HITTELL, John S. (1825-1901). Yosemite: its Wonders and its Beauties. Illustrated with Twenty Photographic Views Taken by "Helios" [Edweard J. Muybridge] and a map of the Valley. San Francisco: H. H. Bancroft & Co., 1868.
12o (185 x 114 mm), 59pp., 3pp. advertisements at back, double-page lithographed map (by Britton and Rey, lithographers), 20 mounted original photographs by Edweard J. Muybridge. (Plate 13 with several minor traces of adhesion). Original forest green cloth, covers blind-ruled, upper cover gilt-lettered "YOSEMITE. (The mounted images have resulted in slight cockling to mounts, as usual). A fine, tight copy, with no foxing.
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST YOSEMITE GUIDE, WITH ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHS BY MUYBRIDGE. In his description, Hittell extols Yosemite Valley, noting that it "is generally regarded by travelers who have visited it as one of the greatest, if not the greatest of the natural wonders of the world." He describes each notable feature of the landscape in considerable detail and quotes from letters of Horace Greeley, Thomas Starr King, J.D. Whitney and other eminent visitors. Muybridge's small but striking photographic images measure 2½ x 3¼ in. and each is neatly pasted in above a letterpress caption. Eighteen of the images are signed in the lower corner "Helios," the pseudonym Muybridge used in his early career. In his full-page advertisement in the back, Muybridge glowingly describes his premises at 415 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, details the series of western images on sale there and touts the photography of "Helios." Muybridge is best-known for his photographic studies of animal and human locomotion, pioneering studies which led ultimately to the development of motion picture technology. The highly detailed frontispiece map of the Yosemite Valley, is often lacking. Farquhar, Yosemite, 8; Howes H-542; Sabin 32274; Streeter sale, 2917.