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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Best Little Bathouse in Texas

The Best Little Bathouse in Texas

1914. Dr. Charles Campbell and a "municipal bat-roost" in San Antonio, Texas ("for one of man's best friends"), his idea for mosquito control at a time when malaria was a major public health problem in the U.S. Disguised as a favorite bat habitat — a church steeple, complete with cross — the roost was fitted with a trapdoor and stilts to facilitate the harvesting of guano by the wagonload for use as fertilizer. 5x7 glass negative, Bain News Service. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Awesome . . .

When I lived in a very rural area a few years ago, we had a lot of parties and people were always amazed because we didn't have any mosquitoes . . . . every evening we'd sit on the deck and watch the bats . . . . it was very cool.

How did he get up there?

Somone said erelyer, how did he get up there? It's true, how did he get up there maybe, he's a bat and flew up there?

Where's The Ladder?

Am I the only one who is curious to know how he got up there?

[My guess: With a ladder. - Dave]

Mad Genius

Could use a few more like him.


So, does one properly hyphenate "bat roost" or not? They seem to go both ways there.

Bat Roost

More information here.

The Good Doctor

Looks a bit like Teddy Roosevelt, eh? The "rotundness" and all that.
Denny Gill
Chugiak, Alaska

I didn't realise the scale of the construction...

...until I saw the man standing there. I thought that it was something quite small, with a shape that imitated a church steeple.

Interesting shot!

Go Organic!

It's amusing that so many people think of natural and organic solutions as new and modern. I guess most folks don't think about what life was like before DDT and other chemicals. It's a great photo.


I'm so glad the good Doctor chose to pose on his Bat Roost. Otherwise we'd not get a true sense of the size of that thing. You don't really see timbers that size much anymore!

[The supports are poured concrete. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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