Grandview Heights Moment in Time

These "miners" are sitting in front of a coal loader made by the Jeffrey Manufacturing Company of Columbus. Corporate photographer and Grandview resident Fred Behmer often staged environments that would be similar to where Jeffrey Manufacturing equipment would be used for purposes of documentation and advertising. This 1918 photograph of a mine scene used a background painted to look like the interior of a coal mine. It was created inside the Jeffrey plant, with Jeffrey employees dressed like miners having a lunch break.

Fred Behmer was born in 1886 in Columbus, and at an early age he gained access to a camera and quickly developed an eye for photography.

At 16 years old he started taking photographs for money, and at 17 he began working at Jeffrey Manufacturing doing corporate photography. He married in 1907, and he and his wife, Sophia, had a son and two daughters. The family later moved to a new home at 1407 Wyandotte Road in Grandview.

After about a year, Behmer left Jeffrey to join Baker Art Gallery of Columbus, which was the largest photo studio in the country. After two years he went to work for the Ohio Sun, a Columbus newspaper, where he was the sole photojournalist.

In that capacity, Behmer was the first local news photographer to cover out-of-town Ohio State University football games and owned the first Graflex camera used for press work in Columbus. The Graflex was popular for sports and press photography due largely to its use of a focal plane shutter to produce shutter speeds fast enough to appear to freeze rapid motion such as in football games. 

Kenneth Proto

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