Tag Archives: 1930s

Fun Photo Friday!

10 Apr
Happy Friday!
For this Fun Friday, we want to share with you this photograph of Alberto Soza and his goat. He stated, “We raised this goat at the time (an Agora Goat). We use the hair to make quilts for the whole family. when the Wilson’ss came to there (on the ranch) they taught mother to make quilts set on a frame propped on chairs.”
Original card from Mrs. Maria Gonzales, dated – 1939.
6759

Photo Identifier – Portrait – Soza, Antonio J. Sr. #6759 

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Photo Friday: Halloween Edition!

31 Oct

We would like wish everyone a Happy Halloween!

#3855, Arizona Historical Society-Tucson

#3855, Arizona Historical Society-Tucson

Today’s photo is from a Halloween Mardi Gras celebration at Dooley Street circa the early 1930s – now those are some well done costumes! The Halloween Mardi Gras event was a popular event in Tucson in the 1920s and early 30s until the death of the organizer, Julius “Dooley” Bookman, passed away in 1934 and the event ceased.

Samuel R. Lopez Collection

27 Sep

In historical archives, most collections are personal papers, belonging to members of the community that the archive serves. The specificity of some of these collections is what makes them so much fun to examine, and so important to researchers who come to find information!

The Samuel R. Lopez collection contains the personal papers of Samuel Lopez, who grew up in Tucson in the 1920s. While there are no photographs or correspondence, what this collection gives us are documents related to plays put on by the church youth group in the 20s and 30s called “The Little Flower Club.” This club, organized to pay tribute to Saint Therese of Lisieux, was active from 1926 to the mid 1950s, and this collection has scripts, songs, and prayer cards and catechisms with devotionals to Saint Therese.

Every time I process a collection I’m a little stunned by the insight into another person’s life I get. In this case, a portrait of Mr. Lopez was pretty clear: he was obviously a very religious man, who loved to entertain others. But the plays and prayers also give us a clear image of what the Catholic Church was like in the 1920s, and what kinds of prayers were in vogue at the time, and what this club was doing for the community.

The Samuel R. Lopez collection is available to researchers in our Reading Room and is only one of the collections that give a great slice-of-life perspective of Tucson and some of the lesser-known historical niches of this great city. If you have any interest in the history of the church or theater in Tucson, come check it out!

MS 1477, Samuel R. Lopez Collection, Box 1, Folder 1. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

MS 1477, Samuel R. Lopez Collection, Box 1, Folder 1. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

Women in Mining Towns: A Look at the Past through Accident Reports

28 Jun

A couple of months ago as I processed the Montana Mine collection I found myself sifting through the Accident Reports for the mine. As I was placing them into the appropriate folders, certain accidents became familiar to me: dirt/rock chip in the eye, small wounds like cuts, bumps on the head, sprained this or that and the occasional broken bone.  There were other and more serious injuries of course, but the majority of things seemed pretty minor in that they wouldn’t keep the miner from his work for more than a few days. These were all very interesting of course, but what was most interesting to me was the amount of accident reports that were present for women. There were not many of them, especially compared to the reports filed by men, so I noticed them pretty quickly and once I did I kept track of them. The pictures you’ll see in this post are scans of a few of my favorites.

I was struck by their presence in the collection. I had not really thought about women in Ruby working for the Montana Mine. I had assumed that they were probably all housewives with sweet, rosy-cheeked picturesque children. I was happy to find that there were women in Ruby working for the Montana Mine who were married, single, and even widowed. Women of many ages were represented in the reports from those in their 20s to those in their 40s. Though it doesn’t seem they were employed in the actual mine itself, we can see that they helped run the boarding house, kitchens and hospitals kept by the Eagle-Picher Mining Company in Ruby. This is a reflection of the kind of work women were doing at that moment in history. A lot has changed since then! Another tidbit I found interesting, is the actual Accident Report form that was filled out. Rather than use the term “employee” to refer to the injured person, the forms all use the word “man.” As they were filling out the forms, some people crossed out the “man” and wrote “woman” or added the “wo” to the typed form letters and some didn’t bother to change it at all. These observations are all a snapshot of a certain moment in history when women in the workforce were not as prominent as they are today and often limited to a very specific set of jobs. You’ve come a long way, ladies!

Want to learn more about Ruby, Arizona and the Montana Mine? Pick up a copy of “Ruby, Arizona: Mining, Mayhem and Murder” by Bob Ring, Al Ring and Tallia Pfrimmer Cahoon. Copies are available in the Mercantile here at the Arizona Historical Society!

Two accident reports from the Montana Mine collection.

Two accident reports from the Montana Mine collection. Yikes! These both probably hurt a lot! Check out the difference in pay per month.

This Accident Report is written in faded pencil, so it's harder to see. Interesting that the accident was deemed "unavoidable." I guess all jobs have a certain amount of risk.

This Accident Report is written in faded pencil, so it’s harder to see. Interesting that the accident was deemed “unavoidable.” I guess all jobs have a certain amount of risk.

Notice that in the left one, "Man's" is XXXed out and "Woman's" typed in.

Notice that in the left one, “Man’s” is XXXed out and “Woman’s” typed in. Jennie Gover’s accident description is really detailed and the incorrect pronouns corrected throughout the Accident Report. In the Accident Report on the right side, Mrs. Gover is listed as the shift boss.