Discover Your Island Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Mary and Jeff Bell Library


parker collection
William H. Parker Photograph Collection

The Parker Collection consists of photographs of Corpus Christi taken by local resident William H. Parker primarily during the 1950s and 1960s. These images show some of city's major features during that important time in its history.

Born in 1928 and raised in Barlow, Kentucky, William H. Parker graduated from high school in 1946. He attended the Woodard School of Photography in Memphis, Tennessee, 1947-1948. He worked as a professional photographer in Cincinnati, Ohio during the late 1940s, where he did portraits as well as commercial
subjects. From 1950-1954, Parker served in the United States Air Force and was in top secret aerial photography during the Korean Conflict. While stationed in San Antonio, Texas, he first visited Corpus Christi.

Seeking opportunity and a warmer climate, Parker moved to Corpus Christi in 1955. He worked in the camera department in Lichtenstein's department store and later managed Seitter's Camera Center for approximately ten years. Thereafter, he worked for twenty-three years at B.L. Guess Lighting Company until his retirement in 1990.

William Parker remained an avid photographer his entire life, showing in competitive salon exhibits in museums and art galleries around the country.Most important for Corpus Christi history he took outstanding photographs of the local area from the time he first arrived in the mid 1950s.

In 1999, Parker generously donated a collection of several hundred color slides as well as black and white negatives to the Special Collections & Archives Department. Remarkable for their artistic quality as well as their intellectual content, one hundred of these slides are shown below. These images, originally in fragile 35 mm slide format, are thus readily accessible to researchers and other students of Corpus Christi history through digital technology. Also shown below are ten of Parker's select black and white prints from the original negatives.

The Parker Collection covers a range of local topics including construction of the Harbor Bridge, the Bascule Bridge, the Port of Corpus Christi, Padre Island, the shipping and oil industries, the Wesley Seale Dam, the Corpus Christi Bayfront and Marina, North Beach, downtown Corpus Christi and its development, and related subjects. The remarkable images shown below come primarily from the 1950s and early 1960s, a significant time in Corpus Christi's emergence as a modern city.

Permission to use any of these photographs must be obtained from the Special Collections & Archives Department, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Library. Any use is prohibited without prior permission. These images will be provided at the resolution requested by the patron.

The full credit line should read: William H. Parker Collection, Special Collections & Archives, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.


Parker Photographs

126-1 shows the Bascule Bridge, during its final years of operation, ca. late 1950s.

126-1


126-2 shows the Bascule Bridge in the lift position, ca. late 1950s.

126-2


126-3 shows the Port of Corpus Christi with refineries and other industries in the background, ca. 1950s.

126-3


126-4 shows the Port of Corpus Christi with refineries, cranes, and other industries in the background, ca. 1950s.

126-4


126-5 is a night scene of the Shoreline Terrace building, Corpus Christi, Texas, ca. 1950s.

126-5


126-6 is a frontal night photograph of the Shoreline Terrace building, ca. 1950s.

126-6


126-7 is a night photograph of downtown Corpus Christi, ca. 1950s.

126-7


126-8 is an evening view of the entire Corpus Christi shoreline area, ca. 1950s.

126-8


126-9 shows a portion of the Corpus Christi shoreline overlooking Corpus Christi Bay, the T-Heads, and the breakwaters, ca. 1950s.

126-9


126-10 shows the Corpus Christi shoreline overlooking Corpus Christi Bay, the T-Heads, and the breakwaters, ca. 1950s.

126-10


126-11 shows a portion of downtown Corpus Christi. The Memorial Coliseum, residences, and Corpus Christi Bay can be seen in the background, ca. 1950s.

126-11


126-12 shows a portion of downtown Corpus Christi area including the construction of a building and residences. The Port of Corpus Christi and other industries can be seen in the background, ca. 1950s.

126-12


126-13 "Water Front of Corpus Christi, Texas, June 1955."

126-13


126-14 shows boats docked along a Corpus Christi T-Head, ca. 1950s.

126-14


126-15 is a daytime view of the downtown Corpus Christi, Texas looking toward the bluff, ca. 1950s.

126-15


126-16 is a downtown view of Corpus Christi facing the bay, ca. 1950s.

126-16


126-17 shows a modern art mural, Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, Texas, ca. 1950s.

126-17


126-18 shows downtown Corpus Christi taken from one of the T-Heads, ca. 1950s.

126-18


126-19 shows downtown Corpus Christi taken from one of the T-Heads. The Corpus Christi Cathedral can be seen in the background, ca. 1950s.

126-19


126-20 "Water Front Corpus Christi, Texas, June 1955."

126-20


126-21 shows Corpus Christi North Beach with residences and commercial buildings. Corpus Christi Bay is visible in the background, ca. 1950s.

126-21


126-22 shows the entrance to the Port of Corpus Christi, taken from the newly constructed Harbor Bridge. It also shows a portion of the Harbor Bridge construction and downtown Corpus Christi in the background, ca. 1959.

126-22


126-23 shows a portion of downtown Corpus Christi looking south. Corpus Christi Bay can be seen in the background, ca. 1950s.

