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From the photo, slide and postcard archive of Spencer Lionel Adams
Spencer Lionel Adams was born in Skaneateles, New York.Born June 12, 1870Went to Cornell UniversityElected president of the class of ’93Went off to Yale to earn a law degree, serving as an editor of theYale Law Journalin 1895.Went to Chicago to make his worldly fortune as an attorneyPresident of the Cornell Alumni ClubPublished a collection of his photos and impressions calledOld Scenes in Autumn Colors.
The Cornell Alumni News reported: “He has developed his hobby, photography, to a point where he makes lantern slides from his own negatives, and uses them to illustrate lectures. These, given gratuitously to assemblies of Cornell men, historical and library associations, cover a wide range of geographical and historical subjects.”
Continuedphotography when he retired from the practice of law, and began to divide his time between Skaneateles and “Little Bluff” at Content Harbor on Cape Cod.He then took his camera on an around-the-world cruise on the Empress of Britain, covering 33,000 miles — New York to Madeira and the Canary Islands, down the coast of Africa to Cape Town and Johannesburg, with an excursion to the Kimberly diamond mines, then on to Singapore, Siam (Thailand), Java, Manila in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Canton and Peking, thence to Honolulu, San Francisco, through the Panama Canal and back to New York. Formed a relationship with the T Enami studio and had much of his work printed in their studioincluding photos and Magic Lantern glass slides.(Many of the photos and slides we will be selling have this T enami designation)
After his around-the-world trip, he took “a pleasure trip” to South America. In Skaneateles, he took pictures of the countryside, and many pictures of the log cabin he had built on the hill behind the home.
Spencer moved again, this time to Santa Barbara, California. He bought a house on Santa Barbara’s “Riviera,”.
Spencer Lionel Adams is finally getting recognized for his photographiccompositioncovering a wide range of subjects coveringhistoricand scenic geographiclocations.