Scribner's Magazine was able to publish an article from a professional gardener, providing suggestions and indications on the proper landscaping principles for an appealing garden on Long Island. This time however a direct color image was able to offer the reader an immediate view of the garden in real colors. “Photographed in colors from nature by the Lumière process” the photograph proudly declares. Those colors were made skillfully in Burlington Vermont. The article is “Color Arrangement of Flowers, by Helena Rutherford Ely. Illustrations from photographs taken in the author's garden by the Lumière NA Company and Richard Morsam Meade”, Volume XLVII, page 292. Richard it turns out was her husband, and son of Rear Admiral Meade (December 16, 1906, Army Navy Register).

The 1910 Scribner's Magazine, a national magazine of ideas and general interest stories, ran an article about how best to layout a garden, and how to conceptualize the contrast and supportive colors of blossoming flowers. Instead of the long narratives describing each plant varietal, and its contribution to the design, for the first time, the author offered a True Color photographic image of her completed garden! The image is not a hand colored black and white original. That had been the norm at that time, in an attempt to suggest color. This however was something never seen before in gardening articles. Here was a printed reproduction of an image in the true colors of nature, captured in a direct photographic process. The photo has a simple description in the caption: Autochrome photograph. Color photography could now be reproduced in a printing process. The success was complete and the process was established. Color photography would now become part of the journalistic dialogue.

The publication of these landscape autochromes represent the realization of the power of a natural direct color image, to communicate objectives and results. The world of media was forever changed. The amazing thing, by 1910 this gardening article focuses on garden design, and there isn't a word about the wonder of the color photography. Whereas in 1907 the color photograph of a flower took five descriptive paragraphs to convey, by 1910 the garden narrative could focus on the design and layout concepts, allowing the image to do the rest. The reproduction of the Autochromes in the magazine began the process of universal acceptance.

In 1910 the British Journal of Photography mentioned Autochrome photographies of the lilacs of the funeral wreath of King Edward VII. Direct color was by then, the record of events (June 9, 1910)61. “The Salisbury Wreath to King Edward: We have already mentioned that Mr HC Messer of Castle Street took a photograph in colours by the Autochrome process of the beautiful wreath which was sent from Salisbury to the funeral of King Edward VII at Windsor Mr Messer sent a copy of the picture to King George and has received the following acknowledgment: Buckingham Palace, The Private Secretary is commanded by the King to thank Mr HC Messer for his letter of the 25th and for the photograph of wreath.” It is also worth noting however that every kind of photographic process was by then also easily altered by photographers, to alter the reported reality. The Daily Express in the same journal reported extensively on their legal dispute with photographers selling “fake” prints.

The continuation of the commitment to production at the Burlington plant is indicated in the continuing payment of annual License fees to the State of Vermont, first as the Lumière North American Company, appearing as a Corporation of another state, from Lyon France, appears as $50 each year, both in 1911 and 1912, when the Lumière Jougla company of Paris first appears paying a $66.67 annual fee.62

During a 1910 power outage, all of the city's trolleys had come to a standstill, leaving commuters and workers stranded. The Burlington Traction company reported the cylinder head blew off on the engine at the power station. The lack of trolley traffic reminded, the old timers, of the horse drawn wagon days. In the evening barges were used to carry the workers home from the Lumière plant63.

On October 1, 1910 Mr and Mrs Hull celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Mr Samuel E. Hull had moved to Burlington from Bakersfield, and had been working at the Lumière plant for eight years64.

By 1915 the company saw significant changes, but the product was very much still enthusiastically received. “Mr R.J. Fitzsimons announces that he has purchased the entire stock of the Lumière Jougla Company and the sole United States agency for their Autochrome plates for direct color photography also their dry plates and chemicals for several years to come. Mr F is to be congratulated upon representing this well known firm and it is to be hoped that the supply of these goods will meet the constantly increasing demand65” However it is not clear the plant in Burlington continued operation.

The First World War would be reflected in true color, accurately showing the participation of soldiers from Algeria, India, Sub-Saharan Africa alongside European soldiers, as well as the daily life and death of the trench warfare. The immediacy of humanity needed color, and Autochrome was there to provide the full human effect of war.

Color photography would forever change the publications on gardening and landscape design, showing readers the immediate result of blossoming arrangements.

