John Mather Home
John Aked Mather came from England to America in 1856. Having apprenticed himself to a traveling photographer, Mather arrived in Titusville in 1860 and began an unparalleled documentation of the oil industry. He followed every aspect of the development of oil production, and captured the famous portrait of his close friend, Edwin L. Drake, who had drilled the first oil well in 1859.
Mather took more than 20,000 photographs in his lifetime, but tragedy struck in 1892 with the great flood and fire of Oil Creek. "Water ran more than five feet deep through Mather's studio, and he lost more than sixteen thousand glass negatives. This irreparable loss was not only a personal financial loss to the photographer but was a historical loss for future generations." (John A. Mather: Oildom's Photographic Historian, by Miller & Stratton, published in 1972) Following Mather's death in 1915, thousands of surviving negatives were acquired for the Drake Well Museum where they remain intact.
Mather also involved himself in the community. As an accomplished violinist and cornet player, Mather formed and directed the first band in the
(Titusville Herald, 8/24.1915)
[Photo captions, counterclockwise from top left, read]
The house as it appeared when occupied by the Mathers C. 1900
John A. Mather (self portrait) C. 1870
Mather's Studio on South Franklin Street in Titusville, 1887
Glass negatives had to be processed quickly, so Mather turned a wagon and a boat into darkrooms for processing the oil field photos.
Erected by Oil Region Alliance and City of Titusville.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features. A significant historical year for this entry is 1856.
Location. 41° 37.703′ N, 79° 40.014′ W. Marker is in Titusville, Pennsylvania, in Crawford County. Marker is on Main Street east of Kerr Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 407 East Main Street, Titusville PA 16354, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John A. Mather (a few steps from this marker); The Tarbell House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ida M. Tarbell (about 300 feet away); McKinney Hall (about 500 feet away);
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. John Aked Mather at Find A Grave. (Submitted on August 26, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Titusville (Oil Region Alliance). (Submitted on August 26, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 26, 2019. It was originally submitted on August 26, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 161 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 26, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.