Tuesday, October 16, 2007

South Face of Aoraki Mt. Cook taken by Dr. Teichelmann

Teichelmann, his photos and writings still generate interest and still contribute to science even 100 years later.

I got this email the other day from Tim Kerr a young Ph D. student at Canterbury University, and I post this to show what top quality photographs generate even 103 years later.

What delights me is if Teichelmann wanted to be remembered as any one thing, it would be his contribution to science and conservation. Thanks Tim for acknowledging this great man.

10/16/2007 05:09 PM

Teichelmann photo date question - with image

Hi Bob,

I am a student at Canterbury University investigating rain and snowfall in the Mt Cook area. Recently I have been looking at pre4paring some before and after images of the glaciers in the region. I obtained a copy of a photo from the Canterbury Museum from the Kennedy Collection attributed to Teichelmann. Unfortunately the museum has no date for the photo. I have scoured your book and concluded that the photo wasprobably taken in 1904, but he had plenty of opportunity to have taken
it on other occasions too.

Would you have an idea of how I could tie this date down? There are two avenues that I think may be a possibility:
1/ a review of his diaries at the time. Do you know where I can access them?
2/ I am guessing that he used different cameras on different occasions (e.g. a smaller one when climbing). There may be a way of determining from the photograph what type of camera was used. Do you know if this is possible?

Any information or help would be gratefully accepted.


Tim Kerr
PhD Student
Department of Geography
University of Canterbury

Dear Tim

In 1904 Teichelmann set out to have a good look at the Mt. Cook side of the Southern Alps with his Large plate camer and 5 " x 4 " film camera

I believe he knew then in 1904 that an International Exhibition was to be held in Christchurch in 1907 and that would have spurred him on to build up his photographic collection.

On page 194 of my book there is a photograph of Mt. Cook and the old Hermitage he tool in 1904. The shape of the snow plasterings on the South Face look very similar to the photo you have attached. Unfortunately I am moving house here in Jakarta and my electronic copies of photos are in storgae for a few weeks. I lived at Mt. Cook in the early 70's for some years and my bedroom looked at the South Face of Mt. Cook. The snow plasterings vary quite significantly from year to year which tends my bet that the photo you sent would be 1904.

Re plate cameras, Bruce White, English teacher at Westland High school ( try Hokitia phone boook, under Bruce and Angela White ) still uses one and helped me edit Teichelmann. He may be your best bet of the likelihood of which canmera he used. My bet again he would have used his large plate camera as it was in the valley.

If I can be of further help, please contact me.

Good luck with your very interesting research.


If you would like a copy of Teichelmann, the New Zealand edition distributed by Craig Potton Publishing, is available at bookshops throughout New Zealand, and on the West Coast at Take Note bookshops, Greymouth, Hokitika and Franz Josef Glacier.

Ebenezer Teichelmann – Cutting Across Continents’ by Bob McKerrow, is the international edition and available internationally at India Research Press.New Delhi,www.indiaresearchpress

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