Hart Photographic Studio

Hart Photographic Studio, a long time fixture on the south side of Main Street since 1901, was operated by George Terrence Hart and his wife Lora.  To allow for natural lighting, the studio featured a distinctive second story slanted skylight.  The business also featured two prominent signs visible from several blocks away.  One sign displayed a heart shaped logo.

Although the studio address was 216 1/2 Main Street, the studio was actually over three businesses with Main Street addresses of 218, 220, and 222.  The photo shows, from left, Ames Savings Bank (216 Main), Garretson Barber Shop (218 Main), a millinery shop (220 Main), the Palace Barber Shop (222 Main) and Thompson Real Estate (224 Main).  Today (2011), Hoshaw Fine Violins and Ames Silversmithing have replaced the former Hart Studio building.  

Ames Evening Times, February 9, 1916

Photography has apparently reached its zenith, or at least has become an art which borders on perfection.  The productions from the artists of today are so true in the portrayal of life in posing and in finish that a comparison with those of only a few years ago reveals at a single glance the wonderful strides made in photographic art.  To produce results of this high nature requires a person who has had years of study and experience.

A man of this character, who for years has been prominent in his line is G.T. Hart.  His studio is equipped with all the appliances necessary to produce the best in scenic effects.  Mr. Hart is adept at posing and is equally proficient in single sittings and groups.  He can handle enlargement work, flash-light pictures, and general photography of every kind.

During the twelve years in which Mr. Hart has been in the business he has always given satisfaction and turned out nothing but work of first class nature.


Ames Daily Tribune-Times, April 2, 1930

The Napier Sea Scouts were conducted thru the Hart studio at Ames last week when the group went to Ames for a picture.  Some of the boys who are trying for photography merit badges watched Mr. Hart develop the group picture.


Ames Daily Tribune-Times, August 31, 1931

The story of how nine children of a family of 11 were trained by their father in his profession and followed in his steps as professional photographers is told by F.J. Strathman, proprietor of the Hart Studio, 216 1/2 Main street, who is one of the members of this unusual family.  Mr. Strathman has been a photographer for 20 years, coming to Ames from Oxford, O., in March 1928 to take over the Hart studio which he has continued under its former name, a business founded here a quarter of a century ago.

Two of Mr. Strathman's sisters are conducting the studio left by the death of his father, at Carlisle, Ill.  A third sister and her husband conduct a studio in Mexico City.  Five brothers are proprietors of studios in Cedar Rapids, Manchester, Excelsior Springs, Mo., St. Louis, Mo., and Huntington, W. Va.  Two brothers of Mr. Strathman's father and several cousins also are photographers.

Mr. Strathman has achieved prominence in his work here thru a number of exceptional photographs of display windows which have won prizes in national merchandise display contests.  He specializes in quality work both in his general commercial photography and in portraits, continuing the prestige attained by the Hart studio under its former owners.

Mr. Strathman is a member of the Chamber of Commerce.  He finds his chief recreation in swimming, boxing and in baseball.  He and Mrs. Strathman, who is associated with him at the studio, reside at 112 East Eleventh street.


Ames Daily Tribune-Times, August 31, 1932

George Terrence Hart, 66, for 24 years proprietor of the Hart photographic studio, passed away at his home, 626 Sixth street about 8 pm., Tuesday, following an illness of several years duration.  Mr. Hart came to Ames from Cleveland, O. in 1904, opening his studio.  He remained in business until his retirement about four years ago.  He leaves his wife and two sons, Earl M. and Atlee B., all of Ames.  Funeral services will be held from the Adams chapel, Friday at 2 p.m. with burial in the Ames cemetery.


Ames Daily Tribune, July 6, 1962

Mrs. Loraine (Lora) E. Hart, 93, 626 Sixth St., died about 3 p.m. Thursday at her home.  Born Dec. 12, 1868 at Jonesville, Mich., she later moved to Sigourney where she attended school and came to Ames in 1901.  She and George Terrence Hart were married Dec., 1886.  She and her husband were associated in the Hart Studio here from 1901 until 1928 when they retired.  He preceded her in death in 1932.  A son, Earl Hart, also preceded in death, in 1946.

Survivors include a son, Atlee B. Hart of Ames and several nieces and nephews.  Three brothers and three sisters also preceded her in death.  Funeral services will be held Saturday at 1:30 p.m. from the Adams Funeral Home with the Rev. William Clatt officiating.  Burial will be in Ames Municipal Cemetery.


Ames Daily Tribune, April 16, 1978

Funeral services for Frank J. Strathman will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 19, from St. Cecilia Catholic church.  Burial will be in the Ames Municipal Cemetery.  Mr. Strathman, 87, 1036 Ridgewood Ave., died Sunday, April 16, at Mary Greeley Hospital.

He was born Oct. 29, 1890, in Fayetteville, Ill.  He was a veteran of World War I.  Mr. Strathman married Bessie Elliott Aug. 22, 1923, in Carlyle, Ill.  He came to Ames in 1928 and owned and operated the Hart Photography Studio until retiring in 1964.  He was a member of the American Legion and St. Cecilia's. . .


Ames Tribune, November 14, 1998

Bessie E. Strathman, 95, of Story City and formerly of Ames, died of heart failure Friday at Bethany Manor in Story City.  Funeral services are 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Burke Chapel, officiated by the Rev. Terry Rasmussen.  Burial will be in Ames Municipal Cemetery.

Bessie E. Strathman was born in Oxford, Ohio, the daughter of Charles and Jennie (Graham) Elliott.  She received her education in Oxford.  On Aug. 22, 1923, she married Frank Strathman in Carlyle, Ill.  They lived and worked in Oxford until 1928, when they purchased Hart Studio in Ames.  She worked as co-owner of the studio until retiring in 1964.  She was a member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church, the St. Gertrude's Circle rosary-making group and American Legion Auxiliary. . .