Magee Photograph Collection

Formerly housed at the Main Library, this collection of aerial photographs of Tucson taken by A.E. (Gene) Magee (1907-1999), was donated to the Arizona Historical Society (949 E. 2nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85719, phone 628-5774) in March 1999. The photos date from the 1920s to 1983 with the bulk from 1938 to 1960.

Description of the Collection

Primarily aerial photographs taken of Tucson from the 1930s into the 1980s. Photographs include views of the entire city, as well as views of individual buildings including many Tucson landmarks and schools. Buildings include the University of Arizona, San Xavier del Bac Mission, El Conquistador Hotel, Saint Mary's Hospital and Guest Ranches. Also includes many photographs of the Tucson, Gas, Electric, Light and Power Company and a small group of portraits.

12 Boxes, 9 linear ft.

Access

There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Copyright

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be addressed to the Arizona Historical Society, Tucson, Archives Department.

Processing

Riva Dean processed the collection in April 1999.

Arrangement

Arranged by geographic location within Tucson: 1/Overall Views, 2/Downtown, 3/Central Tucson, 4/Eastside, 5/Northside, 6/Southside, 7/Westside, 8/Tucson, Gas, Electric, Light & Power Co., 9/Miscellaneous

Biographical Note

A. E. "Gene" Magee arrived in Tucson with his family in 1924. After graduating from Tucson High School in 1925, he attended the University of Arizona where he received a degree in electrical engineering. He began working for the Tucson, Gas, Electric, Light and Power Company while still attending the University and began working there full-time in 1930 and began photographing at that time. In 1938, he began working for Tucson Rapid Transit Company and also photographed for them. He became partners with Charles Herbert in Western Ways after the war. Though Herbert continued on with Western Ways, Magee left to form his own engineering company. For all his engineering jobs, he took photographs, often photographing other buildings as well.

Scope and Content Note

The Magee photographic collection offers a unique view of Tucson, primarily from the late 1930s though the 1970s. Largely aerial views, the collection documents Tucson post-war growth. The photographs show the entire view of Tucson from high altitudes as well as oblique views of individual buildings. Also represented are some ground-level views of the Tucson Rodeo and downtown street scenes.

Of particular interest will be the many views of downtown Tucson, including the barrio before and after Urban Renewal. Other buildings and locations that are heavily documented include St. Mary's Hospital, El Conquistador Hotel, the Arizona Inn, San Xavier del Bac Mission, La Reforma (a housing project) and the Rodeo Grounds and the University of Arizona. Also present are many guest ranches and trailer parks from the 1940s. Photographs of many of Tucson's airports are represented including trainees at Gilpin airport during World War II.

Gene Magee provided documentation of the photographs at the time that they were acquired by the Pima County Public Library in 1988. Though the descriptions are sometimes inaccurate or incomplete, they often provide very useful information as to the location and date, as well as the perspective, e.g. "looking Northeast from Country Club and Grant Roads." This documentation is available in a separate binder in the AHS Library.

Using Magee's identification, the photographs have been arranged into series, based on geographic location, which put back together photographs that were taken of the same location and at the same time. Though this arrangement should make the collection more useful to researchers looking for views of particular areas or buildings, it should be noted that there is a certain arbitrariness to these designations.

For example, though some photographs may have been put in the "Downtown" series, they also show some of the "Southside" or "Westside" because they are aerials and show a larger perspective than just an ordinary street scene. Serious researchers will need to be aware of this and keep in mind the entire area, checking other series as necessary.

Box and Folder List

Series 1 Overall Views

Box 1
  • f. 1 Mapping Aerials
  • f. 2-3 Entire Valley, 1940s-60s

Series 2 Downtown

  • f. 4 Downtown-Historic photos, n.d.
  • f. 5-13 Downtown, 1920s-1940s
Box 2
  • f. 14-15 Downtown, 1940s
  • f. 16 Downtown, 1940s-Fire
  • f. 17 Downtown-Rodeo Parade (Aerials), 1940s
  • f. 18 Downtown-Rodeo Parade (Street Level), 1940s
  • f. 19-20 Downtown, 1940s-Street Level
  • f. 21-23 Downtown, 1950s
  • f. 24 Downtown, 1960s
  • f. 25 Downtown-City Hall, 1968
Box 3
  • f. 26 Downtown, 1970s-80s
  • f. 27 Downtown, 1970s-Community Center

