Notes: Four albums documenting the US travels of an official of the Japan Cotton Trading Co., including visits to their offices in New York and Texas, with 401 vernacular photographs, most measuring 3 by 5-1/4 inches or the reverse, with some smaller.
The Japan Cotton Trading Company (JCT) was a major importer of American cotton to Japan, first buying cotton on the New York commodities exchanges and then opening offices in Texas in 1910 in anticipation of the opening of the Panama Canal. When the canal opened, the JCT planned to ship Texas and Oklahoma cotton directly to Japan through the ports of Galveston and New Orleans, and for that purpose they opened offices in Fort Worth in 1910 and Abilene shortly thereafter. These albums appear to have been assembled from photographs taken during the trip to open an office in Abilene, Texas.
The first two albums are arranged chronologically.
Book one begins in May 1911 in New York. The photographs are captioned in English and include many pictures of the kind typically taken by tourists. The business-related images (three in total) include a photograph of a young Japanese man sitting at a desk (probably the compiler of these albums) with the caption "New York office" and a photograph of of the official first bale of cotton to be sold in the 1911–12 season. It ends on a steamer landing in New Orleans.
Book two opens with the company office in Abilene and continues with images of cotton production (twenty images), followed by tourist photographs of the Abilene area. About halfway through the captioning and good order stops. There are ten additional photographs in this section related to the cotton business.
Book three is also in no discernable order, but it includes a half-dozen cotton-related photographs, as well as a photograph of the Panama Canal under construction, seven photographs of a circus parade through Abilene with a troop of Native Americans on horseback and many elephants, and family photographs from Japan.
Book four is mostly filled with family photographs taken during travels in Japan, with some photographs from the US. Included in the US photographs are scenes from a picnic apparently sponsored by the Japan Cotton Trading Co. (seven images).
The first three albums have 36 pages, each with space for two photographs, with a total of 205 images (lacking 11), each 8 by 9-1/4 inches. The fourth album has 96 pages with 196 mounted photos, 9 by 10 inches.
Edition + Condition: Albums somewhat musty, with wear to the corners.
Publication: [United States]: (ca. 1911).
Item No: #307897