Texas Day by Day

On this day in Texas history…

Pioneering panoramic photographer dies

October 27th, 1986

https://www.tshaonline.org/images/handbook/entries/Eugene O. Goldbeck photo of Air Force members
Image taken at random from the related Handbook of Texas entry, Goldbeck, Eugene Omar

On this day in 1986, photographer E. O. Goldbeck died. The San Antonio native, born in 1892, decided to pursue a career in photography in 1901 after he captured a candid shot of President McKinley in a San Antonio parade. Within weeks he had purchased his own camera and was taking and selling impromptu portraits of his classmates and teachers. After graduating from Main Avenue High School in 1910, he traveled extensively, purchased his first Cirkut camera, and began experimenting with the panoramic format. Known as the "unofficial photographer of America's military," Goldbeck pushed the limits of his craft by working with ever larger groups in striking designs. For his largest group shot, in which 21,765 men were arranged to represent the Air Force insignia, he spent more than six weeks building a 200-foot tower and making blueprints of the formation and attire of his subjects. The photograph was subsequently featured in Life magazine and became the most frequently reproduced of his prints. In 1967 Goldbeck discovered that many of his early negatives had deteriorated in storage. He subsequently donated 60,000 of his negatives and more than 10,000 vintage prints to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas.

Want even more?

Texas on This Day book cover image

Get even more daily history in this fascinating book! Arranged by day of the year to allow the reader to see into the past on any specific day, from 1528 to the present.

Purchase at Legacy of Texas »