TULSA DECO, & Historic Photos & Ephemera
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PHOTOS & POSTCARDS -  ADVERTISEMENTS - MAGAZINES -  DOCUMENTS

Above: A great nighttime photo of downtown Tulsa, by one time, Tulsa World, photographer Lee Krupnick. some of Lees accomplishments include: winning first prize for taking the most outstanding photograph in the nation, and being voted "Most Popular Man in Tulsa". He was also asked to photograph notable people like governors and even the President of the US.  Later in life Lee became a well known Evangelist. 

Above: This photo shows the trailer and auto from the 1954 comedy, "The Long Long Trailer" featuring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, in front of Tulsa's Majestic Theater. We believe the people standing in front of the trailer are from Tulsa's KOTV Channel 6. 
Check out the Peacock Jewelers neon sign. Must have been something all lit up! 

Above and Below:  Photo postcard of Barber Shop interior taken by That Man Stone studios, Chicasha OKLA. 

"That Man Stone" Fred L Stone, was a famous photographer around the turn of the century. Stone is well known for having taken photos of the Oklahoma Land Run and using what was likely the states first panoramic camera to take photos of OKC and other towns throughout the state.  One of the studios cameras could produce photos up to 12 feet long.  Sometimes the population of an entire small town would show up to have their picture taken. One large panoramic photo resides in the National Archives. Stone won numerous awards for his photography and was even called on to photograph the President of the United States. 

Zooming in on this image of a Barber Shop interior, we can see in the mirror a sign that reads in part "THE RADIO BEAT" which puts this photo after Stones death in 1914.  The photo was likely taken during the time Stones business partner  R. (Rufus) Buchanan, who purchased the photography business from Stone, owned the business. Buchanan continued the tradition of That Man Stone excellence in photography and became a well respected and prolific photographer in his own right with many of these photos contained in historic/museum collections.

Above: This is one of "That Man Stone's" famous, wide angle, group photos, dated 1906. This time signed F.L. Stone. The scanned image is over 4 feet long. Also written on front is "14th Annual Session Grand Lodge I.O.O.F Tulsa IT (Indian Territory) April 9-10-11-12 -06. The building in the center is Tulsa's Grand Opera House which was completed the year the photo was taken.  The building is located on the north side of 2nd Street between Boston Ave. and Cincinnati. The building served both as a meeting place for large groups, and theater. It also housed offices, retail stores and the Tulsa Conservatory of Music. The building was torn down in 1972.  

Above:  An early promotional handout from 1910
As you can see, Tulsa was already experiencing rapid growth, but this was nothing compared to the incredible growth that was about to come! 

Above: Sand Springs Railway, trolley car in Tulsa. 

Above: The April 1934 Tulsacrat! 
This is the only one of these magazines we have ever seen. If you ever run across another one let us know.  We of course love the dramatic Art Deco styling of the cover. 

Above: Seems some things never change. Even today there is the occasional magazine or paper that pops up, frustrated with the "Big" local news brands, and hoping to add their views and voice to the mix! 

Above: An article by one of Tulsa's most famous Artists/Architects, ADAH ROBINSON!
As far as we know, this may be the only known copy of this article by her.  

An interesting bit from the article, that definitely speaks to the time, where Adah gives fair warning to the  physically ponderous among us! ....

..."The physical aspects of persons, dwelling therein, are determining factors in thoughtfully planned rooms. To Illustrate: the scheming of delicacy of line and form and small patterns to a diminutive, dainty woman, -and the increase in scale, size and boldness of design to one large and robust in stature. There is no setting that emphasizes the physical ponderosity of a person more than a background of little, sprigish floral motifs and collections of small bric-a-brac."

Above: Though we may get a giggle out of Mae West today, apparently at one time, her "gyrations", and one liners filled with innuendo, were NOT at all humorous to some, and were bound to lead to the downfall of Western Civilization! And perhaps there are some around today, who would say she did achieve just that! 

Above: This rare, circa 1921 photo is by the preeminent African-American photographer of Jazz Age NY, Edward Elcha.

 The photo was crumbling and in poor condition, but we worked to digitally restore the image, to bring back and preserve for posterity, the stunning smile of this beautiful young lady. We do not know who she was, but she was likely either a performer or celebrity, or one of the African-Amercian elites Elcha catered to.


Some excerpts from an article about Elcha… “Edward Elcha, was the foremost African-American chronicler of Broadway and of the musical world of Harlem in the 1920s and ‘30s. For a time he worked with Strand Studios, and his Images from 1920 and 1921 bore his own name—Elcha, NY. In 1922-23 he went independent branding his business Progress Studios.  His premises on 220-25 W. 46th became a way station of the African American elite on their visits to New York City.  The Navex building in which the studio was located also housed a black dance company, African American music publishers, and the headquarters of the Luckeyeth Roberts jazz orchestra. Elcha became the black chronicler of Jazz Age Manhattan—its musicians, stage shows, and social gatherings.  His placements in the Saturday Evening Post, the Philadelphia Evening Post, and the New York Morning Telegraph in the early 1920s signaled that he had come to be regarded as a professional talent in the eyes of national editors. By the late 1920s Elcha’s reputation was so well established that white performers availed themselves of his services in large numbers.   When Jack Goldberg and Joseph J. Myers hired Elcha in summer 1928 as the exclusive photographer of the Majestic Theatrical Circuit, a national booking agency for black talent, he formalized his dominant position as the recorder of the African-American entertainment world. “https://broadway.cas.sc.edu/content/edward-elcha

Above: Closeup of the photo by Edward Elcha, circa 1921. 

