This photo caught many eyes when we shared it in the Library of Congress Flickr account.
What crossed my mind on first glimpsing the man standing under the “Municipal Bat Roost” sign was, “Is this some sort of faked (composite) photo? Could the structure possibly be that large?”
Flickr members immediately started supplying some context and verification, with links to sources and modern photos of bat roosts. Charles Augustus Rosenheimer Campbell championed the roosts to help fight disease-carrying mosquitoes, and Campbell is the man posing on the roost.
- View the image in Flickrand scroll down to see the information Flickr members supplied, including the two links below.
- the Texas Historical Society’s page on Charles Augustus Rosenheimer Campbell: www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/f ca31
- the 1909 patent from the Patent Office archive, complete with a drawing, in case you want to start preparing for mosquito season!
- View pictures in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog of other types of pest control measures.
- View images of bats appearing in three different contexts (a Japanese print, a drawing for a book illustration, and a French advertisement for an early bat toy) in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.