Hew Charles Torrance
This biography was attached to the back of one of the artist's images, the author & date not provided: Torrance was born in Old Comnock, Scotland. After attending the London School of Mines, he and his brother traveled to South America. Torrance later came to the United States and settled in Pittsburgh, first working as a chemist fo the Carnegie Steel Company and then for the Oliver Iron and Steel Company. In 1898 he was made district sales manager of the Industrial Brownholst Corporation. Little is known about how or when Torrance became interested in photography, but being a chemist, he was poised for success, as the medium favored those with an affinity for experimenting with mixing solutions. This was especially true in the early twentieth century when photographers sought to create unique prints by means of subtle processing. Torrance's images are superb examples of pictorialism and merit recognition as among the most beautiful images ever made of "hell with the lid off" Pittsburgh. Keenly interested in having his photographs judged and exhibited, Torrance achieved considerable success in these efforts, as indicated by the many salon certificates attached to the backs of his works. The most impressive are those from the London Salon of Photography, which distinguish Torrance from his pictorialist colleagues in Pittsburgh, most of whom chose not to enter their work in juried exhibitions abraod.