Born in western Pennsylvania in 1879, Miles Weaver prospected for minerals and oil before he became interested in photography. His prospecting career brought him to the Edna/Orcutt oil fields near Santa Maria, California.
Weaver's photographic career began in 1910, shortly after his marriage to Hazle Judkins. Hazle's father, David Roby Judkins, operated a photographic studio in Santa Maria. After his death in December 1909, the Weavers took over operation of the studio. The Weavers moved their studio to Los Angeles in 1916.
Weaver's photographic career was typical of many studio photographers in the early decades of the twentieth century. With the start of World War I, Weaver realized the lucrative business potential of photographing the military troops at various southwestern Army bases and forts. He set up business in San Antonio, Texas, using both a Cirkut panoramic camera and a 4 x 5 Graphlex, while Hazle Weaver oversaw the operation of their Los Angeles studio.
Miles Weaver died on March 5, 1932. His wife and two sons ran the business until the 1960s. Unfortunately, when the company was dissolved, all of the negatives and business records were destroyed.
Photographing Beauty Pageants
Miles Weaver ran one of the largest banquet and panoramic photography studios in Los Angeles. His work included early Academy Award celebrations, religious revivals, movie publicity stills, and bathing beauty pageants. Weaver sent several panoramas of bathing beauty pageants to the Library of Congress for copyright protection.