Series 3 Central Tucson

  • f. 28-33 Central-1940s
  • f. 34 Central-1950s
  • f. 35 Central-1960s-70s
Box 4
  • f. 36 Central-Arizona Inn
  • f. 37 Central-Barfield Sanatorium
  • f. 38-39 Central-Baseball Fields
  • f. 40 Central-Benedictine Sanctuary
  • f. 41 Central-Blenman Addition
  • f. 42 Central-Broadway Village
  • f. 43 Central-Catalina Theater
  • f. 44 Central-Drive-In Theaters
  • f. 45 Central-El Conquistador Hotel & Mall
  • f. 46 Central-Frontier Village
  • f. 47 Central-Hi Corbett Field
  • f. 48 Central-James A. Dick Co.
  • f. 49 Central-Mansfield Ford Co.
  • f. 50 Central-Saint Ambrose Church
  • f. 51 Central-St. Peter & Paul's Church
  • f. 52 Central-Schools-Davidson
  • f. 53 Central-Schools-Doolen Middle School
  • f. 54 Central-Schools-Gump Handicapped
Box 5
  • f. 55 Central-Schools-Howell Elementary
  • f. 56 Central-Schools-Potter School
  • f. 57 Central-Schools-Robinson
  • f. 58 Central-Schools-St. Andrew's Catholic
  • f. 59 Central-Schools-Salpointe
  • f. 60 Central-Schools-Tucson High School
  • f. 61 Central-Tucson General Hospital
  • f. 62-64 Central-UA Medical Center
  • f. 65-66 Central-University of Arizona, 1940s
  • f. 67 Central-University of Arizona, 1960s-70s

Series 4 Eastside

  • f. 68-69 Eastside-1940s
Box 6
  • f. 70 Eastside-1950s
  • f. 71 Eastside-1950s-Residences
  • f. 72 Eastside-1970s
  • f. 73 Eastside-Colossal Cave, 1930s
  • f. 74 Eastside-Fort Lowell, 1940s
  • f. 75 Eastside-Fowler Ranch
  • f. 76 Eastside-Moltaqua Turf Club
  • f. 77 Eastside-Mt. Lemmon Road
  • f. 78 Eastside-Old Soldiers' Trail
  • f. 79 Eastside-Pond Mansion, 1949
  • f. 80 Eastside-Schools-Fort Lowell, 1940s
  • f. 81 Eastside-Schools-Gale Elementary, 1971
  • f. 82 Eastside-Schools-Saguaro High School, 1971
  • f. 83 Eastside-Schools-Southern Arizona School for Boys
  • f. 84 Eastside-Tucson Rock & Sand, 1940s
  • f. 85 Eastside-Wagon Wheels Airport, 1940s

Series 5 Northside

Box 7
  • f. 86 Northside, 1930s
  • f. 87-88 Northside, 1940s
  • f. 89 Northside, 1940s-Foothills
  • f. 90 Northside, 1940s-Foothills Homes
  • f. 91 Northside, 1950s-70s
  • f. 92 Northside-Crescent Manor Trail Park, 1948
  • f. 93 Northside-Desert Treasures, 1940s
  • f. 94 Northside-Ferguson Ranch
  • f. 95 Northside-Flying V Ranch
  • f. 96 Northside-Griffin Ranch
  • f. 97 Northside-Gilpin Airport-Aerials
  • f. 98 Northside-Gilpin Airport-Ground Level
  • f. 99 Northside-Gilpin Airport-Interiors
Box 8
  • f. 100 Northside-Miracle Mile, 1940s
  • f. 101 Northside-Rillito Race Track, 1940s
  • f. 102 Northside-St. Philips in the Hills, 1948
  • f. 103 Northside-Schools, 1950s
  • f. 104 Northside-Schools-Canyon del Oro, 1976
  • f. 105 Northside-Schools-Cross Junior High
  • f. 106 Northside-Schools-Keeling Elementary
  • f. 107 Northside-Schools-Roosevelt
  • f. 108 Northside-Schools-Wetmore, 1950s
  • f. 109 Northside-Sunset Dairy, 1941
  • f. 110 Northside-Tucson Airpark, 1930s

