Verkin Photo Company Collection, The Center for American History, 512.495.4516, The University of Texas at Austin  
About the Archive  


The majority of photographs in this collection represent daily life in Galveston throughout the first half of the 20th century (1900–1945). Many also document its famous events such as the 1900 and 1915 hurricanes. The first of these hurricanes caused massive destruction and prompted the city of Galveston to construct a seawall and raise the level of the island for protection against future storms. Despite this vulnerability, Galveston continued to be a well-populated city with growing businesses and industry including shipping and fishing, the cotton industry, railroads, and tourism. By 1915, it was considered an important immigration port of entry and played a role in the housing and training of troops during WWI.

Significant images document these and other events in Galveston’s history and the surrounding area. They include the aftermath of the 1900 and 1915 hurricanes; raising the level of Galveston Island; local businesses and industry; laying telephone cable in Galveston Bay; aerial views of Galveston Island; views of schools, residences, and churches; unidentified oil field scenes (possibly of Goose Creek); images of the aviation maverick, Douglas Corrigan; the 1947 Texas City disaster; views of the United States Immigration Station on Pelican Island; and soldiers camped at Texas City and Fort Crockett, Texas.

The Verkin Photo Company Archive includes 411 silver gelatin prints, 196 glass plate negatives, and 69 safety negatives. Prints are available for viewing, but access to negatives is restricted.

Galveston City Hall, ca. 1900
Galveston City Hall, ca. 1900
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