Historic Photos Of Mobile: A Review

I was born and reared in Mississippi; but for the last 6 years I have called Mobile, Alabama, home. Actually, I think of Mobile as “Home”; more so than where I grew up. I’m comfortable here, I belong here.

And I still have a fascination with the city…kinda like a tourist. I’ve talked to life-long natives of Mobile who have lost that sense of wonder at the historical sites of interest in the city, the events, the history that makes up Mobile. Luckily, I haven’t reached that cynicism that comes with living somewhere for so long that you stop noticing the things in your city.

So, I was thrilled when I was contacted by Turner Publishing from Nashville asking me to review a book about my city, Mobile, Alabama. Turner publishes a series of books focusing on historical photos of different cities across the USA. These books are suitable for coffee tables, local business office waiting rooms, and for those houses where books are strategically placed for interior design purposes.

BUT… “Historic Photos Of Mobile” is worth picking up and reading. Residents of the Gulf Coast can look into their past and experience some rich history through the photographs and commentary inside the book. And you don’t have to reside on the Gulf Coast to enjoy the photographs; the book arouses your curiosity about the city of history and makes you want to explore the city of today.

The book’s content begins in 1870 and carries the reader or researcher through to 1979. One critique of the book is that it ends too soon and abruptly with 1979, with no explanation as to why. However, the book shines with its small stories tucked away in the captions of the photos. I learned of John Fowler, an inventor at the turn of the 20th century who built his own airplanes in Mobile, and may have superseded the Wright Brothers in flight. I saw what may be my boss’s father on a Mardi Gras float in 1949, and I read about how a tunnel I travel through everyday was built.

“Historic Photos Of Mobile” was written and compiled by Carol Ellis and Scotty E. Kirkland, both Archivists at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. I had the chance to meet the authors at Bienville Books in Mobile last Friday for their book signing.

Many purchasers of the book, including myself, had a story to relate to the authors about a particular photograph in the book and the authors spoke at length asking as many questions as answering.

I did ask the authors about the ending of the book and was informed that the publishers stick to a particular style in the series and most of the books end similarly. I suppose as a city enters the 70s, it’s considered less and less historically significant. I guess those modern photos will be significant in another 50 years or so.

If you are a history buff, a resident of the Gulf Coast, or someone that enjoys those bygone days of yesteryear; take a visit back in time with “Historic Photos Of Mobile”

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About Dave Robison

Now Appearing in an Extended Engagement! Join Dave Robison as he takes you into his world and his daily life of reviving a stand-up comedy career. Prepare for side trips exploring Public Relations, marketing and business ethics. Enjoy some frequent detours describing his observations on life. Read the exploits of this self-proclaimed Renaissance-man and blooming blogger as you go On The Road With Dave. From Mobile, Alabama comes Dave Robison, a confessed Internet-aholic, middle-aged-married-man, who's generally a nice guy--he just has one or two issues. Stand-Up Comedy by Dave Robison is available for corporate events, college campuses, and nightclubs.
This entry was posted in Alabama, Books, Diversions, Mobile, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Historic Photos Of Mobile: A Review

  1. Carol Ellis says:

    Hey Dave! Thanks so much for writing a review of our book. It was a pleasure meeting you at the book signing. We’ll be having another one at the Museum of Mobile (on Royal Street) on May 29. We hoped that, by looking at the photos and reading the captions in Historic Photos of Mobile, visitors, newcomers, and old-timers alike would all learn something about our wonderful city. It’s especially heartening to know that you did.

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