O. Henry Mace
Author Online Media Manager
About O. Henry Mace
O. Henry Mace has been a professional photographer for most of his adult life. While working on a psychology degree at the University of Missouri, Henry operated a small-town photography studio. In 1971, he and his new wife moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where Henry worked as a medical videographer and freelance photographer. His clients included renowned maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Richard Hamilton, Barbizon Models, the Mrs. America Pageant, Pentax Corporation, Vidal Sassoon, and Aaron Spelling Productions (top photo), among others.
Henry and his wife relocated to Laguna Beach, California in 1981. After attending the Newport School of Photography, Henry opened a commercial photography studio in nearby Irvine.
During a visit to an Orange County flea market in 1986, Henry purchased a group of six cased photographs dating from the mid-19th century. Finding that no one had ever written a comprehensive book on the subject, Henry produced Collector’s Guide to Early Photographs for publisher Wallace-Homestead. Now considered the photo collector’s “bible,” this book has sold over 30,000 copies worldwide in two editions.
Henry’s discovery of a rare daguerreotype of inventor Seth Boyden in 1991 led to a research grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission and publication of the paper, “Seth Boyden: Unsung Pioneer of Photography”-- later republished in the 2005 Daguerreian Annual as The Boyden Daguerreotype Camera: A History and Analysis of One of America’s Fist Photographic Instruments. The daguerreotype of Seth Boyden that Henry discovered now resides in the Smithsonian Institution.
The success of Collector's Guide to Early Photographs led Henry to produce a second title for Wallace-Homestead’s collector series, Collector’s Guide to Victoriana, in 1991. While photographing Victorian interiors for that book he and his wife fell in love with the small town atmosphere of California’s Gold Country, and later that year they moved to Jackson, California. In 1992, Henry published the popular local history, Between the Rivers: A History of Early Calaveras County, California and presented a scholarly paper entitled “History in Your Hands” at the University of the Pacific's 1992 California History Institute Gold Rush Conference.
Henry designed his first website, timeship.com, in 1996, when the World Wide Web was just six years old. The following year, when Henry and his wife co-founded the Gold Rush History Alliance (GRHA), timeship.com became the primary outlet for promoting that organization and historical information regarding the California Gold Rush.
By the turn of the 21st Century, Timeship's splash page sported an animated three-masted sailing ship that cruised onto the page and settled under the masthead. It wasn't Flash® (then in its infancy), and Henry wasn't the only one using animated web elements at that time, but the concept was impressive enough to win him a Dottie Award (middle photo) in Sacramento in 2001.
In addition to photography (bottom photo) and web work, Henry continues to focus on writing historical non-fiction. His most recent book, 47 Down: The 1922 Argonaut Gold Mine Disaster, is a history of America's worst gold mining disaster, published by the prestigious firm of John Wiley & Sons. Henry is currently working on a biography of one of America's premier female Washington correspondents, Ruth Finney, as well as a history of California in the Civil War.
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