Wherever photography is known throughout the length and breadth of this land and to a considerable extent in foreign countries as well, the name of Cramer is a familiar one to the representatives of the art. For a long period the Cramer Dry Plate Company has conducted at St. Louis one of the largest manufacturing establishments of this character in the country and Emile Rodel Cramer, whose name introduces this review, is now the vice president and treasurer of the corporation. He was born in St. Louis, April 17, 1874. His father, Gustave Cramer, was born in Eschwege, Germany, May 20, 1838, and came to America when twenty-one years of age, settling in St. Louis where he began learning the photographic art. Later he opened a studio in Carondelet and subsequently removed to Chouteau avenue where he established one of the largest studios in the city. He afterward admitted a partner under the firm style of Cramer, Grass & Company, and while conducting his studio he experimented in dry plate manufacture until he had perfected a product that resulted in bringing out photographic plates that eliminate the wet plate process. It was then that he organized the Cramer Dry Plate Company, with which he was continuously connected until his death in July, 1914. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Emma R. Milentz, was born in New York city. They were married in St. Louis and became the parents of three sons and a daughter.
Emile R. Cramer, the second son, was educated in the public schools and in the, Educational Institute of St. Louis, also in the Manual Training School of Washington University, and later he pursued a special course in chemistry. He became actively interested in photography as an employe of J. C. Straus of St. Louis and later was associated with the Baker Art Studio of Columbus, Ohio. He afterward began learning the dry plate business under the direction of his father and eventually, after thorough preparatory training, took charge of the chemical department. He remained as superintendent for a number of years and in 1917 was elected to the official position of vice president and treasurer, in which capacity he has made a most excellent record through his executive ability and administrative direction of the affairs of the company. They supplied special photographic plates for air craft service and experimented with special dyes for photo sensitizers for the government during the World war. Their business is now one of mammoth proportions and Mr. Cramer has entered into membership associations with several societies directly or indirectly connected with his line of business, being now on the membership rolls of the American Chemical Society of which he is a member of the Dye Division, the Optical Society of America and the Royal Photographers Society of England.
In St. Louis, on the 2d of October, 1901, Mr. Cramer was married to Miss Ida A. Broesel, a daughter of Theodore and Lena (Bachmann) Broesel. They now have a daughter, Dorothy R., eighteen years of age and now a student at Mary Institute.
In politics Mr. Cramer is a republican with independent tendencies, as he never considers himself bound by party ties and often votes according to the dictates of his judgment concerning the capability of the candidate. He belongs to the Sunset Hill Country Club and to the Liederkranz and he is a member of the Evangelical Protestant church. Those who have met him personally find him a most social and congenial companion and those who know him through business relations recognize his fidelity to the highest standards of trade and commerce. His father was first in the development of the dry plate industry and was an indefatigable worker in that connection and Mr. Cramer of this review and his associate officers are now at the head of one of the largest productive industries of this character in America, with ramifying trade interests reaching to all parts of the world. The business has been developed along most progressive lines, every department thoroughly systematized and the reliability and enterprise of the concern have ever been salient features in its growing success.