This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

Collecting old images of Phoenix


Like a lot of people, I like collecting stuff. I guess it starts when we're kids, collecting bubble-gum cards, or whatever. And nowadays I collect old images of Phoenix. And believe me, I've got a LOT! Luckily, they're all digital, so it isn't as if I have to make more room in my garage or something. So I can continue collecting, which is a lot of fun for me.

Of course, my collection is completely worthless. Or valueless. So, for people who don't understand this type of compulsive collecting, it just seem puzzling. I'll never be able to sell it on ebay, so why am I collecting?

I've known a lot of collectors. When I listen to them, they will mention how valuable a particular thing in their collection is, or how another collector would want to have it. But I can tell what they're really doing, which is just collecting stuff. And there's no end. There is always something that they wish they had. And when you hear the excitement in their voice, there's no mistaking that particular bit of insanity. And there's another piece of the puzzle that I really do understand, showing off their collection.

So I collect images of Phoenix and I show them off on a Google+ page. If you're a collector, a real collector, you understand. No, nothing is for sale, and no, there really is no other point to having the collection, and yes, I do want people to look at it. And I do it for the sheer joy it brings into my life.

Yes, I'm sure that there are a lot of practical applications for what I'm doing. Maybe people will use them to write a book, or to preserve an historic building. And that's wonderful. But I'm just collecting.

Above: looking northeast on Monroe from 1st Avenue in 1923, Phoenix, Arizona.


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