Collection contains photographs and postcards, chiefly dating from the 1910s through the 1930s, with a few from the 1940s, all assembled or taken by photographer Frank Fernekes. The first folder consists of 15 small contact prints taken in El Paso, Texas in 1915, probably by Fernekes, including views of the city from a higher vantage point, close-ups of buildings and streets, railroad tracks and bridges, and close-up views of what appear to be families and individuals of Mexican descent and their houses. One street scene includes many African American men congregating in front of a building. The snapshots measure about 3x5 inches, and were printed sometime in the 1970s from the original nitrate negatives, which were then discarded from the collection.
A second folder in this group contains 40 snapshots, chiefly taken in Hollywood and Los Angeles, California from 1925-1948. The earliest images were taken in New York City. The only dated image is labeled 1925, and is captioned "Chief Manabozho," who was a Native American actor on Broadway and in Wild West shows. This image is hand-colored and includes Fernekes's NYC address on the back, which is struck out and amended with the year 1927 and his California address. The two undated images show Chief Wanabozho again, and Frank Fernekes shaking hands with a person in Native American costume in front of the Coney Island Luna Fun House, which often held Wild West-themed shows.
The largest set of snapshots in the second folder are of parades in Venice, Los Angeles, and Hollywood, California, chiefly in the 1930s, focusing on individuals in Western or Native American costume; staff and performers at the Cole Bro. and Clyde Beatty Circus, and the Barnes Circus, sometimes featuring Frank Fernekes posing alongside (19302-1940s); and Native Americans in popular culture-inspired costumes and in traditional dress, posting in groups and individually. Named individuals include Hubert Honanie, a well-known Kachina artist in Pasadena, in Native American costume; Joe and Oscar Cody, who were Native American extras early in their film careers (shooting bows and arrows in civilian clothing), circa 1938; Montie Montana (Owen Harlan Mickel, a rodeo star who resided in California, 1948; "Miss Bluebird," a young Native American in costume, taken at the "All-Indian Picnic in Sycamore Grove Park, Los Angeles," 1942, and the Woody Hanley Cowboy Band, 1946. Many of the Native Americans and other individuals may be actors - there was a studio lot adjacent to Sycamore Grove Park. The photographs in this group typically measure 3 1/2 x 5 7/8 inches, and many are captioned, often including the stamped address of Frank Fernekes's photography studio in Hollywood, California.
The second group consists of 11 souvenir postcards, part of a fold-out set probably dating from the 1920s featuring color reproductions of images dating from 1908. Images depict cowboys, cowgirls, and scenes from the "Wild West" as rendered in American popular culture at the turn of the 20th century. There is a lone color postcard of "The only one-tribe Indian band in the West," which is a group shot of a Yuma brass band from about 1930 published by Harry Hertz. There is also an empty souvenir envelope that once contained souvenir postcards from the Buffalo Bill Wild West show, undated; a black-and-white Burlington Route postcard with an image of the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, Wyoming, undated; and a black-and-white postcard with "The Fall of the Bronco Buster, Walton's Views, Roswell N.M., Pecos Valley Drug Co.," from the 1920s.
The collection is rounded out by a large decorative cardstock mount, printed sometime between 1908 and 1923, featuring on one side an image of McLeod from Happy Hollow, a well-known photographer who founded this popular amusement park in Hot Springs, Arkansas; the image is accompanied by a publicity verse. The single 6.75x9.25 inch black-and-white photographic print that was apparently once mounted on the other side of this card frame shows a group of men and women, some astride donkeys, posting for the camera. The man on the far right is Frank Fernekes, dating the image closer to 1923.