Published: April 20, 2018

Lachlan McLean photograph of a pioneer woman with a burro in 19th century Clear Creek County

The Lachlan McLean Photograph Collection contains this photograph of a pioneer woman with a burro in 19th century Clear Creek County. It was used by Time-Life Books, The Women; with text by Joan Swallow Reiter, (Alexandria, Va.: Time-Life Books, 1978).

Perhaps because the shot was the first page sized shot in the book, for the next 20 years we received requests from a large number of researchers for that same image, sometimes mistakenly believed to be a California ‘49er. No one seemed interested in any of the other images of women from that collection, or other McLean photos, for that matter. Such was the power of the mass published image.

The Time Life book that used Lachlan McLean's photograph of a  pioneer woman

Lachlan McLean was born in Barrhead, Scottland in 1844. He conducted his photographic apprenticeship in Glasgow, Scottland and was a member of the Union and Crown Lodge No. 307 at Barrhead. He moved to Georgetown, Colorado in 1872 and is listed as a photographer in the Colorado Business Directories for 42 years (1885-1927). Much of this time was spent around Idaho Springs, Colorado. He died on June 29, 1929.

100 Stories for 100 YearsThe University of Colorado Boulder Libraries will celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Archives on June 6, 2018. This is story #53 in our series: 100 Stories for 100 Years from the Archives!