TULSA DECO, & Historic Photos & Ephemera Page 1


Above: Tulsa Skyline circa 1930 

We hope you will enjoy browsing these images from our collection.  We love how they can evoke the feeling of the times, the people, places, fashions and events of Tulsa, its surrounding areas, and the world at large. These images help give a "living" context to our collection of artifacts, which together help us travel back in time to Tulsa's age of myths and legends. 

Above: This beautiful photo was found in an album from an Oklahoma photographer having numerous photos of the Tulsa area. This section of the album was dated 1920, and the neighboring photos were marked "Near Cleveland Oklahoma" which is to the west of Tulsa. We have been told that this photo was taken from bluffs on the east bank of the Arkansas river opposite Cleveland. (upper left).. old hwy 99 is visible in the center of the floodplain headed north to Hominy...

Above: River view near Oilton Oklahoma.  Postcard photo, Dated on back; 3 - 22 - 1915.   Oilton is a small town approximately 35 miles due West of Tulsa, located  in Creek County on the south side of the Cimarron River.  Oilton began as an oil boom town during the development of the Cushing-Drumright Oil Fields and the first lots were sold in January of 1915. The first post office was established May 5th 1915. Oklahoma State Highway 99 passes through the community.  

Above: The "Hotel Tulsa" Dated 1914 on the back. The hotel opened in 1912, on the corner of 3rd and Cincinnati in downtown Tulsa, and was touted as being one of the finest in the Midwest. The who's who of the oil industry conducted business in its spacious lobby. It was said that Oilman Josh Cosden once casually wrote a 12 million dollar check at a table in the lobby. For a time, Harry Sinclair ran his offices out of the hotel. The building was torn down in 1972.

Above: "Tulsa Boy" written in pencil on back. Date unknown

Above: Vintage, Hotel Tulsa Luggage Label (with the addition of DECOPOLIS)

Above Left:  Original photo of Miss Unity Ledbetter, pilot.  Above Right: 1928 Newspaper Clipping..."A 78-year old grandmother, Mrs. Lena Ledbetter of Tulsa, Okla., (below), has announced she and her daughter, Miss Unity Ledbetter, are having a tri-motored monoplane  constructed with the idea of celebrating the mother's birthday by starting August 17 on a flight from New York to Paris.  The daughter (above) is a licensed pilot. 

Above: "Tulsa skyline, 1909.

Click Here for...
MORE.    TulsaRama Gang Funnies!

Above: Dust storm advancing on Hooker Oklahoma, located in the Oklahoma Panhandle, June 4th 1937. These dust storms, sometimes called "Black Blizzards" or "Black Rollers",  would begin in this part of the country, called the Dust Bowl, and could reach as far as the east as NYC and Washington DC. So many poverty stricken families abandoned Oklahoma for places like California during this period, that they were given the name "Okies".

Above: Oklahoma oil field workers.

Above: "This Week in Tulsa" Airport Conference Special.  March 21 - March 28  1931

Above: Alvin Hotel Postcard. On the back: "Going to Tulsa? Then select the hotel that is the choice of more prominent people in all walks of life. COMFORT - PRESTIGE - EXCELLENT FOOD All rooms wiht bath - Rates from $2.00. S.J. Stewart, Manager" 

Above: Boy wearing letter jacket. 1920s fashion. 

Above: Tulsa Photo Postcard. "Alma, Isabelle, Katie and May. Taken Oct 18 - 1911. Tulsa Okla"

BELOW.   Several pages of a booklet  put out by the Akdar Temple Theater which opened in 1925.  This booklet is from the spring of 1927 

Above: Can't help but love the wording in many of these advertisements! 

Above: 1st National Bank Building Lobby, Tulsa Oklahoma 

Above: Photo Postcard, back reads... Lounge Car on the Frisco Meteor between St. Louis, Tulsa and Oklahoma City. serving the southwest with distinction for nearly half a century . The Meteor is to be completely streamlined and Diesel-powered.

