Tuesday, April 16, 2013

1939 Aerial Photos!

If you're either not interested in San Jose history, or you have things you need to get done tonight, you can stop reading now.

For the rest of you fearless readers, however, here's another great example of the sort of material that's available out on the Internet if you just keep looking. The University of California, Santa Cruz's library has a collection of aerial photos from the 1930's through the 1970's, and cover Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Alameda counties.

These are magical for me, for they show San Jose in wonderful detail around the same time as the setting for my model railroad. The West San Jose shot shows the canneries well; a later shot shows the San Jose Brick Works in all its glory. The north side of San Jose shows the old Market Street Station completely gone four years after the station was closed. The surrounding packing houses and Anderson Barngover plant still look busy. Los Gatos Canyon allows me to see the site of Alma station, as well as the routing of the railroad along the creek. There's even an image of Wrights, with the main line heading towards the summit tunnel.

The photos are a bit painful to navigate; they're generally in sequences heading north or south, but occasional skips and duplicate sequences can make it hard to track down sections to the west or east of the photos. I haven't looked much beyond the 1939-F flight, but I suspect there's some great details elsewhere. UCSC appears to be trying to use crowdsourcing to fill in some of the details, so add notes as you identify locations to help the next viewer.

As you find cool photos from the collection, please add a comment so others can check them out too!

[Aerial photo from UCSC's aerial photograph collection, flight 1939-F. Captions are mine.]

No comments:

Post a Comment