For twenty years as a Carlsbad, New Mexico High School teacher, Jed Howard pursued the hobby of locating and copying
old photographs of the area for the Southeastern New Mexico Historical Society. By accident, this period of search corresponded
to a time when thousands of small family photography studios across America were dropping out of business
because of the switch from the traditional household camera to digital photography.
In Carlsbad, as the businesses closed, several passed their large collections of developed negatives to the
SENM Historical Society. In addition, the town's single newspaper, the Carlsbad Current Argus, gave the Historical
Society almost ten years if its final developed negatives before it, also, shifted to the computer. As a result, the
Historical Society has almost 400,000 negatives in storage behind these 18,000 photographs which offer a fairly
inclusive look at 120 years in the history of this one small American town in the midst of the Southeastern
Accuracy: I have chosen to interview very few people. Most of this information comes instead from newspaper
sources. But, I have been personally interviewed a number of times for articles about myself, and knowing what I
told the reporter, I have found several inaccuracies in each and every article that appeared. I have to believe
that this level of inaccuracy - increased by my own failures as a recorder - is an inevitable constant across this
database. We can only hope that you will help spot and correct this misinformation.
Across this database many of the ages given to the individuals are followed by a question mark. This is because
these are based on an assumption that this individual would have been 17 when their class graduated from High
School. That is not always a correct assumption...
With deep appreciation to: Mary Frances Merchant, Jim and Sue Ogden, Claibe and Rus Power