However, Burlington eventually forgot the Lumière North American Company, although it was still represented as active in the 1918 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. The 1911 L.P. Waite and Co. Burlington City and Winooski Directory lists the factory, but adds that it is “temporarily closed”. By the 1912 directory the company listed as “closed” and the process of forgetting had started. Forgotten the promising travels of Auguste Lumière to the scientific dinners in Philadelphia. Forgotten with it the work of the skilled laborers who made a product that equaled or surpassed the quality of the plates produced in Lyon.

The last news to show any trace of the Lumière North American Co. came from New York City. In 1913 Martha Poulaillon, the daughter of a Charles Poulaillon and a recent graduate from Wellesley College reported an attempted assault by her dentist, that was picked up in the Vermont press. In the article, her father, Mr. Poulaillon is described as the “owner of The Lumière Jougla Plate company of New York and Paris, with headquarters at 75 Fifth avenue” indicating that “The family moved from Burlington, Vt., to New York, where her father has an extensive business”.66 The Burlington press however was silent. There was no mention of the dryplate works, and silence filled the manufactory building.

Afterword of Wonder

The building stood stoically through the lakeside windstorms of Burlington's winter for over nine decades. In Lyon the buildings of the original factory were lost to wars and to redevelopment. Today, the Burlington Lumière North American Co. building stands intact, as the testament to the life work of two generations of Lumières.

In 2007 the National Science & Media Museum, Bradford UK (originally the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television) curated a beautiful exhibit “Dawn of Colour”, with an amazing collection of some of the earliest artistic photographs in Autochrome. That exhibit provided a summary of the Lumière history, indicating: “The autochrome process was invented by French brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière. Best known as film pioneers with their invention of the cinématographe in 1895, they had also been experimenting with colour photography for several years. In 1904, they announced their discovery and three years later began the commercial production of autochrome plates at their factory in Lyon67.” The successful factory in Burlington Vermont remained unmentioned, and lost.

One hundred years after the era of Lumière's achievements, in 2008, France hosted a number of national celebratory events, commemorating the century since the renowned Lumière Brothers created cinema. Their process was the first in the world, and for many people worldwide, the footage of the women workers leaving the Lumière's factory, in Lyon France is the iconic first moving picture. That film was a groundbreaking event and the black and white images were celebrated as lifelike. By 1909 nearly every metropolis in the world would have a cinema, and cinematic news reel and comic features became common-place wonders.

The 2008 festivities in Lyon had a second focus, to celebrate the Lumière Brothers' invention of the first successful Direct Color photography. The success equally changed human perception of the surrounding world dramatically, by allowing people to have a high quality, true color direct image of places far far away, and portraiture. When the first announcement of the successful direct color patent was made, in Paris, in 1904, it represented the transition of human civilization into the XXth century, with two inventions that instantly brought humanity into one worldwide media conversation. The Lumière Brothers are in every way France's contributions to the advancement of humanity into the modern era, very much in the same manner as the Curies, or Edison, or Marconi heralded a new dramatic advancement of scientific inventiveness.

In the 2008 Lyon celebrations, there was little mention that the distant small town of Burlington Vermont had a role. During the century that followed after the creation of Autochrome, direct color became the preferred medium of the most celebrated photographic artists, the record of fading rural tradtional life, and of international strife in the trenches of World War I. Soon after it's invention and worldwide success, however, the collective forgetfulness would blur all memory of the root of color photography in Vermont. Until 1992.


The authoritative and exquisite collection of the photographic work of Joseph Stieglitz, the premier United States photographer of the early XXth century, who was so pivotal in photography's admission the world of artistic expression, illustrates how photography transitioned into an expressive artform. The extensive book by Weston Naef68, was an comprehensive research achievement and chronicled the life of a legendary artist who did so much to bring the United States photographic art into world recognition. The book includes a brief description of the efforts of one of Stieglitz' contemporaries, Eduard Steichen, with the nascent Autochrome process. The episode is a two page moment in the book, yet highlights the reactions of a number of renowned European photographers, who claim to forever lose interest in black and white photography. The hypnotic cover image to the book is in fact an Autochrome portrait of Alfred Stieglitz from 190769! Despite that Autochrome was almost forgotten from the popular vocabulary and from the common knowledge on significant developments in photographic history. No mention however is made that the eruption of color photography came out Burlington Vermont as well as Lyon France.

