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On October 12, 1875, George Anderson, a blacksmith from Yosemite Valley, did what was believed impossible: he scaled the summit of Half Dome!
Four days later, he led the first tourist ascent of Half Dome. There were six in his party of English and Americans. Two of the tourists made it only half-way, but the other four successfully reached the top.
Watkins photographed these six climbers, with George Anderson seen on the left in this view. It was remarkable and fortuitous that Watkins was there to document such an historic moment.