Post by annabanana on Aug 25, 2020 18:10:03 GMT -5
Hello, I'm researching a 19th century photographer named Oliver Brown Buell, sometimes referred to as Otto Buell, or Professor O.B. Buell. I've seen so many photos on Pinterest by Oliver, credited as Otto, linking back to this forum.
Can anyone tell me where the name Otto came from? It doesn't come up anywhere else in my research.
I'm so curious to know if there's a story behind it, or if it's a spelling mistake that's just gone viral.
He was an American based in Montreal, who seems to have worked, at least for a time, for the Canadian Pacific Railroad; I've also seen him referred to as Oliver. I wonder if this was an attempt to sound less Germanic, perhaps to deflect racism.
Post by annabanana on Aug 26, 2020 15:00:21 GMT -5
Hi Graham, thanks for your quick reply. I have read Kalli's thesis and been in touch with her. I've also reviewed the Glenbow collection. I did also go through the national archives. They must have revamped their site.
I went to the central library in Calgary today and looked at some books by Brock Silversides. In his "Waiting for the Light" published in 1995, he refers to him as Otto. In his other books, published after that date, he doesn't. Brock is retired from the UofT, so I don't expect to hear from him.
Interesting theory, about deflecting racism, but his legal name was Oliver. I've seen the birth and death records. I had a fun idea that maybe one of the Chiefs he photographed gave him that nickname.
Post by annabanana on Sept 18, 2020 13:24:51 GMT -5
Replying to myself just to let anyone interested know that I've figured it out. It seems that Brock Silversides used the name "Otto Buell" in his early books, but then switched to "Oliver Buell" in his later books. It appears to be an error.
Brilliant! Wonder why Silversides called him Otto - and it's not that long ago, either, yet the name seems to have stuck. Have you seen any of his photos in a mount with a blind stamp on it? Have to admit that I haven't.
Post by annabanana on Sept 27, 2020 10:37:33 GMT -5
Hi, no I haven't seen a mounted photo of his with a blind stamp. I've seen some earlier stereoscopic prints in a paper mount with his name stamped on the paper, but not on the photo.
I think someone tagged photos in Pinterest that were incorrectly labeled in the Saskatchewan archives. It probably took off from there. I've checked with the national archives and they have no record of the use of "Otto," so I've asked the Saskatchewan archives to revise their listing credits.
It'd be very cool to see a photo with a blind stamp now that you've put the idea in my head.