Much of Indianapolis’s visual history from the past century is known due of the  foresight of one commercial photography studio: The W. H. Bass Photo Company, located at 308 S. New Jersey Street from 1897 to the present. Because of the weight of hundreds of glass negatives, not to mention the space taken up by images that no customer is likely to order again, many nineteenth-century photographers either discarded or sold off their old glass plates to companies that specialized in reclaiming the silver from the photographic emulsion and reusing the glass (reportedly for greenhouses, but this use is questioned by some photo historians). Very early in the studio’s history, William H. Bass and his colleagues saw the historic value of this growing collection of negatives of Indianapolis street scenes, businesses, and houses and today the first place one looks for old photographs of the city is the Bass Photo Collection now preserved at the Indiana Historical Society.