Ca. 1909. Oblong Octavo (ca. 18,5x27 cm). 50 card stock leaves (14 blank). With 36 mounted original gelatin silver photographs, ca. 8,5x13 cm (3 ¼ x 5 ¼ in) or slightly smaller. All but two captioned and signed in negative, seventeen signed “Bergner,” sixteen – “Illan Fot.”. Period dark brown full cloth album. Overall a very good album with strong interesting photos.
A historically interesting collection of original photos depicting the city of Villahermosa (then called San Juan Bautista de Tabasco, renamed back as Villahermosa in 1916) during a major flood of the Grijalva River, apparently in 1909. Located in the Tabasco wetlands which occupy the lower river basin of the Grijalva and Usumacinta rivers, the site of Villahermosa has been traditionally prone to flooding. Nevertheless, the floods increased significantly in the 20th century, due to human activities (oil extraction, deforestation, and agriculture). The 2007 Tabasco flood covered as much as 80% of the state and affected about 1,000,000 people.
The photos show details of different Villahermosa streets and squares flooded by the Grijalva River, with the local people crossing them on foot or by boats. Photos by the “Bergner” studio show Calle de la Libertad (two views with the sign “Estudio Bergner” on one of the houses), Calle de Marina, Calle de Aldama, Calle de Juarez (with Teatro Juarez on the left), Avenida Francisco I. Madero, Calle de la Constitucion (with El Centro Mercantil in the foreground), Calle del 27 de Febrero, Calle de Sarlat, Parque Juarez, Parque “La Paz,” Teatro Merino (the first cinema in Tabasco, burned in 1950), “Galatea” and “Palacio” hotels. Photos by the “Illan” studio show Avenida Francisco I. Madero, Calle Libertad, Calle Aldama, Avenida Juarez, Reforma, Calle Constitucion, Calle Mendez, Calle M. Lerdo, Calle Sarlat, Calle Castillo, Calle 27 de Febrero, and others. One of the unsigned photos (likely also by studio Illan) shows a street with a sign of Frederick Schweickhardt & Cie. on the left. Overall a valuable collection depicting the impact of a natural disaster in the early 20th century.
Price: $1,500.00 USD