Page 80 - July2017

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JULY 2017
When he was not on the move around town, Verkin
worked and took portraits at his office at 2010
Mechanic. By 1910 Verkin Studio employed eldest
son Mulvin, and his brother Louis was beginning to
learn photography skills. Mulvin had previously owned
and operated the photo postcard outfit at the Surf
Bathhouse, but sold it to work with his father. It was a
wise move, as just five years later, the bathhouse was
demolished by the 1915 hurricane.
After working a few clerical jobs, Paul Jr. joined his
father and brothers in the studio in 1913. He was the
only son who would remain in the family business.
At that time the newly expanded firm moved to the
impressive Gill Building at 406 21
By the time Paul Verkin, Sr. retired from the
photography business in 1927, Mulvin had gone to work
for the Texas & New Orleans Railroad, and George and
Louis worked in the automotive business.
Paul Sr. and Lillian returned to Denison to live in the
home of his son, George. Two years later, he became ill
and soon passed away on August 7, 1936.
With the onset of the Second World War, Paul Jr.
became a mapping specialist for the United States
government. Stationed in England, North Africa, and
Italy, he helped to make maps for bombardiers designed
to identify “no strike” zones that limited damage to
architectural treasures in war-plagued areas.
While he was away, Mary Clayton, daughter of the famous architect
Nicholas Clayton, acted as manager and ran the Verkin Studio.
Paul Jr. returned to the studio after the war, but soon gave up the
business to become an employee of the U. S. Postal Service.
The Verkin Studio was at last closed, but much of the work the
family accomplished remains today a valuable source for research and
remembering Galveston’s vibrant past.
Verkin photographs are available
for viewing at a number of places
online. Here are a few to visit:
1900 Storm damage images can be viewed
on Rosenberg Library’s Galveston and
Texas History Center website at:
The Center for American History, University
of Texas at Austin holds hundreds of silver
gelatin prints, glass plate negative and
safety negatives in their Verkin Collection
spanning the years 1900-1945.
Another 3,000-image collection of
maritime photographs taken by the Verkins
is housed at the Peabody Essex Museum
in Salem, Massachusetts. Although not
currently on view, access may be requested
by researchers.
Texas Heroes monument
the roof of the
National Bank
Building, August
16, 1924
Images courtesy of Rosenberg Library