There are over 230 photos in this 9.5” x 12” green faux leather album, documenting what appears to be a business trip of an employee or associate of the company Courtaulds Inc. to a newly opened plant in Alabama, as well as other travel shots from around the country. The album owner included some racist captions and annotations against African American inhabitants of the area. According to a magazine photo fold out pasted into the album and its echoing in the album owner’s own photos, the newly constructed rayon plant was located in Le Moyne outside Mobile, and included a $1,000,000 laboratory to study rayon and other manmade fibers. This part of the album shows a few photos of the plant from the outside, photos of businessmen, technicians and secretaries posing outside the plant, as well as a photo of a man standing on the bank of a river captioned “effluent disposal point,” possibly the site of some river contamination from the plant. There are some photos of the surrounding area, captioned “typical bungalows between Mobile and Le Moyne,” and two racist captions “Darkie’s bungalow + T.V.” and “Darkie shop.” Also pictured in this part of the album are photos from the Grand Hotel and Spring Hill Golf Course.
The album then departs to photos of travel elsewhere:
- the Gulf Coast to New Orleans (Dauphin Island spelled Dolphin in the album, the shore, roads, motels, street scenes)
- Florida (Pensacola, Cypress Gardens scenes and “Aqua Show” on waterskis, Silver Springs resort, flamingoes, a Seminole village, Univ. Florida architecture, Bok Singing Tower, etc.)
- Mobile, Bellingrath Gardens, the Carolinas
- Washington D.C., New Jersey, New York City.
Courtaulds was a United Kingdom-based manufacturer of fabric, clothing, artificial fibres, and chemicals. It was established in 1794 and became the world's leading man-made fibre production company before being broken up in 1990 into Courtaulds plc and Courtaulds Textiles Ltd. In the midst of the travel photos is a photograph of a group of African Americans picking cotton in a cotton field and two of cotton plants captioned “Cotton Fields S+N. Carolina.” The album serves as an interesting document to reflect on the history of the industrial textile business and apparent attitudes of those shaping it in the South. Photos are pasted to the page and the album is in excellent condition. No photos appear to be missing and the album is full.