A Guide to the Bradford H. Smith Photograph Collection, ca. 1937-1969
Born in 1909 in Hidalgo County, Bradford H. Smith was a newspaper publisher and news director at a radio station in Weslaco. He was also president of the State Press Association in 1951, State Traffic Safety Director in 1958, executive vice-president of the Texas Telephone Association until 1981, and owner of Brad Smith Communications Consultants giving advice to small companies concerning phone problems. Smith retired in 1986 and began working on a series of stories about south Texas.
The photographs taken and collected by Bradford Smith include Texas county courthouses with emphasis on the Starr County Courthouse and its destruction in 1938. Also included are destruction of bridges on the Pecos and Rio Grande rivers due to floods in June and July of 1954, the Beaumont business district, and a 1962 meeting to promote tourism in the Big Thicket area with Price Daniel in attendance. Additional subjects cover Price Daniel campaigning among the Alabama-Coushatta Indians in 1962, a Galveston beach scene (1937), Houston Turning Basin (engraving,1939), NASA photographs from 1964-1967 and shots of the TV screen of the moon walk in 1969, and several highway markers. Postcards in the collection show scenes from Texas towns and cities in the early 1900s and the Hidalgo County Courthouse, as well as buildings and towns outside Texas.
Access to negatives is restricted.
Nitrate negatives are stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.
Bradford H. Smith Photograph Collection, ca. 1937-1969, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers