Caught Our Eyes: A Giant Bat Roost?

This photo caught many eyes when we shared it in the Library of Congress Flickr account.

Bat Roost, San Antonio

“Bat Roost, San Antonio.” Photo by Bain News Service, between ca. 1915 and ca. 1920. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.19684

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.

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