The Perfect Gift

Sometimes the right gift makes all the difference. Here is Lora Webb Nichols (1883-1962) studying a negative in her new darkroom.

For her sixteenth birthday, a beau gave her a camera, and at Christmas that year “Pop” presented her with a developing outfit. The Kodak became Lora’s instrument of liberation. It guaranteed her access to the claims and mines, the tram stations, smelter, tie camps and river drives. Her many portraits of women, children, and babies were joined by those of teamsters, miners, ranchers and homesteaders, valley pioneers and saloon keepers. Lora’s gift continued through the accumulation of her years as a professional photographer, and was increased by the work of others from whom she begged and borrowed.

As part of an NHPRC grant to the state historical advisory board, Wyoming awarded the Grand Encampment Museum a grant to digitize the Lora Webb Nichols Collection to provide access to it on its website. The Lora Webb Nichols collection includes photographs, diaries, and other items that date to the turn of the 20th century through the 1950s.

There’s a wonderful video from Wyoming PBS on Lora Webb Nichols and the Grand Encampment Museum has a special focus on women of the Mountain West at

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