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From Commerce to History
Robert Runyon's Postcards of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and Brownsville 1910-1926

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The Robert Runyon Photograph Collection at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History is a unique visual resource documenting the South Texas Border and Lower Rio Grande Valley during the early 1900s. Donated in installments by the Runyon family to the Briscoe Center from 1986-2008, the collection includes glass negatives, lantern slides, nitrate negatives, prints, postcards, and manuscript material representing the life's work of commercial photographer Robert Runyon, a longtime resident of South Texas.

Photographer Robert Runyon

Robert Runyon with camera in a palm grove on Rabb's Ranch, Brownsville, Texas. Circa 1912-1913 [Robert Runyon Photograph Collection; cn 05919]

This web feature spotlights the postcards from this collection and features an informative essay written by Linda Peterson, former photographs archivist at the Briscoe Center, that outlines the progression of Robert Runyon's commercial photography to include the new and rapidly growing business of postcard publication and sales in the early twentieth century. Also featured here are several galleries showcasing many of the postcards from the Runyon Photograph Collection.