126-23


126-24 shows a dredge in the channel of the Port of Corpus Christi facing Corpus Christi Bay with the breakwaters in the background, ca. 1950s.

126-24


126-25 shows the Harbor Bridge under construction with downtown Corpus Christi in the background, ca. late 1950s.

126-25


126-26 shows a portion of the Harbor Bridge with the Bascule Bridge in the lift position as a tugboat enters the Port of Corpus Christi, ca. 1959.

126-26


126-27 shows the Harbor Bridge under construction, with a cement truck and several construction workers on the Harbor Bridge, ca. late 1950s.

126-27


126-28 shows ships along the dock area of the Port of Corpus Christi, ca. 1950s.

126-28


126-29 shows an overhead view of vehicles passing over the Bascule Bridge, ca. late 1950s.

126-29


126-30 shows storage facilities of the Port of Corpus Christi with ships docked alongside, ca. 1950s.

126-30


126-31 is a scene of the Port of Corpus Christi, ca. 1950s.

126-31


126-32 "Robert Maxwell on the left and Bill Parker on the right of the Harbor Bridge, 1959."

126-32


126-33 shows a tugboat and ship leaving the Port of Corpus Christi heading toward Corpus Christi Bay, ca. 1950s.

126-33


126-34 shows a scene of Corpus Christi Bayfront and downtown looking south. Several residences and commercial buildings, and Water Street with vehicles are visible, ca. 1950s.

126-34


126-35 shows downtown Corpus Christi taken from the Harbor Bridge. Several room and boarding houses along with an Exxon service station can be seen along Water Street and Chaparral Street, ca. 1959.

126-35


126-36 shows the Harbor Bridge under construction, including construction workers, ca. late 1950s.

126-36


126-37 shows storage facilities of the Port of Corpus Christi with ships docked alongside, ca. 1959.

126-37


126-38 shows a ship in the water, apparently taken from the Harbor Bridge, ca. 1959.

126-38


126-39 shows a ship going under the Bascule Bridge, Corpus Christi, Texas, ca. 1959.

126-39


126-40 shows a ship going under the Bascule Bridge, Corpus Christi, Texas, ca. 1959.

126-40


126-41 shows the Tule lift bridge located within the Port of Corpus Christi, ca. 1959.

126-41


126-42 shows a ship in the Port of Corpus Christi. The Tule lift bridge can be seen in the background, ca. 1959.

126-42


126-43 shows several storage facilities labeled Port of Corpus Christi, including a ship docked alongside, ca. 1959.

126-43


126-44 shows the Port of Corpus Christi, including a dock facility and tugboat. Refineries and other industries can be seen in the background, ca. 1959.

126-44


126-45 shows the Corpus Christi Grain Elevator at the Port of Corpus Christi, ca. 1959.

126-45


126-46 shows the Port of Corpus Christi with the Tule lift bridge in a distance, ca. 1959.

126-46


126-47 shows the Tule lift bridge in the Port of Corpus Christi, ca. 1959.

126-47


126-48 shows the Tule lift bridge in the Port of Corpus Christi taken from an adjacent dock, ca. 1959.

126-48


126-49 shows an oil rig near the Port of Corpus Christi with the Harbor Bridge and the Corpus Christi skyline in the background, ca. 1959.

126-49


126-50 shows an oil rig with a small row boat in the foreground. The Harbor Bridge and the Corpus Christi skyline can be seen in the background, ca. 1959.

126-50


126-51 "Mathis Lake 1958"

126-51


126-52 "Port of Corpus Christi July, 1959."

126-52


126-53 shows Corpus Christi downtown and Corpus Christi Bay in the background, ca. 1959.

126-53


126-54 shows the newly constructed Harbor Bridge in Corpus Christi towering over the Bascule Bridge in lifted position, ca. 1959.

126-54


126-55 shows two ships entering the Port of Corpus Christi taken from an adjacent dock. The Harbor Bridge and Bascule Bridge are in the distance, ca. 1959.

126-55


126-56 shows an oil rig located near the Port of Corpus Christi. The Harbor Bridge and Corpus Christi skyline are in the background, ca. 1959.

126-56


126-57 shows downtown Corpus Christi from the Harbor Bridge, ca. 1959.

126-57


126-58 shows several Port of Corpus Christi storage facilities taken from the Harbor Bridge, ca. 1959.

126-58


126-59 shows the Port of Corpus Christi, including its water tower, several industries, and storage facilities, ca. 1959.

126-59


126-60 shows newly built Harbor Bridge with approaching vehicle and Corpus Christi in the background, ca. 1959.

126-60


126-61 "Sea gulls-Padre Island, 1955."

126-61


126-62 "Padre Island at Bob Hall Pier - July, 1955."

126-62


126-63 "Padre Island."

126-63


126-64 "Padre Island, 1957."

126-64


126-65 shows a naval vessel W116 at the dock, apparently in Corpus Christi, ca. 1950s.

126-65


126-66 shows an advertisement billboard for Padre Island, Texas, ca. 1959.

