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 desert.

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...

Jed Howard

With deep appreciation to: Mary Frances Merchant, Jim and Sue Ogden, Claibe and Rus Power