Retro Charlotte

Jake Houston: The Observer’s First Photographer

Jake Houston in an undated photo. (Our current photogs just love this picture!)
Jake Houston in an undated photo. (Our current photogs just love this picture!) The Charlotte Observer

*Slideshow is below text*

Jake Houston was the Observer’s first full-time photographer, signing on with the paper in 1929. It sounds like he loved his work and went about it with a twinkle in his eye.

Jake spanned the technological gap between news photography done with big, bulky cameras, glass plates and flash powder, and today’s automatic, motorized miniatures. Perhaps more important, he bridged the gap between the news photographer of the 1920s and ‘30s, (who often was caricatured as loud, pushy, unshaven and sometimes uncouth) and the photographer of today, (in general, a vast improvement). - Fellow photographer Jeep Hunter, upon Jake’s passing

It seems his first love was capturing sporting events, but Jake’s work filled the pages with all sorts of community happenings. He passed away in 1983 at the age of 80 and left a legacy of snapshots of life in old Charlotte. Today’s blog contains some of his work from the 1930s but there is so much more! I plan to show more of Houston’s work in future posts.

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