San Antonio: 1917. Large panoramic photograph, 8 x 92 inches. Rolled. Minor wear at edges, with one very short closed tear at top edge. Light blemish in negative at center of image. Light dust soiling and toning. Very good. Item #1992
An outstanding and extremely long panoramic photograph, measuring well over 7.5 feet in length, that depicts Camp Travis in San Antonio, following its recent opening. Although the camp was open and housing an entire division-in-training at the time of this image, the camp was still under construction, as evidenced by the organized piles of lumber at the far right of the image and the incomplete barracks building in the center foreground. The panorama nevertheless gives a sense of the scope and size of the training camp, with barracks and outbuildings stretching almost as far as the eye can see in the center and left sections of the photograph. Structures are more sparse in the right-hand side of the image, both because they as yet unbuilt and because some of the training fields were located in this part of the camp. The photographers, Mayhart Studio of Chicago, were responsible for a number of military and patriotic views during the United States' involvement in the Great War, including the well-known "Living Flag" image of thousands of servicemen composing an American flag.
"On July 15, 1917, after its selection as the training site for the Ninetieth (Texas-Oklahoma) Division of the army, [Camp Wilson] was renamed Camp Travis, in honor of Alamo hero William B. Travis. The camp was ready for occupancy on August 25, 1917. Additional land was subsequently acquired for vital training facilities, and numerous structures were erected by the soldier welfare agencies. Camp Travis comprised 18,290 acres, of which 5,730 were on the main campsite adjoining Fort Sam Houston. The Ninetieth Division was organized at Camp Travis in September and October of 1917.... During the summer of 1918 Camp Travis served as an induction and replacement center, with an average strength in July of about 34,000 White and Black troops. On December 3 Camp Travis was named as a demobilization center. The facility was also designated a local recruiting station and a regional recruit depot in March 1919. Some 62,500 troops were discharged at Camp Travis in about eight months. The camp then became the home station of the Second Division. Its service as a separate entity was terminated, however, upon its absorption by Fort Sam Houston in 1922" -- Handbook of Texas Online.
A quite fascinating view of this enormous World War I-era training camp in San Antonio, now a part of the even larger Fort Sam Houston military base on the east side of the city. We locate no other copies of this large and remarkable panorama.