“We Have an Original Manner of Taking Photographs”

I made a startling discovery the other day in the Woodson. A box that I thought contained only Treasurer’s Office scrapbooks from the 1940s turned out to also contain a scrapbook kept by Arthur B. Cohn, the first business manager for Rice and before that an employee of William Marsh Rice:


Did you catch those dates? 1907 to 1926.

I almost passed out.

It’s filled with all kinds of things besides the clippings advertised on the label, although the clippings themselves are fantastic. Here’s an example, one I’d never seen before:


It’s going to take some time to get through it all. Still, I’ve already picked a favorite after only one quick trip through the book, this little advertising card from Frank Schlueter, the photographer we hired to take most of the early images of Rice. I’m so familiar with these photographs that it’s easy to take them for granted, but someone once had to go out and hire him:

Schlueter Photography 1 Cohn Scrapbook  025

This is the other side:

Schlueter Photography 2  Cohn Scrapbook  027

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8 Responses to “We Have an Original Manner of Taking Photographs”

  1. Steve Lukingbeal says:

    My gosh, what a large and well dressed crowd at the Turning Basin in 1908. It must have been quite the tourist attraction at the time, or there was some big event we don’t know about.

  2. Jim Walzel says:

    Melissa, Great historic stuff. Keep up the good work!

  3. almadenmike says:

    The opening demonstrations of the utility of the ship channel and turning basin made for “a gala day” in Houston: https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth604763/m1/1/

  4. C Kelly says:

    I’m very interested in Frank Schlueter. He took very early photos of Sugar Land when Imperial Sugar was in its infancy. I know the HMRC has some of his photos. I haven’t had a chance to explore the Goldbeck collection at the Harry Ransom Center — they may have some of his photos, too. If anyone knows of other institutions with Schlueter photos, I’d like to contact them. (I’ve spoken with Story Sloane about this, too.)

  5. Bill Allison says:

    C Kelly: Put his name in World Cat and a number of listings come up including Houston Public Library and UT. Good hunting

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