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Lens on the Texas Frontier

Lawrence T. Jones

Publication Year: 2014

Photographs of Texas’ frontier past are valuable as both art and artifact. Recording not only the lives and surroundings of days gone by, but also the artistry of those who captured the people and their times on camera, the rare images in Lens on the Texas Frontier offer a documentary record that is usually available to only a few dedicated collectors.
In this book, prominent collector Lawrence T. Jones III showcases some of the most interesting and historically important glimpses of Texas history included among the five thousand photographs in the collection that bears his name at the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University. One of the nation’s most comprehensive and valuable Texas-related photography collections, the Lawrence T. Jones III Collection documents all aspects of Texas photography from the years 1846–1945, including rare examples of the various techniques practiced from its earliest days in the state: daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, and paper print photographs in various formats.
The selections in the book feature cartes de visite, cabinet cards, oversized photographs, stereographs, and more. The subjects of the photos include Confederate and Union soldiers and officers in the Civil War; Mexicans, including ranking military officials from the Mexican Revolution; and a wide spectrum of Texan citizens, including African American, Native American, Hispanic, and Caucasian women, men, and children.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press


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p. C-C

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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Russell L. Martin III

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pp. ix-x

In the realms of collecting and documenting Texana, certain names loom large: Raines, Streeter, Winkler, and Friend come immediately to mind. Larry Jones belongs in this company as well, even though he has departed somewhat from...

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Roy Flukinger

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pp. xi-xii

As my grandparents were apt to say, “Texas is as big as a Number 4 washtub.” That is, they don’t come any bigger. And greatness of physical scale and size just intuitively translated into amplitude in all manner of directions...

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pp. xiii-xiv

No collector spends a lifetime making acquisitions without interacting with fellow collectors or with collectors who also are dealers. Although I found many of the photographs in my collection on my own, a good number of...

Lens on the Texas Frontier

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Introduction: Documenting Texas History

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pp. 1-2

Collectors are a strange but driven lot. We are passionate about what we do and tend to think others should feel the same. I hesitate to say “obsessed,” but it is not far off the mark in describing hard-core collectors. Since 1976 I have...

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Early Texas Photography, 1843–1900

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pp. 3-14

Three years after Texas declared its independence from Mexico, an 1839 discovery in France emitted ripples of change around the world, including in the young republic. After years of experimentation by various individuals...

Photographs from the Lawrence T. Jones III Collection

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Cased Images—Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, and Tintypes

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pp. 17-44

Tennessee native William P. Hardeman moved to Matagorda, Texas, with his father in 1835. He fought in the Texas Revolution and took part in numerous Indian campaigns during the 1830s and 1840s. Taken in either Texas or Mexico, this daguerreotype...

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Cartes de Visite

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pp. 45-64

Like his father before him, Samuel Stone Jr. operated the ferry in Austin that ran from the foot of Waller Creek across the Colorado River. The Stone family lived in a log cabin on the south side...

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pp. 65-104

In its prime, Indianola rivaled Galveston as the most important Texas port city. Because of the Federal blockade of Texas ports during the then recent Civil War, it was practically impossible to export cattle. As a consequence of being kept from the markets...

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Cabinet Cards

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pp. 105-130

Although this photograph was taken about 1874, this Comanche warrior is dressed in a style of shirt and leggings that predate the 1870s. Instead of the pullover buckskin shirt with V-shaped fringed yoke worn by Comanche and Kiowa men...

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Large-Format Mounted Photographs

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pp. 131-138

This photograph was taken the same year as the Texas Land and Copper Association Expedition. It is quite possible that the photographer on that expedition, A. C. Troutman, took this photograph of a part of the Tonkawa Indian village adjacent...

A Collector’s Journey

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On Collectors and Collecting

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pp. 141-150

Just as I was completing the rewriting and polishing of the final hoto captions for this work, another stellar Texas photograph appeared in an online auction. The image was eye-catching, had wonderful tones and composition, and was dated. I knew it had to be included in the book, but...

Appendix 1: Unlisted Texas Photographers

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pp. 151-170

Appendix 2: Carte de Visite Photograph Imprints

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pp. 171-200


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pp. 201-202


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pp. 203-208

Back Cover

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p. BC-BC

E-ISBN-13: 9781623491475
E-ISBN-10: 1623491479
Print-ISBN-13: 9781623491239

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2014

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Jones, Lawrence T., III -- Photograph collections.
  • Lawrence T. Jones III, Texas Photography Collection.
  • Degolyer Library -- Photograph collections.
  • Photography -- Texas -- History -- 19th century.
  • Photography -- Texas -- History -- 20th century.
  • Frontier and pioneer life -- Texas -- Pictorial works.
  • Photographs -- Collectors and collecting -- Texas.
  • Texas -- History -- 19th century.
  • Texas -- History -- 20th century.
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