Time Frames

W.D. and Laura Smith at Christmas in 1953
W.D. and Laura Smith at Christmas in 1953 W.D. Smith Inc. Commercial Photography Negatives

W.D. Smith (1907-1988), a native of Alvord, began work as a professional photographer in Fort Worth in 1927 and quickly became the premier commercial photographer in the city. In the 1940s, his son Gordon joined the business as a partner. The company specialized in architectural, construction progress and aerial photography. In addition to documenting the built environment in Fort Worth, the collection is rich in historical North Texas images.

The collection of W.D. Smith Commercial Photography Negatives came to Special Collections in 1998. The 1940s and 1950s negatives have recently been scanned and are available for browsing in the new UTA Libraries Digital Gallery (

This photograph of W.D. Smith and his wife, Laura, was taken in front of the family fireplace at Christmas 1953. Fort Worth city directories indicate that the Smiths lived at 2616 Highview Terrace.

The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries offer a rich and diverse collection of materials on the history of Texas and the Southwest. Each week in Time Frames, readers get a glimpse of the past with an image from Special Collections. 817- 272-3393;