SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Denizens of Gonzales: 1939

Denizens of Gonzales: 1939

November 1939. "Street corner in Gonzales, Texas." Medium format acetate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. 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!

Sheath Dressing

The two phone cables visible here appear to have a lead sheath. This was pretty standard until sometime after WWII, when various kinds of plastic sheath came into use.

I have a Bell System manual from 1983 that still has a procedure (from 1969) for installing lead splice cases on lead-sheath cable. The case started out as a tube, and if it was pretty close to the diameter of the cable, you were supposed to just beat the ends down to the cable sheath and solder. The splice just to the right of the pole, for the small cable down to the box on the pole, looks to have been done this way.

If the splice case was much larger than the cable, you were expected to cast (!) end plates for the case to match the cable, using a set of molds and a pot of molten lead (!!). You then soldered the end plates to the case, and to the cable.

A little later on, Ma Bell figured out that lead might not exactly be good for you. There are some additional procedures (from 1979) about using some goop on the lead before you used a wire brush on it (to contain the dust), that it was important to pull lead cable out of a manhole without scraping it on the edge of the hole (to avoid dust), and that employees were only allowed to work half a day handling lead cable.

Great types

I mean no disrespect to the men in this photograph, but each could easily be a caricature (from left): the plywood cowboy silhouette cutout with bent knee; the friendly Latino sidekick; the slack-jawed yokel using every ounce of his concentration to roll a cigarette; the toothless old git; and the black dude with the great shoes and hat at an extreme angle, striking a crazy pose.

Come and Take It

Freddy223's Google picture is from 2011 and the Guadalajara is now history. The 2016 picture shows unfortunate alterations that will soon become outdoor seating for the Come and Take It Bar and Grill which, to date, seems to be surviving.

["Unfortunate"? Looks nice to me. - Dave]

In 80 years

... nothing has changed in the way shirts are wrapped. It takes 10 minutes to get all the pins out!

St. George at St. Joseph

Storefronts are changed but this is the same building. Even the telephone pole and fire hydrant are in the same place.

Start 'em young

Future shopper checking out the shirt display.

Open For Business

1915 - On February 5, the Guadalupe Sanitarium is now open and has two patients.


I noticed the sign at the very top of the building.

Still There

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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