Max Florence was born in 1865 to Russian-Jewish parents in Latvia. He moved to America when he was nineteen and made his way West. Eventually he ended up in Salt Lake City where he owned several motion picture theaters and the Florence Film Exchange. He apparently sold these businesses in 1911 or 1912. After 1911 he ran a restaurant, owned an express truck, and marketed alcohol during prohibition. After serving a sentence in prison for conspiracy to transport contraband liquor, he moved to Farmington, Utah. He died of cancer in 1932. Gordon Van Fleet purchased the Florence home after a fire in 1944 and discovered the hidden slides. Mr. Van Fleet donated the images to Special Collections in 1991.
The Gisbert Bossard/Max Florence Collection consists of about 60 glass lantern slides used by Max Florence for a series of lectures he delivered in New York City in 1911. Included in the slides are rare interiors of the Salt Lake Mormon Temple by Gisbert Ludolf Gerhart Bossard. Bossard was a Swiss convert to Mormonism who fell out with the church and took these pictures as a form of revenge in 1911. He gave the images to Max Florence who tried to sell them in New York City. Florence was not able to find a buyer and after the LDS Church published House of the Lord with better quality interiors of the temple in 1912, the issue became moot. The other views consist of American Presidents, a woman behind bars with the caption "The White Slave" across it, Salt Lake politicians and boosters such as Florence and Samuel Newhouse, views of a streetcar in front of several buildings including the Elite Theatre and the Tribune building, portraits of LDS Church leaders, the Florence Film Exchange, the Elite Theatre, and the Luna Theatre. Some of these images were taken by Charles Ellis Johnson.
Other Descriptive Information
The description listed next to each image is transcribed directly from the information written on the envelope containing each lantern slide. The physical condition of the slides is generally good, although some have small cracks.
Restrictions on Access : Restrictions
No restrictions on use except: not available through interlibrary loan.Restrictions on Use : Copyright
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.
Permission to publish material from the Gisbert Bossard/Max Florence Photograph Collection must be obtained from the Special Collections Photograph Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.Alternative Forms Available :
View selected digitized images in this collection from the Gisbert Bossard/Max Florence photograph collectionPreferred Citation :
Initial Citation: P0002; Gisbert Bossard/Max Florence Photograph Collection; Photograph Collections; Utah State University Special Collections and Archives, Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University.
Following Citations: P0002, USUSC.
Arranged in numeric sequence according to box and item.
Processing Note :
Processed in 2001Acquisition Information :
donated to Special Collections by Gordon Van Fleet in 1991.Acquisition Information :
Gordon Van Fleet purchased a home previously owned by Max Florence after a fire in 1944 and discovered the hidden slides. Mr. Van Fleet donated the images to Special Collections in 1991.
Detailed Description of the Collection