Above: A before and after. 
M. P. Tippin and Son Croceries, Oilton Oklahoma, circa 1918. 

We often try to clean up photos that are damaged. One thing we commonly find with photos that are framed and behind glass is that someone at one time likely sprayed cleaner on the glass and it seeped behind causing damage to the photo and making it so the photo is stuck to the glass in places, unable to be removed from the glass without damaging the photo further. 

If you must clean glass like this, do NOT spray onto the glass, instead, very lightly dampen a cloth then clean. 

Above: Tulsa street scene 1925. You can see the Mayo Furniture store in the building to the left which was at 4th and Boulder.

To the far right is what was the 1st Methodist Church but by 1925 was the American Legion post. It would soon be the site of the Art Deco Pythian Building. There is a "World" blade sign almost dead center of the photo.

To the left under the awning is a RADIO sign for the Premier Service Co / Radio Sales Co which is listed at 418 S Boulder, a 2-story building just north of the Petroleum Building.

The Petroleum Building, which housed Mayo Furniture at street level, was home to Waite Phillips Co (the entire 8th floor) and a bunch of other oil companies and geologists on floors 6-10.

Above: Another 1925 photo, this time on 3rd Street between Main and Boston. The building on the far right with the large columns is still there, except now there is a "modern" facade on it. Fortunately the old facade is still there, here's hoping they remodel it someday and reveal the beauty underneath!

Another neat thing this photo shows is what appears to be some large, ornate lamp posts that used to be in front of the 320 S. Boston Building (formerly known as the National Bank of Tulsa Building). Oh, and if you look closely you can read the tags on the car to the far left, Tulsa 1925!

Above: Tulsa County Courthouse 1925.  NW Corner of 6th and Boulder, built in 1911. 

Above: While we of course enjoy discovering old Tulsa photos from the Deco Era, what we really love is finding Tulsa, Art Deco items! 

This Senior Dinner program has a fun, Art Deco cover design. The dinner was held June 2, 1931 at 7:30 on the Roof Garden of the Mayo Hotel. 

THE  GREAT  AMERICAN  GOAT CART  CRAZE!

Goat Cart photo from Tulsa in 1934

Goat Cart in photo from Oilton Oklahoma, circa 1918.

And by coincidence, we found this Goat Cart photo from our friends at the Sapulpa Historical Society having the same goat and cart as that in the Oilton image! 

While on the lookout for historic photos for our archives, we kept running across pictures of children in Goat Carts. Which begged the question “Did all children in the 20’s and 30’s have Goat Carts?” Whats not to love after all? Cherubic Children in tiny transport, pulled by adorable animals! It’s got a lot going for it. But, was this viral mode of transport, really the “must have” kiddie Tesla of its time?

Looking into this pressing matter further, what we discovered was, traveling photographers would take these cute little goat carts from town to town and set up shop in some conspicuous location. The goat cart acted as both prop and advertisement, working to bring crowds of children and parents to the spot. We have even seen examples where the photographer has apparently talked a local business into sponsoring the goat cart photo-op, by having the businesses name placed on the side of the cart. American capitalist ingenuity at its finest.

However, the usual thing you will see is the towns name, and the date, placed on the front of the cart, helping to further turn the potential photo into an irresistibly tempting keepsake. The goat carts were also popular attractions at local fairs and amusement parks.

But, perhaps this amazing mode of transport, powered entirely by renewables, was just too far ahead of its time. By WWII the novelty had subsided, and the job of traveling photographer died out, thus ending the great American goat cart craze of the 20’s & 30’s. And a fun coincidence.

While researching this story, we ran across a post by our friends at the Sapulpa Historical Society having an image of a goat cart with some kids in it. We thought the particular goat and cart looked familiar, checked a photo in our collection and voila! It was the same goat and cart!

Above: We do not know who these two are, but can just make out that they are wearing hats with the words "Postal Telegraph" on them.  We have found images of similar postal hats circa 1910. 

Above: DECOPOLIS has a "Paper Moon", whose name is Mr Dreams, as one of its mascots. And we have a giant version of him outside our store for people to use as as a photo op. Paper Moon photo ops were very popular around the turn of the century and into the Jazz Age, so whenever we find a cute Paper Moon photo we try to snatch it up!

Above: Speaking of moons, check out this post card from Moonlight Post Card Studio in Tulsa. We do not yet know the exact date of the photo, but it has an AZO stamp box on the back with 4 triangles pointing up, which puts it between 1904 and 1918.  There are websites where people have tracked down the dates of the different stamp box designs to help us narrow down the dates! 

BELOW: One of the oldest Tulsa Yearbooks we have is the 1917, Tulsa High School, Tom Tom.
Here are a few humourous outtakes!

Above: We usually don't purchase items related to Oklahoma City, but couldn't resist this glass negative, of a particularly "atmospheric" Rainy Day Street Scene in OKC. 

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