Above: Tulsa Photo Postcard "Leaving Tulsa" Frisco Lines photo op. circa 1914 

Below: J. Paul Getty signature on Mayo Hotel, Tulsa, money transfer May 9, 1942 (the year he founded the Getty Oil Company).  At one time J. Paul Getty had the title of "Richest Man in the World" and was Americas first Billionaire.  Getty got his start in the oil business in Oklahoma and, after striking oil in 1915, moved to Tulsa. In the 1930s Getty purchased Spartan Aviation (today known as Spartan School of Aeronautics). Using his Washington contacts, J. Paul Getty got the company contracts to produced military aircraft and train pilots during WWII, helping to usher in Tulsa's Golden Age of Aviation. 

Above: Tulsa Spartan Class of  June 1943 

Above: Spartan Aircraft ad 1929 "Keeping Pace With The Times"

Above: Spartan Aircraft ad 1930 "I'll be there in an hour." 

Above: Tulsa's Art Deco, Municipal Airport.  Dedicated 1928. Tragically demolished in 1970. 

Above: What a stunning photo from our collection!  Tulsa has a great cycling community,  and in our humble opinion, this should still be proper cycling attire!

Above: North Tulsa photo, postmarked Nov. 21 - 1908

Above: Photo postcard, Vernon A. M. E Church, Tulsa, Okla. postmarked July 12 - 3.30pm 1945  Written in ink on back "From Pastor Mickeus" (or Mickens?)  To "Ms Adline Corbin, Shenandoah Jct. W. VA 

Above: Unknown Children. Stamp on back reads "TIPTON'S STUDIO 210-A So. Main Street Phone 397.  TULSA, OKLA

Above: "This is the block we live in." 1908  Photo Postcard (Birds Eye View Tulsa, Okla, from Northside School.  

BELOW:  A few pages from a 1929 pamphlet hailing the grand opening of the new Halliburton-Abbott Department Store "the most modern in the entire southwest". 500 S. Boulder downtown Tulsa. This grand department store had the misfortune of opening just 5 weeks after the NY Stock Market crash. and then closed 2 years later during the Great Depression. The building was turned into a Sears and remained such until 1958. The building was demolished in 1980.

Above: Tulsa Fire Department. Tulsa, Okla. 1916  Photo Postcard. Inscription reads " You can tell from this fine dept. what a bustling town it is.

Above: Tulsa Fire Department. Tulsa, Okla. February 26. 1916  Photo Postcard back.  Inscription reads "My dear Aunt (?) We are beginning to feel at home and think we will like here fine. It is a fine town and is said to be growing faster than any other town in the U.S.
  I appreciate the tatting so much.  It looks awfully pretty on the cloak and is admired so much.
  Hope Uncle "Fayette" is getting along fine. Much love to all. 
Ms. M. L Willis
Anderson S.C.
S. Main St.

Above: A contemporary photo by Tulsa artist and TADM Founder, William A. Franklin, showing some of the incredible Art Deco details on the Tulsa Fire Alarm Building built in 1931.  Notice the dragon gargoyles on the top layer, and the fire breathing dragons below. Also note the firemans axes along the top. Located: 1010 E. 8th St. Tulsa Oklahoma

Above: Villa Philbrook vintage postcard.  Villa Philbrook is a 72 room, Italian Renaissance style villa built in 1927 by Tulsa oil baron, Waite Phillips and his wife Genevieve.  The Phillips later donated the home, which is now the Philbrook Museum of Art, to the city of Tulsa in 1938. 

Above: Villa Philbrook, formal dining. This is a photograph, from an estate sale of the photographer, which shows the Villa Philbrook dining room as it originally looked before a later remodel removed the ornate ceiling.  

Above: Unknown mansion from the same Tulsa photographers estate as the Philbrook photo above. The description on the back gives many details of the home... except which home it was from.  (possibly the Josh Cosden Mansion?)

Above: Just for fun. From our vintage photo collection, this scrappy looking group of football players. Love some of those poses!