SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
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About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

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Jailbirds: 1940

Jailbirds: 1940

March 1940. "Hays County Jail, San Marcos, Texas. Living quarters for the Deputy Sheriff, who is the jailer, and his family, are downstairs. Jail cells are on second floor. Maid who came to the door said, 'It's the nicest place I ever saw'." Medium format negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Admini. View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Not there

This building was erected on Guadalupe Street in 1937 and served until the new correctional center was opened in 1989; it was demolished in the 1990s and a fried chicken restaurant now occupies the site. The fate of the sign isn't easily determinable.

In 1977, Texas Monthly magazine gave the sign a Bum Steer award for its insensitivity (obvious even then); the county argued the sign was historically significant because it had once been in Ripley's Believe It or Not.

The Old Ball And Chain

Nothing like a little truth in advertising South Texas.

In your face

Gotta love the guy in chains.

SHORPY OLD 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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