This gelatin dry plate negative was taken by Oliver E. Aultman (1867-1953). In 1901, Aultman was hired by Frank H. Summeril (1866-1923), an entrepreneur from Denver, to photograph a steamboat journey from Green River to Moab, Utah. Summeril intended to start a shipping business using the river route. The "Undine", Summeril’s steamboat, traveled down the Green River to its confluence with the Colorado River, then up the Colorado to Moab, Utah, more than 180 river miles. Throughout the journey, Aultman recorded the passing landscape with both gelatin dry plate negatives and nitrate film negatives. On a second journey along the same route in 1902, Summeril crashed the "Undine", and the steamboat sank. Financially ruined, Summeril abandoned his shipping venture and never compensated Aultman for his work.
Taken during the 1901 expedition, this image depicts a wall of sandstone rock near the Colorado River (Utah). The negative shows a close up of one of the river's steep, rocky banks. Vertical layers of sandstone rock are visible in this negative.
The Aultman Studio (Trinidad, Colo.) operated out of Trinidad from 1889-2000. Oliver E. Aultman founded the studio and was its chief photographer until his son, Glenn Aultman (1904-2000) took over the business in the early 1950's. Otis Aultman (1872-1943), Oliver's younger brother, also operated at photography studio in the Trinidad area from 1892-1907. Several of his images are included in the Aultman Studio collection. While the Aultmans mostly produced studio portraits of Trinidad's residents, they also shot images of landscapes, streets scenes, mining operations, buildings, and local events. This photograph is part the Aultman Studio photograph collection (Ph.00500).