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Photography pioneer Jean Moeglé Switzerland, a century ago

Photographer Jean Moeglé captured life in Switzerland at the turn of 19th and 20th centuries. Some of his vast archive was saved from destruction and restored before being housed in Bern's Burgerbibliothek.

Moeglé opened his first studio in Thun in the 1880s, followed by a second one at Hotel Gurnigelhof. He took portraits in the salons of Thun society, photographed associations, schools and weddings and accompanied tourists on mountain hikes and ski tours. A few months after his death in December 1938, during the clearout of his home and studio, his body of work in the form of tens of thousands of glass negatives were taken away for disposal. Thun businessman Werner Krebser was able to save a part of the archive before it was destroyed.