Arthur C. Pillsbury Foundation

Protecting and Preserving All Life -- By Extending Human Vision

The Conspiracy Continues: 1915 
The Cover-Up:  1927 - 2018

  This is an investigative report which illustrates the power and ruthlessness of the elites who have brought America to the brink of fascism today.  Government-owned business and business-owning government offer us the worst of both.  The report illustrates how one person can fight those who use deceits, misdirections, pay-offs, and other crimes to destroy freedoms and the environment for each of us.

The battlegrounds are in places of natural beauty, theaters, and within each of us.  

Did you attend the Centennial for the first Nature Movie ever made? 
That Centennial took place in late October, 1909.

This is one of the ways Arthur C. Pillsbury jump-started attendence at his showings.  Movie time was after dark, because they took place outside, on the porch of The Studio of the Three Arrows, the studio Pillsbury bought in 1906 from the profits made from his photos, from the first day on, of the San Francisco Earthquake & Fire.  Pillsbury also designed and build the camera.  The Circuit Panorama Camera, the first of its kind, was designed and built while he was a senior at Stanford in 1897.  The resolution on the photos was so high they could be printed up to 20 feet long.  
San Francisco Earthquake & Fire, First Day - Photo by Arthur C. Pillsbury
We start with Dr. Arthur F. Pillsbury, the youngest son of Arthur C. Pillsbury.  Dr. Pillsbury, now in his 70's retired from the University of California, Los Angeles, five years before. 

Here is Dr. Pillsbury with his wife, Mary Alice Reasoner Pillsbury.  They met at a party in Berkeley while she was majoring in Theoretical Math.  She was a senior and paying her way through college tutoring Pure Projective Geometry.  

1977 - A Troubling Moment 
Dr. Pillsbury received a copy of “ Yosemite and its Innkeepers,” by Shirley Sargent, published June 1, 1975,  and had been surprised and troubled by the lack of factual and substantial information on his famous father’s pivotal role in the development of Yosemite National Park using photography and motion pictures, and on issues of preservation and understanding of Nature.   This awakened in him a concern, which before he had dismissed. 

Double-Agent Harrison begins writing Grace, and her younger brother,
                                       Dr. Pillsbury, both childhood friend of Virginia Best Adams
On February 5, 1978, Dr.  Arthur F. Pillsbury received a letter from a young man asking him for information about his father, Arthur C. Pillsbury.  Therefore, hearing someone was engaged in research came as a relief.  Dr. Arthur F. Pillsbury, AC’s son, had retired from his position as Director of the Water Resources Center for the University System of California but was still active in consulting work, and in his local community, Dr. Pillsbury responded immediately February 9th, 1978.  His sister, Grace Young had received a letter from the same man.   The correspondent, Stephen Douglas Harrison, was asking about their father, who they had continued to call Uncle after he adopted them six weeks after their parents were killed in an auto accident in September of 1911. 

Stephen Douglas Harrison

Their birth father, Dr. Ernest Sargent Pillsbury, was two years older than Arthur C. Pillsbury.  The father and uncle, as brothers, had attended Stanford University together in the first and second classes.  At the time of the accident, when orphaned, Dr. Pillsbury, named for his uncle was five; Grace was ten; and their older brother, Ernest, Jr., 11.
Dr. Pillsbury lived through the years of having his new father leave California to make Nature presentations across the country but understood the importance of his father’s work.  Arthur C. Pillsbury had been named the Official Photographer for Yosemite by Stephen Mather, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior, at the beginning of the campaign for the National Parks. The dawning reality that his father’s role in this major campaign had been erased from history, slowly began to sink into Dr. Pillsbury’s mind. 

The Studio in Old Village

The old studio was small and cramped, purchased by Pillsbury in late 1906 for the 1907 season in Yosemite. The first five seasons were dedicated to a census of the wildflowers then filling the meadows of the Valley and up into the high country.  At first, postcards were printed in San Francisco and Oakland for the Pillsbury Studio, which was also called The Studio of the Three Arrows, the name used by the previous proprietors.  This would change with AC Pillsbury’s invention of the Mass Production Photo Postcard Machine in 1919.  Dad told me when he was running the postcard machine there, beginning when he was around 15, Ansel Adams, who worked there as a janitor, took the photographic workshops offered, instead of wages. Adams kept tripping over the machine and spoiling postcards, Dad told me.   

