Birmingham View Company

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Birmingham View Company was a commercial photography studio based in Birmingham from c. 1905 until 1961.

The studio's exact beginnings are unknown, however, by 1905 brothers Edgar J. and George R. Hilty, also employed in management positions at Republic Iron and Steel Corporation and First National Bank, worked with the company. In 1906, J. Frank Knox took over the company, located at 416 21st Street North and moved it to 2129 3rd Avenue North.

Knox, who in 1910 opened Knox Portrait Studio, sold Birmingham View in 1923 to George M. D. Davis.

Davis' studio, which moved to 403½ 20th Street North prospered in the late 1920s. Advertisements of the era proclaimed the company motto: "We Photograph Anything, Any Where, Any Time... Views, Groups, Banquets and Commercial Photography." Among the photographers from 1927 until 1937 were German-born Richard Herschell, TCI staff photographer Ernest Pryor, Birmingham News photographer Walter Rosser, Jimmy Wilson, Mercer Wilson, and Fred Arthur Powell.

Powell acquired the studio in 1929, and operated it until it closed in 1961. After Powell's death in 1975, Gary Dobbs acquired the studio negatives dating from the 1920s from Powell's widow. Dobbs and his wife Jackie donated over 14,000 negatives from the Birmingham View Company to the Birmingham Public Library. In 1996, several of these photographs were published in the Birmingham Historical Society's Birmingham View: Through the Years in Photographs.


  • Lewis, Pierce and Marjorie Longenecker White (1996) Birmingham View: Through the Years in Photographs. Birmingham: Birmingham Historical Society. ISBN 0943994217