Not long after photographic equipment became more portable, commercial photographers began taking pictures of their client’s businesses. Along with the usual studio portraits, these photographs were saved as part of the family records. Multiple copies would sometimes be made for regular patrons of the business, both for gift or purchase. In the 20th century, business owners saw that such photographs would be useful for other purposes, such as illustrations for company catalogs, reports and advertisements.
These photographs are representative of our images of Texas businesses, from various times and regions.
Rudy Domingez (center) and Joe Domingez pose with customers outside their café and pool hall, 18th Street, Hondo, early 1940s. (General Photograph Collection, MS 362: 096-0815, courtesy of Eva Arcos )
Mrs. M. E. Reed’s City Hotel on North Street, across the street from the Houston and Central Texas Railroad, Elgin, 1880s. (General Photograph Collection, MS 362: 096-1268, courtesy of Elgin Historical Association )
Handler and Greines Store, North Main Street, Fort Worth, ca. 1910. (General Photograph Collection, MS 362: 096-1467, courtesy of Edwin Greines Cohen )
Tomas Valadez (left) and Lito Valadez in their grocery store at corner of South Fifth and West Murphy Streets, Alpine, 1940. . (General Photograph Collection, MS 362: 096-1036, courtesy of B. J. Gallego)
Attendant cleaning the windshield of a Buick Invicta at Whiteside Enco Service Station, 3814 S. New Braunfels Avenue, San Antonio, 1963. (Zintgraff Studio Photograph Collection, MS 355: Z-1191-B-35472)
Employees beside delivery jeeps outside Sommers Drug Store No. 29, 1021 Rittiman Road, San Antonio, 1959. (Zintgraff Studio Photograph Collection, MS 355: Z-2340-C-15794)