126-66


126-67 "1955."

126-67


126-68 "Padre Island-Texas cloud formation July-1955."

126-68


126-69 shows three ships docked in the Port of Corpus Christi, ca. 1950s.

126-69


126-70 shows the ship Gulf Oil entering the Port of Corpus Christi, ca. 1959.

126-70


126-71 shows a ship docked at the Port of Corpus Christi taken from across the channel. Several cranes, refineries, and other industries are visible in the background, ca. 1959.

126-71


126-72 "On Wayne's boat, storm coming! July 1960."

126-72


126-73 shows an oil rig with the sun setting in the background, Corpus Christi Texas area, ca. 1950s.

126-73


126-74 shows several construction cranes and docked tugboats near storage facilities at the Port of Corpus Christi. A portion of the newly built Harbor Bridge is in the background, ca. 1959.

126-74


126-75 shows the ship Hall sailing from the Port of Corpus Christi into Corpus Christi Bay. A portion of the breakwaters are visible in the background, ca. 1959.

126-75


126-76 The ship Hall sailing in the bay of Corpus Christi. A portion of the breakwaters are visible in the background, ca. 1959.

126-76


126-77 shows the Port of Corpus Christi Grain Terminal with ship docked alongside, ca. 1959.

126-77


126-78 shows the Port of Corpus Christi Grain Terminal and other refineries and industries taken from the land side, ca. 1959.

126-78


126-79 shows an oil rig, Corpus Christi, Texas, ca. 1959.

126-79


126-80 shows an oil rig with the sun barely visible behind a bank of clouds, ca. 1959.

126-80


126-81 "Exxon super tanker Port Aransas too big to come in to Corpus late '60 or early '70."

126-81


126-82 "Exxon super tanker Port Aransas too big to come into Corpus late '60 or early '70."

126-82


126-83 "Exxon super tanker Port Aransas too big to come in to Corpus late '60 or early '70."

126-83


126-84 "Exxon super tanker Port Aransas too big to come into Corpus late '60 or early '70."

126-84


126-85 "Ingleside on the bay (destroyed by a hurricane)."

126-85


126-86 "Ingleside on the bay (destroyed by a hurricane)."

126-86


126-87 "Aransas Pass at Conn Brown Harbor, December 57."

126-87


126-88 "Port Aransas May-57."

126-88


126-89 shows four sail boats near the breakwaters in Corpus Christi Bay, ca. 1950s.

126-89


126-90 shows four sail boats near the breakwaters in Corpus Christi Bay, ca. 1950s.

126-90


126-91 "Old Ingleside destroyed by a hurricane."

126-91


126-92 "Ingleside on the bay destroyed by a hurricane."

126-92


126-93 shows the United States flag on the stern of a vessel, ca. 1950s.

126-93


126-94 shows three boys with a dog fishing by the Port of Corpus Christi, ca. 1950s.

126-94


126-95 shows two sailboats near the breakwaters in Corpus Christi Bay, ca. 1950s.

126-95


126-96 shows two sailboats near the breakwaters in Corpus Christi Bay, ca. 1950s.

126-96


126-97 "Windmill in tree 1919 Hurricane blew this windmill in tree-now tree has grown around it! Picture made 1986 Rockport, TX."

126-97


126-98 "Windmill in tree 1919 Hurricane blew this windmill in tree now tree has grown around it! Picture made 1986. Rockport, TX."

126-98


126-99 "Windmill in tree 1919 Hurricane blew this windmill in tree now tree has grown around it! Picture made 1986. Rockport, TX."

126-99


126-100 "Corpus Christi skyline 1986."

126-100


126-1bw shows the Harbor Bridge and Port of Corpus Christi with several ships and industries in the background, ca. 1959.

126-1bw


126-2bw shows a night view of the Harbor Bridge and Port of Corpus Christi with several ships and industries in the background, ca. 1959.

126-2bw


126-3bw shows the ship Uddeholm docked at the Port of Corpus Christi with the Harbor Bridge in the background, ca. 1959.

126-3bw


126-4bw shows a view of the Corpus Christi Bayfront and skyline taken from one of the T-Heads, ca. 1950s.

126-4bw


126-5bw shows a view of the Corpus Christi Bayfront and skyline at sunset taken from one of the T-Heads, ca. 1950s.

126-5bw


126-6bw shows a view of the Corpus Christi Bayfront and skyline taken from one of the T-Heads, ca. 1950s.

126-6bw


126-7bw shows another view of the Corpus Christi Bayfront and skyline taken from one of the T-Heads, ca. 1950s.

126-7bw


126-8bw shows a night view of a lighted Corpus Christi refinery, ca. 1950s.

126-8bw


126-9bw shows night shot of a lighted Corpus Christi refinery, ca. 1950s.

126-9bw


126-10bw shows the newly constructed Wesley E. Seale Dam, ca. 1958.

126-10bw


We invite questions and/or comments and look forward to hearing from you. Contact Christine Shupala at christine.shupala@tamucc.edu, (361)825-2644.


Webpage revised on 11/20/2013

 
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