Born in Huron, Ontario, Canada, Dan Diamond worked as a cabinetmaker in
Chicago before learning photography. Chicago’s cold weather, combined with the dusty conditions of a woodworking shop, irritated Diamond’s lungs. This condition would plague him for the rest of his life.
Diamond returned to Ontario, studied photography, and set up a studio in
Pocatello, Idaho in the 1890s. In 1896, he moved to Craig, Colorado, where his mother and two brothers resided. Craig operated a gallery from his home and also set up a photo car for his travels.
One afternoon, Diamond and his friend, Amos Bennet, another Craig
photographer, bicycled twenty-two miles north of town to Fortification Rocks, to take photographs of a rhumba of rattlesnakes. They managed to lure nineteen of the snakes into their lunch box and brought their captives back to Craig for a public display.
In the spring of 1898, Diamond set out in his photo car for Baggs and Dixon, Wyoming. That summer, Dan and his brother traveled to Steamboat and Hayden, Colorado.
To treat his tuberculosis, Diamond went to Denver during the fall of 1898 for the Murphy treatment. The results were disappointing. He found some relief in warmer climates, and for the rest of his life would spend considerable time in Arizona and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In August 1901, Diamond was back in Craig working as a photographer.
His photographs of Arizona were included in a stereopticon show alongside work by Amos Bennet and Clyde and Art Seymour.
In late November 1904, declining health forced Diamond to sell all of his camera equipment. Dan Diamond died at his home in Craig on April 22, 1905. He is buried in the Craig Cemetery.
Thank you to Elisabeth Parker, former assistant chief, Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress for proofreading. Daniel Davidson, Director of the Museum of Northwest Colorado, shared his research notes on Dan Diamond with me and Neylan Wheat, Museum of Northwest Colorado provided the scans.