L.L. Cook Company Collection

L.L. Cook Company:

An Inventory of the L.L. Cook Company Collection at the Texas State Archives, 1940, 1946-1951, 1953, 1955-1957, 1959, bulk 1948, 1951, 1956

Arrangement History Scope and Contents Restrictions Related Materials

Overview

L. L. Cook Colleciton

When the Days Work is Over M 502

Creator: L.L. Cook Company
Title: L.L. Cook Company collection
Dates: 1940, 1946-1951, 1953, 1955-1957, 1959
Dates: bulk 1948, 1951, 1956
Abstract: The L.L. Cook Company was founded in 1921 and was one of the two largest postcard publishing companies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin up to the 1960s, producing thousands of postcards with scenes from different cities and states across the country. The collection presents images of life, architecture and landscape in 105 towns in Texas. Prominent in the collection are Bandera, Brownsville, Del Rio, Edinburg, El Paso, Henderson, Junction, Kilgore, Kingsville, McAllen, Mission, and southern Texas. Dates covered are 1940, 1946-1951, 1953, 1955-1957, 1959, bulk 1948, 1951, 1956. Overall, a wide range of subjects are covered including churches, hospitals, schools, swimming pools, factories, homes, post offices, hotels, businesses, courthouses, downtown and main streets, monuments, bridges, beaches, oil fields, rodeo, steers and bulls, dude ranches, calf roping, highway scenes, aerial views of select towns, fruit groves, fields and harvests, rural scenes and fishing.
Quantity: 6.25 cubic ft.
Language: English
Repository: Texas State Archives
Sponsor: The preparation and digitization of this collection for online public access was funded in full or in part with a Library Services and Technology Act (20 U.S.C. ยง 9121) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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Other Finding Aids

A description of non-electronic records described in this finding aid are available at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/90016/tsl-90016.html.


Arrangement of the Records

The images are arranged alphabetically by the names of the towns represented, as received from L.L. Cook Company. For ease of web-browser use, images have been subdivided into 100 item increments based upon photograph identification number.

Please see the finding aid on TARO (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/90016/tsl-90016.html) for details on how to access paper-based materials.


Biographical Sketch

The L.L. Cook Company was founded in 1921 and was one of the two largest postcard publishing companies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin up to the 1960s, producing thousands of postcards with scenes from different cities and states across the country. The L.L. Cook Company bought the other large postcard publisher in Wisconsin, the E.C. Kropp Company, in 1956. The company continued to produce postcards into the 1960s. In 1969 the L.L. Cook Company was sold to the General Aniline & Film (GAF) Corporation and shifted focus from producing postcards to maintaining a photofinishing business. It formally dissolved in 1980.

The company was started by Lloyd Lewis Cook (1887-1972), who first co-founded the Cook Montgomery Company (about 1917-1918) in Minneapolis, along with Harris P. Montgomery. It was popularly known as “Co-Mo Photo” (which was also bought by GAF in 1969). Cook left the company in 1921 to start the L.L. Cook Company in Wisconsin, and its postcards subsequently listed Lake Mills and Milwaukee as addresses for the company. The company produced “real photo postcards,” which refers to an actual photograph printed from a negative directly onto photographic paper for the purpose of being mailed as a picture postcard. The reverse side of the card was printed mechanically with space for the address, message, etc. Real photo postcards differ from printed postcards, where the photographic image is referenced to create a master postcard image and then printed on a printing press.

Lloyd Lewis Cook studied at the University of Wisconsin and was a member of the Phi Delta fraternity. He died on May 17, 1972 and is buried in Rock Lake Cemetery, Lake Mills, Wisconsin.


Scope and Content

The L.L. Cook Company was founded in 1921 and was one of the two largest postcard publishing companies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin up to the 1960s, producing thousands of postcards with scenes from different cities and states across the country. The collection presents images of life, architecture and landscape in 105 towns in Texas. Prominent in the collection are Bandera, Brownsville, Del Rio, Edinburg, El Paso, Henderson, Junction, Kilgore, Kingsville, McAllen, Mission, and southern Texas. Dates covered are 1940, 1946-1951, 1953, 1955-1957, 1959, bulk 1948, 1951, 1956. The collection includes 1864 second generation “modern prints” and some film copy media. Modern prints were made from the original cellulose nitrate print negatives by the State Archives’ contract photographer, Bill Malone, in the 1970s. Overall, a wide range of subjects are covered including churches, hospitals, schools, swimming pools, factories, homes, post offices, hotels, businesses, courthouses, downtown and main streets, monuments, bridges, beaches, oil fields, rodeo, steers and bulls, dude ranches, calf roping, highway scenes, aerial views of select towns, fruit groves, fields and harvests, rural scenes and fishing.


Restrictions and Requirements

Restrictions on Use
The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements
For physical material: researchers are required to use gloves provided by the State Archives when reviewing photographic materials.


The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Rigsbee Postcard Collection, [ca. 1900-ca. 1909], 1907, 1908, 1910, 1911, 1914, 1953, and [19–], 0.24 cubic ft.
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
The L.L. Cook Company post cards, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1958, 3 volumes
The L.L. Cook Company slide duplicates, 1956-, 225 color transparencies
Eastern Illinois University
Booth Library Postcard Collection [size and dates unknown]
Wisconsin Historical Society
L.L. Cook Co.: Photographs, ca.1920 – ca.1965, 53 images
Minnesota Historical Society
L.L. Cook Company [size and dates unknown]
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries
Thomas and Jean Ross Bliffert Postcard Collection

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), L.L. Cook Company collection. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information
Accession number: 1968/089

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the L.L. Cook Company in 1968.

Processing Information
Preliminary inventory done by John Anderson, about 1988
Scanning and data entry of images into database by Melanie Saegert, April 2012
EAD finding aid prepared by Aditi Worcester, June 2012