THE 1957 DALLAS TORNADO

Photo Sequence 2

The Dallas Public Library's Texas/Dallas History and Archives section possesses a number of photographs of the tornado and its aftermath, including a particularly interesting sequence of a dozen images taken from near the intersection of Mockingbird Ln. and Harry Hines Blvd. Although classroom teachers and students may have the photos for free, everyone else, including non-commercial educational Web sites such as this one, must pay $24 a pop. I have attempted -- and will continue to attempt -- to convince the library to let me put the photo sequence up on this site without paying exorbitant royalties. Perhaps they will credit me at least part of the $288 for having identified the specific vantage point of the photographer, information they do not appear to possess.

Meanwhile, the sequence can be found on the library's Web site, although not easily. First go here (will open in a new window). Click "DPL Catalog." In the "Enter a word or phrase to search:" box type in "1957 AND tornado" (minus the quotes) and click "Keyword." The photo sequence is comprised of numbers 23 - 34 (click "Next Page" at the bottom of each page to get to them).

The database query cleverly returns the image links in reverse chronological order. The sequence starts out looking south (34-30), then southwest (29-24), and finally west (23). It begins with the tornado probably entering Vilbig St. (34) [N-O]; documents an impressive amount of destruction while following it along and beyond Vilbig (33-31) [O] to where it briefly becomes a sort of mesocyclonic version of a waterspout over the Trinity River (30) [P], which was running levee-to-levee; tracks it from there into and through Arlington Park (29 - 24) [Q] with more destruction very evident; and ends at the point where it is on Harry Hines near the Anson Rd intersection (23) [R]. (More thanks to Trevor Henderson for invaluable assistance in identifying the photographer's otherwise unspecified location. Also check out photos 19-22 and 35-36, which are images of the tornado, though not by the same photographer.)
 

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Last updated 13 April, 2007