Monday, November 2, 2009

What I was doing today………………

I spent an overnight at the famously haunted and historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. This hotel was the Inspiration for Stephen King’s 'The Shining’. After learning the full story behind his stay there, one wonders if he really saw the Hotel Ghost Guests, or was merely having drunken hallucinations. But it was a great story (although not the same story that Stanley Kubrick filmed). Of course I photographed the Hotel in B&W film, but you’ll have to wait for me to develop it before I can share the images.

King almost single handedly saved this historic building by filming his version of The Shining at the Stanley in a 1997 mini-series. The Network paid for a major renovation of the nearly derelict hotel. Today a financially stable private owner has let the Hotel be what it is….a famously haunted vintage Georgian Hotel at the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.

So what does any of this have to do with Photography? Quite a bit…….read this entry from , regarding the Stanley Brothers' contribution to our photographic art……

"Francis and his twin brother Freelan formed the Stanley Dry Plate Company in 1883 to manufacture dry plates for the photographic process invented by Francis. They sold the company to Eastman Kodak in 1905, as their interest had turned to steam-powered automobiles. They had invented the “Stanley Steamer” in 1896, the first steam motorcar in New England, and formed the Stanley Motor Company to manufacture them. Francis served as president of the firm. The pair actively competed in auto races, pitting their steam power against gasoline-fueled engines and often winning. Using one of their steam cars, they set a world record in 1906 for fastest mile, 28.2 seconds (or 127 mph [205 kph). The brothers sold the business in 1918, having manufactured more than 10,000 “Steamers.” Francis died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident that same year."

So George Eastman did NOT invent the dry plate process regardless of what you might have been told. The Stanley Brothers are more famous for their steam car, but selling their patent to Eastman Kodak made them millionaires (billionaires in today's money). F.O. Stanley built the hotel so his wife could entertain their East Coast friends during their summers in Colorado. Visits were by invitation only! He was influential in getting Rocky Mountain National Park formed; and he repopulated the wildlife that had been slaughtered by a British Aristocrat of less than sterling reputation in the U.S.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I didn't know this version of the story :)

  2. That was visit, it must be exciting to go to a place were a movie was performed.

  3. Eastman needed their emulsion formula, because he had been experimenting for years without success. It was a major break through towards 'creating' modern roll film.

  4. It was fun being there. And I love history. I want to re-read the Shining now!