Monday, October 26, 2015

HH Bennett Studio: A Step Into the Past {Wisconsin Dells}


**Thank you to the Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau for providing us with admission to bring these reviews to our readers. No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

I mentioned H.H. Bennett Studio in an earlier post about fall family fun finds in the Wisconsin Dells. I loved the historic site so much that I wanted to provide a little more information as well as pictures. H.H. Bennett Studio is located in the busy downtown Wisconsin Dells strip along Broadway, so the studio is rather easy to miss. However, I recommend a stop!


H.H. Bennett earned a prominent position in Wisconsin Dells history with his many incredible landscape photos of the area including the famous leap across Stand Rock. His stunning photographs are credited with generating much enthusiasm about visiting the Dells. While visiting the Wisconsin Dells, you are sure to see some of H.H. Bennett's photography!

Wisconsin Dells landscapeBennett once was a carpenter. After sustaining an injury during the Civil War, he was no longer able to follow his training in carpentry. In search of a new craft, he taught himself photography and opened his first studio in 1865. While Bennett's landscapes were amazing, his ability to make innovations to the photography process and craft his own equipment was extraordinary. We often take for granted how far photography has come without much understanding of its evolution. The studio introduced us to early photography and ways the Bennett honed his craft through his own ingenuity. You can check out quite a bit of Bennett's original equipment and view his 3D photos on computers in the museum. Super cool!


1870's camera

Kids in particular enjoy taking out stereoscopes to check out some of Bennett's stereo views. Of course, everyone will appreciate the artistry!

stereoscope

Remarkably, H.H. Bennett Studio is the longest running photography studio in the U.S. The current location of the studio was opened in 1875. Exploration through the original studio treated us to views of the back rooms including the dark room and original equipment, the studio where you can stand behind a camera and "take a picture" and the original store where prints, guidebooks and more were sold. An amazing peek into the past!





H. H. Bennett is one of those hidden gems that can easily be missed. My husband, daughter and I all loved it--and it is not often that we can all say we LOVED something--so really worth the stop! We were impressed by the amount of detail presented. The number of artifacts were quite intriguing to explore and the hands-on experiences definitely appeal to kids. Plus, who can't resist taking in some of H.H. Bennett's breathtaking landscapes. Such a wonderful adventure!

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3 comments:

  1. What a VERY cool place - definitely putting it on our to visit list!

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    1. It is very cool! We almost didn't stop but I am so glad we did! Hidden gem! :)

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  2. I love love love going to places with rich history and knowledge like the museums or this place.

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