Photo Archives - Museum of the Rockies
The Lamme Collection

The Lamme Collection contains a series of over 300 original 5x7 inch glass plate negatives take between 1897 and 1910 by Maurice Allison Lamme. Maurice was the grandson of Achilles Lamme, an early pioneer and Bozeman merchant. The earliest images where taken when Maurice was only sixteen years old. The collection presents a rare view of the people and locales of Bozeman, Montana at the turn of the century. A traveling exhibition entitled "The Good Life" of over 50 selected images was produced by the Photo Archive in the 1980s.

Maurice Allison Lamme was born to Edwin Bates Lamme and Susie Welch Lamme on September 5, 1881 in Bozeman, Montana. He was the older of two boys; his younger brother Clinton was born December 20, 1882. Maurice's father, Edwin, was the son of Achilles Lamme an early pioneer and merchant of Bozeman. Edwin B. Lamme managed the Bozeman Milling Company and Clothing Store at 5 West Main and the Lamme family lived at 501 South Grand Avenue in Bozeman, Montana.

Maurice attended public school in Bozeman, graduating from high school in 1899. That same year he enrolled at Montana State College in chemistry and four years later graduated from MSC with a degree in mineralogy. The earliest images in the collection are from his high school years (circa 1897) when he was only sixteen years old. The Lamme collection consists of more than 300 original 5" x 7" glass negatives taken by Maurice over approximately a thirteen year period. Accurate dates for the majority of the photographs are unknown, but research suggests the period covered is from 1897 to 1910.

After a summer trip to Europe in 1903 Maurice Lamme enrolled in post graduate studies at Columbia University in New York where, after one year of study, he was appointed as assistant instructor of mineralogy. Maurice continued to teach and study at Columbia, receiving his PhD. in 1909.

Several photographs taken by Maurice in Bozeman after 1903 indicate that he returned to Montana in the summers to visit family and friends. In August of 1906 he married his longtime sweetheart Mable Perle Foster, daughter of Dr. Henry Wright Foster of Bozeman. The couple lived for a short time in Bozeman before returning to live in New York in November of 1906.

Little is known about Maurice Lamme's life after leaving the Bozeman area. The last images in the collection date from about 1910 and it is unknown whether Maurice continued his camera work in the surroundings of his new home and friends. Perhaps there exist similar photographs of his friends and family from his years after leaving Bozeman.

Mable Foster Lamme died in New Jersey on June 17th, 1942 and Maurice Allison Lamme followed her on April 15, 1946.