Prior to starting his career in photography, Glasier worked as a town clerk and textile designer in his hometown.
By 1890, Glasier moved to Brockton, Massachusetts, and later opened the Glasier Art Studio and Museum. From his residence, Glasier worked, exhibited his photographs, and sold copies of his prints.
By 1900, Glasier took publicity photographs for major circuses and Wild West shows. He had traveled out West and was greatly influenced by William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody.
Performers had their photographs taken by Glasier, which they later sold to their fans. While Glasier took scenic shots of the circus and portraits of circus performers for commercial sale, he also documented the daily life of the traveling circus and Wild West show. Glasier also gave public lectures on his photographs to increase his income. These lectures were designed around his photographs of Native Americans, the Circus, and the history of the Pilgrims. His wife helped him with his lectures by hand-tinting the lantern slides of his photographs to create a color image.
After over fifty years as a professional photographer, Glasier retired and spent his time wood carving, or "whittling" as he called it. He died on July 28, 1950, in Brockton and was buried in his hometown of Adams, Massachusetts.
About His Cameras
According to his wife, Emma, Glasier used three 8 x 10 inch King view cameras to which he added a Thornton-Pickard focal plane shutter with a speed up to 1/3,000th of a second (just a little longer than today's camera flash speed which is 1/1,000,000th of a second and quicker than it takes to blink your eyes!). Glasier also used a Coerz Celor lens on a 5 x 7 inch (a little larger than today's photo) Graflex with an accordion-line pleated focusing hood, as well as a postcard Kodak camera. With all this equipment, Glasier is said to be a master of the "action shot," capturing an image of an object or person while it is in motion.
Glasier's photographic style was typical of commercial photography of the time. He directly presented the personality and presence of the subject to his viewer.
Click on an image below to view more of Glasier's work: