Trinity River Flood Control Depicted in Miscellaneous Aerial Views of Dallas, 1930s-1940s

The city of Dallas has a long and tumultuous history with the Trinity River. Photographs now available online from SMU’s Edwin J. Foscue Map Library document a period when Dallas officials began the arduous process of trying to exert control over the river to prevent flooding and support development. The new Miscellaneous Aerial Views of Dallas, 1930s-1940s digital collection contains 41 aerial views taken by Lloyd Long, including several shots of the Trinity River levee system.

A History of Flooding and the Building of the Levee District

In 1908, Dallas experienced the worst flood of the Trinity River it had ever known. The city was bifurcated, with no means of traveling from Oak Cliff into downtown. Five people were killed and 4,000 were left homeless. After this devastating event, discussion began about the possibility of controlling the flood waters of the Trinity River, an essential step to the future development and expansion of Dallas.

After the Kessler Plan of 1912 failed to gather enough steam and financing to become a reality, the mayoral-appointed Ulrickson committee put together a new plan to deal with the problem and to find a way to finance it. The Ulrickson Plan was announced in 1927. Lloyd Long, a firm supporter of the plan, was quoted in the Dallas Morning News: “Any voter who is a property-holder in the city who fails to vote for the Ulrickson Plan is not interested in the future development of Dallas” (What Dallas People Think About Ulrickson Bond Plan, Dallas Morning News, Dec. 11, 1927). Bonds were passed in 1927 and 1928 to finance the ambitious project.

Levee District and Dallas Business District (unlabeled)

Levee District and Dallas Business District (unlabeled), December 6, 1933
Lloyd Long took this photo in 1933 of the brand new Levee District with the Dallas Business District on the right. The Commerce Street Viaduct was finished in 1930, the third bridge from the top in this picture.

Work began in 1928 on digging a new canal for the river and building 30-foot levees in an attempt to reclaim 10,000 acres of property for private development. The river was moved three miles to the west. More than a thousand men worked constant shifts for two years straight to achieve this feat. The reclaimed land would go on to become the sometimes controversial Trinity Industrial District or Levee District, which was being developed by the Industrial Properties Corporation.

In 1933, Long took the Levee District and Dallas Business District (unlabeled) photo of the brand new Levee District with the Dallas Business District on the right. The Commerce Street Viaduct was finished in 1930, the third bridge from the top in this picture.

With the stock market crash of 1929, funding for the project became difficult, particularly because the sewer system to be developed would benefit private landowners outside of the city limits. The Trinity River levees were completed by 1934 and the river was rechanneled, but there were no funds left to build the sewer system that would draw the water out of the swampy soil. Without this, development of the reclaimed land was impossible. During periods of heavy rain, the city of Dallas would redirect floodwater and sewage to the area.

The Levee District is Put to the Test

Central Levee District (unlabeled), May 20, 1935

Central Levee District (unlabeled), May 20, 1935
This photograph taken by Lloyd Long was used by the Dallas Morning News on May 25, 1935 as a testimonial to the success of the levees.

The levees did help in keeping Dallas from experiencing the major flooding of the past. In 1935, heavy rainstorms swept across Texas leaving many homeless and killing several people, but as the Dallas Morning News boasted on May 25, 1935, “Trinity River Levees Successfully Stand First Real Test.”

Long took an aerial photograph of the 1935 floodwaters in the reclaimed land of the Trinity area, Central Levee District (unlabeled). The Industrial Boulevard, pictured parallel to the east levee, was the only road to Fort Worth that remained open during the flood.  This photograph was used by the Dallas Morning News on May 25, 1935, as a testimonial to the success of the levees.

The levees would be further tested with the flood of 1941, when the waters of the Trinity rose to the top of the east levee. The river was at its highest level in 33 years, almost reaching the level of the 1908 flood that had been so devastating. While the city of Dallas was spared massive damage, the waters of the Trinity spread out above and below the levees, destroying property, crops, and livestock, and making many people in outlying areas homeless.  Following are two photos Long took of the Levee District during the 1941 flood.  Both pictures are taken facing north with downtown on the right.

Trinity River Flood (unlabeled)

Trinity River Flood (unlabeled), 1941, by Lloyd Long

You can see that the river is retained by the levees closet to downtown.

The Industrial Properties Corporation experienced financial difficulties throughout the 1930s and, by 1944, had to sell most of its property to pay back taxes. The city legislature formed the Dallas County Flood Control District in 1945 to administer efforts to further the Trinity River project. By the end of World War II, the sewer system was finally finished and the levees were strengthened so that development of the reclaimed land could finally begin. Continental Trailways was the first company to build in the Levee District, opening in 1946 on the intersection of Continental and Industrial. The digital collection includes two pictures that Long took of the development taking place in that area in the late 1940s, which are notable in comparison to the picture of the same area in 1933, shown above in this post. The photographs are Trinity Industrial District (unlabeled), ca. 1948-1949, and Trinity Industrial District (unlabeled), ca. late 1940s.

About the Digital Collection

 Mid-Town Business District - Dallas, Tex. (unlabeled), March 9, 1936

Mid-Town Business District – Dallas, Tex. (unlabeled), March 9, 1936
Features of each aerial photograph in the four aerial survey digital collections from SMU Central University Libraries contain both a labeled and unlabeled version. Labeled features were annotated by regional historian George Cearley.

There are 41 aerial views in Miscellaneous Aerial Views of Dallas, 1930s-1940s collection, representing photographs taken by Lloyd Long in the 1930s and 1940s. The photographs include various images of Dallas, Mountain Creek Lake, White Rock Lake, and the Trinity River, including two aerial surveys (multiple photographs that fit together to make one overall image) of White Rock Lake and the White Rock Creek area. The collection demonstrates Long’s interest in civil engineering and industrial subject matter, exemplified in the images of the Trinity River levee system, the KRLD and WBAP radio transmitters, the Carrollton Dam, and the Mountain Creek General Station. Most of the photographs are taken at an oblique angle.

These photographs are housed in the Edwin J. Foscue Map Library. The library worked with regional historian George Cearley to identify important features in the photographs such as major roads, railways, and landmarks. A transparent overlay with locational markers was created for each photograph to label these features. In the digital collection, there are two versions of each image, labeled and unlabeled. Labeled images replicate the physical overlays created for the originals and correspond to a legend that appears in the Labeled Features metadata field below the image.

The Miscellaneous Aerial Views of Dallas, 1930s-1940s complements the Dallas Historic Aerial Photographs, 1930 Fairchild Survey, and the Dallas Aerial Photographs, 1945 USDA Survey. A related digital collection, White Rock Lake Aerial Photographs, 1927 Fairchild Survey, is available from the DeGolyer Library.

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CUL Digital Collections Update: September 2013

[President Theodore Roosevelt in Abilene, Kansas], May 2, 1903

[President Theodore Roosevelt in Abilene, Kansas], May 2, 1903

In September 2013, CUL uploaded 1,086 items into our CONTENTdm collections.

Highlights include:

60 photographs and prints in the newly-created Doris A. and Lawrence H. Budner Collection on Theodore Roosevelt.

410 slides in the Octavio Medellin: Works of Art and Artistic Processes collection, including new series for Reflections in Glass and Uplifting Force.

74 photographs from
Photographs of Western India. Costumes and Characters. Volume I, ca. 1855-1862, by William Johnson et al.

5 photographs of locomotives and historic railway advertisements from the 1860s-1890s, including three relating to the Texas & Pacific Railroad.

38 stereographs of Texas in the Banks McLaurin, Jr. Stereograph Collection.

Black Horse, Wichita, 1872, by Alexander Gardner

Black Horse, Wichita, 1872, by Alexander Gardner

4 card photographs from the Alexander Gardner cartes de visite and portraits.

Manhattan Bridge, 1903, part of the New York Bridge Contract Drawings

5 photographic prints of Missouri River ferries, ca. 1870, attributed to John Carbutt, which also include images of railroad cars

204 issues of the Southern Methodist University Student Newspapers, including:

8 leaflets from the Collection of Fred Harvey’s La Fonda Inn materials, 1926-1957, which is part of the Fred Harvey Co. Materials from the DeGolyer Library subset within the U.S. West: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints digital collection.

Armored Motor Truck used for Pershing's Punitive Expedition, ca. 1916, by Walter Horne

Armored Motor Truck used for Pershing’s Punitive Expedition, ca. 1916, by Walter Horne

2 postcards, ca. 1910-1917, from the Collection of Walter H. Horne photographs were added to the Mexico: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints collection and 3 postcards, ca. 1916, from the Collection of Walter H. Horne photographs were added to the U.S. West: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints digital collection.

2 photographs showing the Fundicion de Sinaloa, (Foundry of Sinaloa), Mazatlan, Mexico.

153 photographic prints, or the first three volumes, of the Les Travaux Publics de la France:

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CUL Digital Collections Update: August 2013

Never Were Two Pieces of Indian Pottery Exactly Alike, [page 52 and 53], 1920, from American Indians: first families of the Southwest by the Fred Harvey Co.

Never Were Two Pieces of Indian Pottery Exactly Alike, [page 52 and 53], 1920, from American Indians: first families of the Southwest by the Fred Harvey Co.

A new web page was created for the Fred Harvey Co. Materials from the DeGolyer Library, which are a subset of the items contained in the U.S. West: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints digital collection that contains photographs, images, albums, and more, relating to the Fred Harvey Co. held by SMU’s DeGolyer Library.

Many of the Fred Harvey Co. Materials from the DeGolyer Library were annotated as part of a Digital Humanities project with SMU Central University Libraries.

In August 2013, CUL uploaded 606 items into our CONTENTdm collections. CUL now has approximately 33,146 published items.

Highlights include:

Pacific Coast Scenery, 1872, page 11

Pacific Coast Scenery, 1872, page 11

174 Texas-related oil negatives by Robert Yarnall Richie as part of the TexTreasures FY2013 grant

13 negatives by Robert Yarnall Richie that depict aerial views of mansions ca. 1932-1934
Pacific Coast Scenery, 1872, by Houseworth and Co., containing 49 pages with four stereoview halves on each page depicting California, the Yosemite Valley, Great Geyser Springs, the Transcontinental Railroad, Hydraulic and Placer Mining, and San Francisco; this photographically illustrated book is also available as an e-book on the Internet Archive.

22 postcards, mostly from the Fred Harvey Company, from the Collection of American Indian Postcards

Rat Trap, January 19, 1942, by John Knott

Rat Trap, January 19, 1942, by John Knott

The Great Southwest along the Santa Fe, 1914, by the Fred Harvey Company

American Indians: First Families of the Southwest, 1920, by the Fred Harvey Company. Page-level annotations are found in the Description metadata field.

71 editorial cartoons, ca. 1930s-1940s, by John Knott for The Dallas Morning News

Contract Drawings for the Construction of the Railings, Stairways, etc.: Roadway and Footwalk Pavements, Track, and Electrical Equipments of the Manhattan Bridge over the East River, between the Boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, 1909, by the N.Y. Department of Bridges. The drawings are also available as an e-book on the Internet Archive.

Decree of the 28th of April, 1824, declaring Agustin de Iturbide a traitor and an outlaw.

Decree of the 28th of April, 1824, declaring Agustin de Iturbide a traitor and an outlaw.

14 historic documents from the Agustin de Iturbide papers, 1822-1824

219 slides in the Octavio Medellin: Works of Art and Artistic Processes collection, including new series for Crucifix, St. Andrew Catholic Church and Candlesticks and Procession Cross, Bishop Mason Retreat Center

123 photographs from 98 pages in the Alaska: Mayo & Weed photograph album depicting cities, towns, rivers, glaciers, Northwest Indians, hotels, and landscapes in Alaska, as well as Colorado, Utah, and British Columbia

 

Posted in Mexico photography, Robert Yarnall Richie, Texas oil, U.S. West | Leave a comment

Texas Oil Photographs, 1936-1970, by Robert Yarnall Richie

Mission and Gulf Rig, May 1939

Mission and Gulf Rig, May 1939

Now online are 1,238 selected prints and negatives taken by Robert Yarnall Richie (1908-1984) that depict the Texas oil production and the petroleum industry, 1936-1970. These items are part of the DeGolyer Library’s Robert Yarnall Richie Photograph Collection, which consists of industrial and corporate photographs taken by Richie throughout his career.

DeGolyer Library digital collections are part of CUL Digital Collections, which contain thousands of digitized photographs, manuscripts, imprints, and works of art held by Southern Methodist University’s Central University Libraries special collections.

For more than three decades, Richie booked photography assignments from virtually all notable oil-related companies in Texas. These photographs, when viewed collectively, showcase the history, equipment, facilities, and employees of the booming Texas oil industry during the mid-20th century.

[Warren Petroleum Corp, recycling plant], June 1940, Agua Dulce, Nueces County, Texas

[Warren Petroleum Corp, recycling plant], June 1940, Agua Dulce, Nueces County, Texas

Richie’s clients, included in the digital collection, are Humble Petroleum (Exxon), Gulf Oil, Texas Oil Company (Texaco), Crown Central Petroleum, Texas Gulf Sulfur, Warren Petroleum, Magnolia Petroleum (Mobil), Atlantic Refining Company (Arco), American Oil Company (Amoco, BP), Halliburton, Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco), Ethyl Corporation, Hess Oil, Houston Pipeline Company, Shell Oil, Sinclair Refining, Standard Oil, Sun Oil, Champlin Oil, IDECO, Keystone Exploration, Quintana Petroleum, the Tom O’Connor oil field, offshore rigs, and more.

Among Richie’s oil-related photographs are images of well-known individuals within the Texas oil industry, such as Ward A. (“Tex”) Thornton (1891-1949), who was known as the “king of the oil-well fire fighters.” Thornton developed nitroglycerin “torpedoes” that assisted in oil drilling, as well as nitroglycerin charges that helped in extinguishing oil fires. He is also credited with the design for the asbestos fire-fighting suit (Thornton, Ward A., TSHA)

Port Arthur refinery, The Texas Company, 1943

Port Arthur refinery, The Texas Company, 1943

In addition to documenting the individuals involved in the oil industry, Richie captured images of the facilities, equipment, and techniques being used. Photographs within the collection show images of oil industry facilities and equipment such as refineries, rock bits, drill pipes, drill strings, rotary tables, storage tanks, oil derricks, and towers. Additionally, you can see the emerging use of specific techniques, such as reflection seismology, to help map out the Earth’s subsurface and pinpoint underground oil and natural gas deposits.

Richie was able to capture images depicting monumental changes in society, including the introduction of women into the workplace during World War II. As some millions of men were sent off to war, a severe labor shortage was created at the home front. Though most women continued to labor in the then-traditional employment roles like waitressing and teaching, many took better-paid jobs in defense factories, entering the industrial workforce in such areas as shipbuilding, aircraft, and the petroleum industries. Richie captured women in the World War II work force, including a  series at the Port Arthur refinery in 1943.

Known for his mid-century modernist style, Richie often took unusual angle shots creating dramatic images of what would otherwise be mundane objects and settings. As a result, many of his photographs were eventually purchased for use by magazine publications such as Fortune, Scientific American, Time, and National Geographic. A large selection of his published and unpublished photographs can be found within the collection, including a set of oil industry photographs he submitted to Life magazine for publication in 1938.

Life Magazine - Oil, 1937, Gladewater, TX

Life Magazine – Oil, 1937, Gladewater, TX

About Robert Yarnall Richie

Robert Yarnall Richie (1908-1984) was a mid-century modernist, who worked as a photographer, on a freelance basis, for major industrial and corporate clientele, including the automobile, aviation, chemical, mining, petroleum, railroad, shipping, and steel industries.  Richie’s work was featured on the cover of magazines such as Life and Scientific American, and he has been described by his contemporaries as: “Never a news photographer, his keen interest in industry which he believes offers the greatest field for human-interest and dramatic photography, keeps him traveling from one end of the country to another” (Life, 1938).

Shown top left: Mission and Gulf Rig, May 1939. Top right: [Warren Petroleum Corp, recycling plant], June 1940, Agua Dulce, Nueces County, Texas. Above left: Port Arthur refinery, The Texas Company, 1943. Above right: Life Magazine – Oil, ca. 1937, Gladewater, TX. All photos by Robert Yarnall Richie

Texas State Library and Archives CommissionInstitute of Museum and Library ServicesThe Texas oil-related Richie images were made available through funding from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission as part of the TexTreasures program. The TexTreasures program was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

Posted in Robert Yarnall Richie, Texas oil | Leave a comment

CUL Digital Collections Update: July 2013

Vapor Yngles Corby=Castle (English Steamer

Vapor Yngles Corby=Castle (English Steamer “Corby-Castle”), ca. 1900-1909, by Eduardo Fuentes

In July 2013, CUL uploaded 822 items into our CONTENTdm collections

Highlights include:

91 audio files from Southwestern University for the John G. Tower Multimedia collection

109 Texas-related oil negatives by Robert Yarnall Richie as part of the TexTreasures FY2013 grant

79 negatives by Robert Yarnall Richie that depict aerial views of mansions ca. 1932-1934, in New York (including Southampton), New Jersey, and Florida

232 issues of the SMU student newspaper, 1937-1940

47 photographs of Everette DeGolyer, Sr., ca. 1940s, with politicians, oil executives, and scientists, often at oil-related events

Crucifix, Detail Filling Cracks with Wedges of Same Wood Carving. St. Andrew Catholic Church, Fort Worth, Tex. 1971-72

Crucifix, Detail Filling Cracks with Wedges of Same Wood Carving. St. Andrew Catholic Church, Fort Worth, Tex. 1971-72

Recuerdo de un Viaje al Ystmo de Tehuantepec (Memento of a Journey to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec), ca. 1900-1909

The Persia, July 2, 1855, two salt paper prints of the RMS Persia, a British passenger liner operated by the Cunard Line, under construction at the Glasgow shipyards in Glasgow, Scotland.

118 slides of the Crucifix, St. Andrew Catholic Church project by Ocatavio Medellin

Miscellaneous Views of Dallas, 1930s-1940s, which includes 40 pairs of labeled/unlabeled aerial views of Dallas taken primarily by Lloyd Long

 

Posted in aerial photographs, Dallas, George Converse Papers and Photographs, Mexico photography, Robert Yarnall Richie, Texas artists, Texas oil | Leave a comment

CUL Digital Collections: June 2013

In June 2013, CUL uploaded 415 items into our CONTENTdm collections.

Highlights include:

Bhattia Women, ca. 1855-1862, by William Johnson

Bhattia Women, ca. 1855-1862, by William Johnson

35 photographs, by William Johnson, ca. 1855-1862, from Photographs of Western India

99 audio files from Southwestern University for the John G. Tower Multimedia collection

75 Texas-related oil negatives by Robert Yarnall Richie as part of the TexTreasures FY2013 grant

Page 1 from Symphonies, no. 9, op. 125, D minor [First edition] by Ludwig von Beethoven

Page 1 from Symphonies, no. 9, op. 125, D minor [First edition] by Ludwig von Beethoven

20 negatives by Robert Yarnall Richie that depict aerial views of mansions ca. 1932-1934, in New York, New Jersey, and Florida

An account of four years travels through the Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi territories … by John Maley

Symphonies, no. 9, op. 125, D minor [First edition] by Ludwig von Beethoven in the newly created Music Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library digital collection

9 documents from the Agustin de Iturbide papers, 1822-1824

Moki Indian House, 1905, Kawin and Co.

Moki Indian House, 1905, Kawin and Co.

142 stereographs in the newly created Banks McLaurin, Jr. Stereograph Collection, including 103 stereoviews of World War I, 7 of U.S. presidents, and 22 of North American Indians

4 Civil War items, including 3 cartes-de-visite and one photograph by Haas & Peele of the Napolean guns in Caption Ashcroft’s battery

Shown top left: Bhattia Women, ca. 1855-1862, by William Johnson from Photographs of Western India.

Above right: Page 1 from Symphonies, no. 9, op. 125, D minor [First edition] by Ludwig von Beethoven. The music score was the first item added by CUL to the Internet Archive and the first item in a new digital collection, Music Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library.

Above left: Moki Indian House, 1905, Kawin and Co., from the new Banks McLaurin Stereographs digital collection.

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CUL Digital Collections: May 2013

In May 2013, CUL uploaded 468 items into our CONTENTdm collections.

Highlights include:

[Two women, possibly sisters], ambrotype, ca. 1855-165

[Two women, possibly sisters], ambrotype, ca. 1855-165


143 Texas-related oil negatives by Robert Yarnall Richie as part of the TexTreasures FY2013 grant

35 negatives by Robert Yarnall Richie that are not related to Texas oil.

4 Civil War-era photographs and cased images

San Francisco album: photographs of the most beautiful views and public buildings of San Francisco, 1856, by G.R. Fardon

Union Pacific Railroad illustrations, 1869, by Andrew J. Russell

Costilla Estates Development Company, San Luis, Colorado Photographs, April, 1909

20 photographs of New Mexico and Arizona, including the Grand Canyon by William Henry Jackson and 31 photographs of San Antonio by Mary Jacobson from the Album of views of Arizona, New Mexico and the southwest, 1892

7 photographs by Carleton Watkins of Photographs of Weber Canon and Echo City, Utah

10 stereoviews from the Collection of Civil War era stereographs

Train at the Devil's Slide, 1873, by Carleton E. Watkins

Train at the Devil’s Slide, 1873, by Carleton E. Watkins

6 Panama Canal photographs from the David Goodyear Collection of Foreign Railroad Photographs

30 letters, documents, and photographs from the George Albert Converse Papers and Photographs, 1861-1897

6 photographs from the American border troops and the Mexican Revolution

2 Fred Harvey-related booklets on the company’s Indian and Mexican building.

Posted in American Indians, George Converse Papers and Photographs, Railroads, Robert Yarnall Richie, Texas oil, U.S. West | Leave a comment

CUL Digital Collections Update: April 2013

[Letter to George Converse from Benjamin Buckingham], 1896

[Letter to George Converse from Benjamin Buckingham], 1896. In this letter, Benjamin Buckingham informs George Converse of Herreshoff’s proposition to the Secretary of the Navy to build 30-knot boats.

In April 2013, SMU’s Central University Libraries (CUL) uploaded 487 items into CUL Digital Collections

Highlights include:

97 Texas-related oil negatives by Robert Yarnall Richie as part of the TexTreasures FY2013 grant

14 slides showing PWAP murals by Jerry Bywaters and Alexandre Hogue for the Dallas City Hall, 1934

Der Vormarsch der Flieger Abteilung 27 in der Ukraine, the 48 page portfolio, was added as a compound object

[Potrero del Llano No. 4 burning] , ca. 1914-1915

[Potrero del Llano No. 4 burning] , ca. 1914-1915, from the Manning collection.

29 photographs and postcards from Folder 3, Oil, from the Manning Texas and Mexico collection
77 letters, documents, and photographs from the George Albert Converse Papers and Photographs, 1861-1897

six panoramic photographs and maps of SMU in the 1920s

116 prints by Merritt Mauzey

37 pairs of aerial images from White Rock Lake, Dallas, Texas

 

 

Posted in George Converse Papers and Photographs, Mexico photography, Robert Yarnall Richie, Texas oil, Texas Regionalism | Leave a comment

White Rock Lake Aerial Photographs, 1927 Fairchild Survey

White Rock Lake Aerial Photographs, 1927 Fairchild Survey overview

[White Rock Lake Aerial Overview (labeled)]

[Grid 01: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 02: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 03: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 04: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 05: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 06: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 07: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 08: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 09: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 10: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 11: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 12: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 13: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 14: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 15: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 16: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 17: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 18: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 19: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 20: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 21: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 22: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 23: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 24: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 25: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 26: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 27: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 28: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 29: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 30: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 31: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 32: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 33: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 34: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 35: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 36: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled] [Grid 37: White Rock Lake Aerial Survey, Labeled]

The White Rock Lake Aerial Photographs, 1927 Fairchild Survey digital collection is now available online. There are 37 photographs in the collection, which were taken by Fairchild Aerial Surveys for Dr. Samuel G. Geiser. Except for an overview aerial of the lake and surrounding area taken in 1926 at an altitude of 18,000 feet, the photographs were taken from an elevation of 4800 feet in 1927 and feature many popular recreational sites and other notable areas of the lake.

The aerial survey collection is held by Southern Methodist University’s DeGolyer Library. Regional historian George Cearley identified important features in the photographs such as major roads, railways, and landmarks. In the digital collection, there are two versions of each image, labeled and unlabeled. Labeled images include George Cearley’s annotations, which appear below the image.

DeGolyer Library digital collections are part of CUL Digital Collections, which contain thousands of digitized photographs, manuscripts, imprints, and works of art held by SMU’s Central University Libraries special collections.

The White Rock Lake Aerial Photographs, 1927 Fairchild Survey is one of a growing number of Dallas aerial photograph surveys, which also include the Edwin J. Foscue Map Library’s Dallas Historic Aerial Photographs, 1930 Fairchild Survey and Dallas Aerial Photographs, 1945 USDA Survey.

About White Rock Lake

White Rock Lake, which originated as a city project, was commissioned to provide water to the growing city of Dallas. City officials began purchasing land around White Rock Creek in 1909. Winding branches of White Rock Creek are visible in Grid 02, Grid 03, and Grid 13. The dam and pump station, seen in Grid 11, Grid 12, and Grid 35, were completed in 1911. Due to drought, however, White Rock Lake did not fill up until 1914. It eventually became a popular recreational destination, but the lake was closed to swimming in 1933 when it was appropriated for use as a water source. White Rock Lake was never reopened for swimming, but the trails are still used today. Also visible in Grid 35 is the White Rock spillway, an ever-popular spot for visitors even today.

[White Rock Lake Aerial Overview (labeled)]

[White Rock Lake Aerial Overview (labeled)]

William Doran, city Commissioner for Streets and Public Lands, oversaw negotiation and acquisition of 2,292 acres from local landowners for construction of the lake. Doran’s Point, depicted in Grid 19, was named in his honor. Dixon Bay, another popular site on White Rock Lake, is seen in Grid 26, Grid 27, and Grid 28. Although Dixon Bay was a popular site in 1927 when the photos were taken, it is almost completely silted in today. Several private boat houses are visible in Grid 11, but by 1952 they had been removed because patrons felt their presence reduced access to the lake. The future site of the DeGolyers’ lakefront estate, Rancho Encinal, is visible in Grid 34. The estate was later purchased by the City of Dallas and developed into the Dallas Arboretum.

Source: Sally Rodriguez, Images of America, White Rock Lake, 2010, Arcadia Publishing.

Digital Collections Guidelines and Procedures

Items in Central University Library Digital Collections are digitized following the SMU Central University Libraries Digitization Guidelines and Procedures. Digital collections are created under the guidelines of the SMU CONTENTdm Guide: Framework for Building a Collection, or through specialized metadata profiles tailored for the collection.

Posted in aerial photographs, Dallas, Texas photographs | 1 Comment

CUL Digital Collections Update: March 2013

In March 2013, CUL uploaded 921 items into our CONTENTdm collections.

Lockheed, Delta Air Lines, Planes & Models, 1940, by Robert Yarnall Richie

Lockheed, Delta Air Lines, Planes & Models, 1940, by Robert Yarnall Richie

We created a new Instagram account. Please follow us on Instagram under the user name: culdigital

We created a new Tumblr account. Please follow us on Tumblr at the user name: culdigital

Highlights include:

Der Vormarsch der Flieger Abteilung 27 in der Ukraine (The advance of Flight Squadron 27 in the Ukraine),a 48-page portfolio containing 263 photographs documenting the German occupation of the Ukraine during World War I in the spring and summer of 1918

180 Texas-related oil negatives by Robert Yarnall Richie as part of the TexTreasures FY2013 grant

13 negatives by Robert Yarnall Richie for Lockheed Aircraft in Dallas, 1940

[Chinese junk], ca. 1937, by Sir Victor Sassoon

[Chinese junk], ca. 1937, by Sir Victor Sassoon


101 items in the newly created George Albert Converse Papers and Photographs, 1861-1897

297 documents and photographs in the newly created the Edward C. Fritz Papers, 1950s-2008

53 pages from two albums from the Sir Ellice Victor Elias Sassoon papers and photographs, including the Shanghai, album, 1936-1937 and the Shanghai, album, ca. 1937

11 cards from the Baldwin Locomotive Works builder’s cards

Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad: the old reliable route to the West via Quincy, a promotional railroad pamphlet

Posted in Robert Yarnall Richie, World War i | Leave a comment