Summary Information
Title: John Gates Photograph Collection
Collection Number: AIS.1991.22
Creator: Gates, John K.

Collection Dates: ca. 1889-1930
Extent: 239.0 items (8 boxes)

Language: English

This collection consists of 239 photographic images dating from the late-nineteenth century to the early-twentieth century that were collected by John K. Gates, a Uniontown, Pennsylvania, photographer. This collection, broad in scope, captures notable landscapes, industry, everyday life, and social themes. Digital reproductions of the collection are available online.

ULS Archives Service Center
University of Pittsburgh Library System
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
Date Published:

April 2010

Finding aid prepared by Miriam Meislik.

John K. Gates is a former Uniontown and Pittsburgh resident who traces his interest in photography to his father, a photographer. A dentist in Danville, Pennsylvania, he has used his keen interest in photography to collect photographs of others as well as create his own works.

Gates has published several pictorials highlighting the photographs he has collected. These include, A Touch of Nostalgia: A Glimpse of America's Past, In Other Years: Uniontown and Southern Fayette County, and The Beehive Coke Years : A Pictorial History of Those Times.

Collection Scope and Content Notes

The John Gates Photograph Collection contains 239 images from the late-nineteenth century through the early-twentieth century that were collected by John K. Gates, a Uniontown, Pennsylvania, photographer. A number of these photographs were taken by a photographer identified only as “W.B” who captured various views of downtown Pittsburgh, Forbes Field, construction of the Ohio River bridge in Beaver, Pa., and other landscape and industrial scenes. The rest of the collection is very broad in scope, with images representing transportation, industrial, and mining history, as well as images of everyday life and notable subjects including Phipps Conservatory, Highland Park, H.C. Frick Coke Company, the Washington Monument, Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, a Civil War Soldiers Monument, and Chautauqua, NY.


The collection is arranged in 20 series based on subject and geographic location. An item level inventory exists in the archives.

Subject Terms

  • Farms
  • Historic sites
  • Manners and customs
  • Mines and mineral resources
  • Monuments
  • Parks
  • Railroads
  • Rivers

Corporate Names
  • H. C. Frick Coke Company. -- Buildings -- Design and construction

  • Brownsville (Pa.)
  • Chautauqua (N.Y.)
  • Pennsylvania -- History
  • Pennsylvania -- Social life and customs
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.)
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- History
  • Uniontown (Pa.)
  • Washington (D.C.)

  • Personal papers

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Acquisition Information:

Gift of John K. Gates on February 1992.

Alternate Format:

Digital reproductions of the collection are available electronically at

Custodial History:

The collection was obtained from John K. Gates with assistance from Fred Heztel, former director of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Preferred Citation:

John Gates Photograph Collection, ca. 1889-1930, AIS.1991.22, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh


No copyright restrictions.

Separated Material:
Folders D and E from Series II can be found in the University Archives flat, vertical file 7-5.


  • Gates, John K. A touch of nostalgia : a glimpse of America's past Uniontown, Pa. : Photographit, 1981.
  • Gates, John K. The beehive coke years : a pictorial history of those times Uniontown, PA (22 Mullen St., Uniontown, PA, 15401) : J.K. Gates, 1990.
  • Gates, John K. In other years : Uniontown and southern Fayette County Uniontown, Pa. : Photographit, 1979.