George Barker was one of the most successful North American commercial photographers of the nineteenth century. Born in Ontario, Canada, he opened his own photographic studio in Niagara, New York during the 1860s. He published views of the Niagara Falls area, which over a thirty-year period exceeded 600 in number. Gradually views from Florida, Colorado and California were added to his catalogue. Apart from catering for the growing tourist industry, he documented natural disasters such as the 1889 Johnstown flood and the Louisville Cyclone; or important national events such as the Columbian Exposition.