Yosemite Post Office                                                                                                          Old Village, Yosemite - 1915                                                                                                Pillsbury Studio

Arthur Clarence Pillsbury – The Wildflower Man of Yosemite, Photos, and Movies

According to the records at Leland Stanford  Junior University, Pillsbury began filming, first of sports events in 1892, soon after he bought his first movie camera, while still in college.  To earn his way through college Pillsbury ran two businesses just outside Stanford's gate, a bicycle shop, and a photographic studio.  By the time Pillsbury purchased his studio in Yosemite, he was working on the filming techniques needed to produce realistic ‘nature movies.’   The first of these ever made was shown in 1909, and starting in 1910 showings after dark took place several times a week on the porch of the Pillsbury Studio, also called the Studio of the Three Arrows.   After 1912, lapse-time footage of flowers blooming, as they lived out their short lives, were included with footage of the Sierra Club events, and amazing footage of the natural world.  Pillsbury’s films, accompanied by narrative lectures nation-wide, caused a marked and steady rise in the number of people who risked the bad roads to journey to Yosemite and other natural wonders.  Pillsbury usually paid his own expenses for his lecture tours; then later was paid by organizations eager to experience this new form of entertainment in both theatres and universities.

His lectures and films were viewed as entertainment, yet were based on the accurate portrayal of human events and nature.  Over the coming years, Pillsbury would be asked to make regular presentations at universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and hundreds of other colleges, the National Geographic Society multiple times, every major town hall in America and more overseas contracted for Pillsbury to present his films.  Each year a new subject was presented. By 1919, Pillsbury had licensed his films to Pathe, Paramount, and Universal for worldwide distribution.  

Before viewing a Pillsbury film, no one had ever seen a flower’s life cycle take place before their eyes. Now, they could. It had taken Pillsbury five years of studies to document the requirements for the 500 varieties of wildflower included in his films using his adjustable lapse-time photography motion picture camera, which he invented in 1912.  This and later developments by Pillsbury changed how we see the world.  He became known as “The Wildflower Man” both for saving the wildflowers of Yosemite from being mowed, and for bringing 500 species of wildflowers to bloom on film, stirring audiences to appreciation worldwide. Movies of animals, birds, plants, trees, waterfalls, and panoramas, using his invented Circuit Panorama Camera, inspired people to both preserve and just visit beautiful places.
  Arthur C. Pillsbury filled auditoriums across the country, these audiences growing both through traditional media and word of mouth. People who made it to Yosemite, then bought Pillsbury’s postcards, sending them to friends. Pillsbury noted that 5,000 cards once were sold in one day, produced on the machine operated by his son.  Friends told by friends attending the Pillsbury film showings, drew even more people to the Valley. Everyone wanted to meet “The Wildflower Man”, as well as see what he would show them next. AC remained humble in his accomplishments and fame because all his technology was simply in the service of his goal of getting Nature widely understood. The Park Service was not the only possible nor correct avenue of
achieving that goal.
The book Dr. Pillsbury needed for understanding what had happened and was still happening, was then being written only a few miles from the home of his daughter, Melinda.  “Creating the National Parks – The Missing Years,” written by Horace M. Albright, the second Director of the National Park Service, would have awakened him to Stephen Mather’s character and background.  Albright had also authored the foreword for the Shirley Sargent book, “Yosemite and Its Innkeepers.”  Albright’s ‘The Missing Years” was not published after Albright’s death in 1987 until 1999, when the Yosemite Valley & Curry Company was removed as a concessionaire from Yosemite.  The book had obviously been delayed in release because it revealed a shocking level of corruption inherent to the founding of the National Park System. 

When Pillsbury had begun showing his first-of-the-kind Nature Movies in 1909 and started regular weekly showings at his studio in 1910, their popularity was immediate, increasing the flow of tourists to the Yosemite Valley to see them.  In 1912, Pillsbury showed his impactive innovation, lapse-time motion pictures of flowers blooming, to the conference for all of the Superintendents of the National Parks, held in Yosemite that year.  Amazed by seeing wildflowers blooming, stretching, moving; the Superintendents halted the mowing of the meadows to produce fodder for their horses.  Arthur C. Pillsbury became famous as “The Wildflower Man of Yosemite”.