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H. H. Bennett Studio, Wisconsin Dells
(4.5/5 based on 180+ reviews on the web)
The H. H. Bennett Studio is a historic photographic studio and photography museum located in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, United States. The studio building was built in 1875 by noted landscape photographer H. H. Bennett. It was operated by his family until 1998, when the studio was donated to the Wisconsin Historical Society. Today the studio, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, serves as a historical museum.HistoryH. H. Bennett began his career as a photographer in 1865, when he bought a portrait studio in Kilbourn City (now Wisconsin Dells) from local photographer Leroy Gates. Although there was little demand for portraits in the area, Bennett was able to achieve fame for a series of photographs he took of the nearby Dells of the Wisconsin River. As Bennett's pictures of local scenery became popular in cities across the nation, sightseers began to flock to Kilbourn City to view the Dells in person. Bennett capitalized on this by offering the tourists souvenir postcards and portraits, and was able to build a new red brick studio in 1875. This is the structure that still stands in Wisconsin Dells today. In addition to operating as a typical photographic studio, Bennett's studio functioned as a gift shop and information center for the surrounding area, selling souvenirs and crafts to visitors.At the studio, Bennett devised a number of new technologies to advance his photography. Among the most notable of his creations was his revolving solar printing house. Printing photos in Bennett's time required light, and because electricity was not available, sunlight was needed for Bennett to print any pictures. However, in order to ensure that he had sufficient sunlight throughout the day, Bennett needed a way to move his workspace while the sun moved in the sky. In order to achieve this, he constructed a small building with skylights, and mounted it upon rollers that rode a circular track outside his studio. Then, using a cable and pulley system, he was able to move the printing house around the track as often as needed to ensure optimum sunlight for printing. Bennett's unique creation is now housed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
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3 days in Wisconsin Dells BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in Illinois & Wisconsin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, outdoors, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, kids, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, kids, outdoors, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, kids, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Wisconsin Dells BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA January, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Wisconsin Dells BY A USER FROM IRELAND January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Wisconsin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 4 days in Madison, Baraboo & Wisconsin Dells BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Wisconsin Dells BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, kids, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, kids, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Wisconsin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Wisconsin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 39 days in Wisconsin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We toured this museum the day after we took the Upper Dells boat tour. Very interesting photography in this museum of sites we saw on the tour. Also very knowledgeable staff. Well worth spending an ho...  more »
  • My husband and I had gone through a tour a couple of years ago, but our then 1 year old was with us, so we decided to try again just the two of us. It was very interesting and we enjoyed ourselves. Th...  more »
  • Was very interesting museum on the life of a fantastic photographer. He invented several forms of style photography. 
Google
  • Incredible place for stereo photography geeks! Art History Alert! Perhaps Bennett will become known as the godfather of virtual reality for his pioneering use of stereoscopic imagery. I took the opportunity to link the most historic photographic studio in America, to the future, by creating 360 degree photospheres which I can view in the Oculus Rift. This was run as conscious conceptual art. Knowing the chronology. I was first to visit 360 photos upon H.H Bennett Studio!! Artistic statement to the virtual reality, present.
  • Great way to learn about how the Dells were discovered and how the town developed
  • Excellent for tourists who are photog lovers! Hidden gem among the commercialized strip.
  • If you want to learn about the history of the Dells area, I highly recommend this place. Everything that has taken place over the years is recorded and explained by friendly staff. On the Upper Dells Boat tours they talk about Bennett and how much he impacted the area so it was great going in and learning more.
  • Amazing history and great exhibit.