Series 6 Southside

  • f. 111 Southside, 1930s
  • f. 112 Southside, 1940s
  • f.113 Southside, 1950s
  • f. 114 Southside, 1960s
Box 9
  • f. 115 Southside-Airports-Downtown Airport
  • f. 116 Southside-Airports-Downtown Airport-Desert Sky Lodge
  • f. 117 Southside-Airports-Tucson International Airport, 1930s-50s
  • f. 118 Southside-Airports-Tucson International Airport, 1960s-70s
  • f. 119 Southside-Davis Monthan Air Force Base
  • f. 120 Southside-El Paso Natural Gas
  • f. 121 Southside-Emery Park Trailer Court
  • f. 122 Southside-Hotels/Motels
  • f. 123 Southside-Infilco
  • f. 124 Southside-La Reforma
  • f. 125 Southside-Pueblo Gardens
  • f. 126 Southside-Rodeo Grounds (Aerials), 1940s
  • f. 127 Southside-Rodeo Grounds (Aerials-Close-in), 1940s
  • f. 128-29 Southside-Rodeo Grounds (Ground Level), 1940s
Box 10
  • f. 130 Southside-San Xavier del Bac Mission
  • f. 131 Southside-Santa Rita Mine
  • f. 132 Southside-Schools
  • f. 133 Southside-Schools-Chapparal Jr. High
  • f. 134 Southside-Southern Pacific Stockyards
  • f. 135 Southside-Turkey Farm
  • f. 136 Southside-Veterans' Hospital

Series 7 Westside

  • f. 137-39 Westside, 1940s
  • f. 140 Westside-Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, 1941
  • f. 141 Westside-Baseball Field
  • f. 142 Westside-El Rio Golf Course
  • f. 143-44 Westside-Old Tucson, 1946
  • f. 145 Westside-St. Mary's Hospital, 1940s-50s
Box 11
  • f. 146 Westside-Schools
  • f. 147 Westside-Schools-Arizona School for the Deaf & Blind
  • f. 148 Westside-Schools-Manza School
  • f. 149 Westside-Schools-Menlo Park, 1951
  • f. 150 Westside-Schools-Pima Community College, 1971
  • f. 151 Westside-Tucson Rock and Sand
  • f. 152 Westside-U. S. Bureau of Reclamation, 1946

Series 8 Tucson Gas, Electric, Light & Power Co.

  • f. 153 Tucson Gas, Electric, Light & Power Co.-Historic Prints (not Magee)
  • f. 154 Tucson Gas, Electric, Light & Power Co., 1920s
  • f. 155 Tucson Gas, Electric, Light & Power Co., 1930s - Exteriors
  • f. 156 Tucson Gas, Electric, Light & Power Co., 1930s-Interiors
  • f. 157 Tucson Gas, Electric, Light & Power Co., - Cortaro Road Site
  • f. 158 Tucson Gas, Electric, Light & Power Co., - Downtown Site, 1940s
  • f. 159-60 Tucson Gas, Electric, Light & Power Co., - Grant Road Site

Series 9 Miscellaneous

Box 12
  • f. 161 Tucson Rapid Transit Co.
  • f. 162 Guest Ranches & Hotels
  • f. 163 Marana f. 164 Marana-Airport
  • f. 165 Marana-Portland Cement Company
  • f. 166 Portraits-Civil Air Patrol, 1943
  • f. 167 Portraits-Douglas, Walter & Family
  • f. 168 Portraits-Tucson Boys Chorus
  • f. 169 Portraits-Harvill, Richard
  • f. 170 Portraits-Manor, Fred Emery
  • f. 171 Portraits-Martin, Phillip
  • f. 172 Portraits-Schmidt, Bob
  • f. 173 Unidentified Desert Areas
  • f. 174 Unidentified Homes
  • f. 175 Unidentified Subdivisions
  • f. 176 Unidentified Washes
  • f. 177 Unidentified

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