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 Camille N (Drie) Dry  (1842 - 1918)

About: Camille N (Drie) Dry


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Lived/Active: Missouri/Mississippi / France      Known for: birds-eye topographic views, lithography

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information was submitted in July of 2006 by his great-granddaughter Margie Hall:

Camille N. Dry (sometimes also spelled Drie) was  born in Vielverge, France on Dec. 25, 1842, and came to America in 1864, serving in the Union  Army as a draughtsman  at the headquarters of Brigadier General Benham, City Point, Va.  But he had actually been educated in France as an engineer. 

Later, he married and traveled extensively throughout the south with his family while doing birds-eye views. In 1883, he became employed with the French attempt to build the Panama Canal and thus spent some time in Panama.

He returned to Europe and also worked as an engineer in French Algeria, but returned to America around 1891, where he worked for an Iron works in New Jersey, and for the Bell Telephone Company in St. Louis, which was from 1904 to 1911.  He did some birds-eye views around the turn of the century, but most of them were before 1875, and by 1904 he would have been 62.  He probably died around 1918, in Tarrytown, New York.
Active late 19th and early 20th centuries, Camille Dry, a lithographer and businessman, did about a dozen birds-eye city views during his three-decade career from 1871 to 1904.  The work for which he is most remembered and which appears to be a one-person project, is a 110-sheet view of St. Louis, Missouri that was published in 1875 and identifies with minute drawing 1999 names and titles of buildings and business places.  The title is Pictorial St. Louis Metropolis of the Mississippi Valley: A Topographical Survey Drawn in Perspective A.D. 1875.

No record has been found of the birth or death dates of Camille Dry (also spelled Drie), but St. Louis city directories provide business and residential addresses during the 1870s for this man who was listed as a "draughtsman."  The name Drie also appears on 1870s lithographic views of Galveston, Texas; Vicksburg, Mississippi and Columbus, Mississippi, and his publishers during those years were J.J. Stoner and Albert Ruger.

Sources include:
Dr. Ron Tyler, Texas Birds-Eye Views
Peter Hastings Falk (ed.), Who Was Who in American Art

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