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W. H. Tipton photo of fortifications on Little Round Top (Library of Congress)

York CWRT to discuss photographer William H. Tipton at January 16 meeting

Press Release, York CWRT: On January 16, 2019, please join the York Civil War Round Table as it kicks off its 22nd campaign year, welcoming local author Randy Drais as the featured guest speaker. Mr. Drais will be presenting a PowerPoint program titled” William H. Tipton: The Man Behind the Camera – How He Influenced the Gettysburg Battlefield.”

The monthly meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Historical Society Museum, Library & Archives, 250 E. Market Street, York, Pennsylvania. Admission and parking are both free, and the meeting is open to the public. Please bring a friend.

Most, if not all, Battle of Gettysburg buffs have heard about Gettysburg photographer William H. Tipton. He studied photography as the apprentice of Charles and Isaac Tyson, who were among the earliest Gettysburg photographers. Tipton later went into business for himself, taking thousands of photographs of visitors to the Gettysburg battlefield. He also established Tipton Park and was a major force behind the establishment of the Gettysburg Electric Railway’s trolley line on the battlefield.

By 1888, Tipton had produced approximately 5,000 views of the Gettysburg battlefield (the vast majority of the collection was acquired by the Gettysburg National Military Park from C. Tyson Tipton in 1935) and more than 100,000 portraits. Join amateur historian Randy Drais as we learn not only about William H. Tipton’s many influences on Gettysburg, the battlefield, and the Gettysburg National Military Park, but also his family and their involvement as well, and see many of Tipton’s rarely seen battlefield photographs.

York-based author Randy Drais (submitted)

Born and raised in York, Pennsylvania, Randy S. Drais developed a keen interest in the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Campaign immediately after a 5th grade field trip to that famous Civil War battlefield. A graduate of York College, Randy worked for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, the Pennsylvania Senate, and the Pennsylvania Department of State. He co-authored “Texans at Gettysburg: Blood and Glory with Hood’s Texas Brigade” (with Joe Owen, a ranger at the Lyndon Johnson National Historic Park). They are currently working on a second volume. Randy also created and maintains the popular website Battle of Gettysburg Buff and its corresponding digital quarterly newsletter.