In time the few people who had some memory of the building would sometimes refer to it as the Eastman building. Perhaps one or two people could remember a Burlington grandmother's story of the Lumières?

In 2013 a friend of mine Wayne Tack traveled to France, and I sent him on a mission to bring my research summary to the attention of the Societe Lumière. According to Wayne, Mr. LaMotte was kind enough to forego his lunch and to spend over 40 minutes with this unannounced visitor, with tales that surely must have sounded otherworldly and a bit irreverent. Yet Mr. LaMotte was gracious and listened intently to my friend. He received the paper that I sent through my friend.

This research will hopefully enable the creative conversation with all who appreciate the work Lyon's masters of color, to preserve the legacy of the Lumière Brothers, so that we in Burlington can celebrate this, the only remaining original building of the Societe Lumière's complex, and truly one of the two joint birthplaces of Color Photography in the world.

A lakeside statue to the Lumière Brothers on the Burlington site, beside the redicated building as a national media art museum, would be a fitting tribute. I believe this building would be the right vehicle to truly become a museum, large enough to co-house the National Lumière Media Museum, and a Burlington Historical Museum.

A bio of the author – Hugo Martínez Cazón

I have made presentations to the Burlington Historic Preservation and have had conversations with Vermont Historical Society and Vermont Preservation as well as with my colleagues and friends: historian and municipal planner Mary O'Neil, Eloise Biel of the Lake Champlain Maritime Musem and with Karen Lane of the Barre Historical Society, where I volunteer in the preservation board of the Old Labor Hall.

I worked 30+ years for private environmental consulting companies and the Vermont state regulatory agency. As part of regular environmental investigation procedures I suggested the use the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps in 1986, to establish the land use history of industrial and commercial properties. In 1992, after I had moved to Vermont, searching through some microfilm copies of the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, for environmentally sensitive information, I came across an industrial building in Burlington, and the name Lumière North American... I stopped scrolling the microfilm, even though I was trying to find another part of the city.

Remembering my grandfather's stories: the old Georges Méliès film of an extraordinary Trip to the Moon, and the Lumière Lyon rail station, I had to wonder. Surely there are Vermonters of Quebecois heritage named Lumière, yet: the map clearly said Dry Plates for Photographic …... My curiosity has stayed with me all these years, and whenever I have a minute, I dedicate it to piecing more of the story together. Over twenty years of work.

Other historic research that I have originated, conducted, and presented include: Discovery that the First International Ice Hockey game took place on Lake Champlain at the Burlington Vermont waterfront (State installed a historic marker); Documentation of the earliest known mapping of the now buried, natural ravine and river that transect Burlington Vermont, along with the role this has played on the social and industrial development of the city (two news articles, three public presentations, and one tv clip); Documented that Frederick Law Olmsted considered the natural ravine and landscape of Burlington Vermont an example of advanced land management, at the very time he was designing Central Park in NYC (one public presentation); Developed the case for indicating that the Vermont invention of the “Traverse” and the early development of the braking mechanism are evidence that Burlington played the pivotal role in the establishing of Bobsledding as a modern winter sport; Documented that the first commercially produced toboggan was prepared at a factory in Burlington Vermont; Gave a presentation on the role of the Burlington Depot, during the escape of John Surrat, a conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, through Vermont and into Quebec; Numerous presentation on the geologic feature (ravine) in Burlington Vermont; Documentation of the war winning role that Argentina wool and cotton played during the course of the US Civil War; Presentations on the principal role of afro-argentinean and criollo volunteers in the war to end slavery and colonial Spanish rule in South America in 1810.

Agradecimientos – My thanks

Paul Gittelsohn for the breath taking documentary trailer drone aerial images

John Summa, for documentary trailer production, support and brain storming

Mary O'Neil, for patience, encouragement, and land record research assistance

John Thompson Figueroa, for being the best sounding board on Earth

Holly, for first hearing my crazy ideas and believing in me, as I do in her

Wayne Tack, for being the earliest ambassador to the Lumière Institute

Pablo Troccoli, my brother, who explores the world with me

Ethan de Siefe, for a great interview, edits and ideas

Karen Briggs-Lane, for introducing me to the VT Historical Society

Eloise Biel, for a lifetime of adventures in history

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