cover of book

Houston on the Move: A Photographic History
by Steven R. Strom
photographs by Bob Bailey Studios
University of Texas Press, 2016
Cloth: 978-1-4773-1094-6 | eISBN: 978-1-4773-1095-3
Library of Congress Classification F394.H8S84 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 976.4141100222


Houston completely transformed itself during the twentieth century, burgeoning from a regional hub into a world-class international powerhouse. This remarkable metamorphosis is captured in the Bob Bailey Studios Photographic Archive, an unparalleled visual record of Houston life from the 1930s to the early 1990s. Founded by the commercial photographer Bob Bailey in 1929, the Bailey Studios produced more than 500,000 photographs and fifty-two 16 mm films, making its archive the largest and most comprehensive collection of images ever taken in and around Houston. The Bob Bailey Studios Archive is now owned by the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.

Houston on the Move presents over two hundred of the Bailey archive’s most memorable and important photographs with extended captions that detail the photos’ subjects and the reasons for their significance. These images, most never before published, document everything from key events in Houston’s modern history—World War II; the Texas City Disaster; the building of the Astrodome; and the development of the Ship Channel, Medical Center, and Johnson Space Center—to nostalgic scenes of daily life. Bob Bailey’s expertly composed photographs reveal a great city in the making: a downtown striving to be the best, biggest, and tallest; birthday parties, snow days, celebrations, and rodeos; opulent department stores; Hollywood stars and political leaders; rapid industrial and commercial growth; and the inexorable march of the suburbs. An irresistible “remember that?” book for long-time Houstonians, Houston on the Move will also be an essential reference for historians, photographers, designers, and city planners.

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