JMJRPH The Kolb Studio, South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon Village, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona., USA

Norman Wharton/Alamy

Kolb Studio

Top choice in Grand Canyon National Park South Rim

In 1905 Ellsworth and Emery Kolb built a small photography studio on the edge of the rim, which has since been expanded and now holds a bookstore and a museum. An original Kolb brothers 1911 silent film runs continuously, and shows incredible footage of their early explorations of the Colorado River, and the museum displays mementos and photographs from their careers. In January and February, the NPS offers tours of their original Craftsman home, in a lower level of the studio.

The brothers arrived at the canyon from Pennsylvania in 1902 and made a living photographing parties descending the Bright Angel Trail. Because there was not enough water on the rim to process the film, they had to run 4.5 miles down the trail to a spring at Indian Garden, develop the film and race back up in order to have the pictures ready when the party returned.

By 1924 the Kolbs' dynamic and conflicting personalities challenged their business relationship, and they flipped a coin to decide who got to stay to run the photography business at Grand Canyon. Ellsworth lost and headed to California, and Emery remained until his death in 1976, at the age of 95.

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