Henry Otto Korten
Henry Otto Korten was born of German émigrés on East Fourth Street in New York City on October 2, 1866. His interest in photography was fostered by his studies at Cooper Union. In 1891 the family moved to the Bushwick section of Brooklyn where Henry met and married Hannah Wohltmann. Her father had built one of the earliest permanent houses in the campground at Sea Cliff Grove. Henry and Hannah moved from Brooklyn to their own house at Locust and Eighth Avenue when Henry learned he had tuberculosis.
Henry became a partner in the Illustrated Postcard and Novelty Company and went into business for himself when the company failed. He traveled the back roads of Long Island as well as the streets and fields of Sea Cliff, adding to his collection of glass plates.
Korten experimented with color and understood the marketing potential of postcards. People experiencing leisure for the first time in history enjoyed seeing their newly found recreational pursuits documented in this easy and collectible form. He took photos of estates and later sold the prints to the estate owners who eagerly purchased these novel photos of their homes.
Korten’s tuberculosis worsened and he began to spend his summers in the “drier” air of New Hampshire. He died on April 5, 1915 at the age of 49, a year when the public’s interest in postcards had coincidentally subsided.