[Various locations in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, and Mexico. 1937-1939]. 128 photographs, from 3 x 4 1/2 inches to 5 x 7 inches, in mounting corners. Oblong folio album. Contemporary brown cloth, stamped in gilt and blind on front board, string-tied. Minor shelf wear. Photographs in generally nice condition. Very good. Item #WRCAM55548
A wide-ranging annotated vernacular photograph album recording the travel experiences of a family during the late 1930s. The unnamed photographer has an eye for landscape, and was adept at composing images of western vistas. A handful of the images picture a woman named Margaret posing in various settings. From internal evidence, the travelers likely resided in Iowa or Missouri. The first trip occurred in early 1937, beginning in Missouri on January 10 ("Sleet storm south of Navada, Mo."), proceeding through Texas ("Texas rolling prairies range cattle"), New Mexico ("Indian village Laguna N.M." and other subjects), Arizona ("Rocky Hill east of Kingman Arizona" and other scenes in Yuma and elsewhere), and California, where most of the trip took place. The travelers pose at the California state line before heading to San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Glendale, Pasadena, Eagle Rock, San Pedro, San Francisco, Richmond, Scotia, San Luis Obispo, San Juan, Carlsbad, and Alpine. They pick oranges in San Bernardino, visit Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, see Japanese Gardens and feed birds in Santa Monica, stop by the Huntington Library, check out the Avila Adobe in Los Angeles (the oldest standing residence in L.A.), snap pictures of the San Miguel Mission and the Ohioan wrecked on the rocks at San Francisco, and also Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. They then head to Scotia, where they take several pictures of the Pacific Lumber Company lumber piles and logging camp. The three larger images, each 5 x 7 inches, are different views off California's Pacific coast. The first trip comprises most of the album, numbering about ninety images. A printed record of the total mileage and the locations of cabins the group slept in is affixed to the inside rear cover, and seems to relate to the first trip, even though photographs from the second trip are pasted in around it; the trip totaled 7,368 miles and required over 270 gallons of gas. The second trip, taken in January 1939, is memorialized in thirty-eight photographs, most of them taken in Texas. These include pictures of the University of Texas campus, Wayside Park in Austin, Brackenridge Park in San Antonio, landmarks in McAllen, Weslaco, Houston, and LaFeria (where the travelers visit their friends, the Meyers family). There are also a couple of shots in Reynoso, Mexico, including a bullfighting ring. The trip also records several sites in New Orleans (Metairie Cemetery, a race track, and the Little Theatre Court Yard) and Baton Rouge (Capitol grounds and building and Huey Long's grave). On the way home, there is one picture from Missouri showing the Mark Twain Monument in Hannibal and one from Arkansas picturing a "Nigger Shack." An interesting collection of western images from committed travelers seeing the American West during the waning years of the Great Depression.