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Who was the person who took pictures in front of the post office in the 1940s?

Ken Little

Few locations in and around Wilmington escaped the roving camera lens of Louis T. Moore, a relentless promoter of the Cape Fear region and a talented photographer. Moore died in 1961, but he left behind thousands of images of people, beaches, farms, businesses, buildings and events.

Moore, whose family was among the region’s first settlers, was “a one-man Chamber of Commerce,” says Joseph Sheppard, a member of the New Hanover County Public Library’s local history staff.

“He wanted to Wilmington look like a big modern city and make people live here,” Sheppard says.

The North Carolina Room of the downtown library houses nearly 1,000 images taken by Moore in his trademark panoramic style. The Moore photograph collection can be viewed online at wwwtmpapps.nhcgov.com/lib/history/LTMOORE/

Moore was a journalist, historian and preservationist who also served as the secretary of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce between 1921 and 1941.

The job afforded Moore “the opportunity to be a tenacious promoter of his hometown,” according to a biography on the library’s Web site.

“There was not an important event or location that he did not capture on film, from Easter egg hunts at Greenfield Lake, Feast of the Pirates parades, and bathing beauty pageants at area beaches to activities at the State Test Farm at Willard,” the biography notes. “All the chief industries of the area where photographed — oil terminals, agricultural fields, lumber mills and naval stores.”

The Port of Wilmington and Cape Fear River were favorite subjects. Moore authored the book “Stories Old and New of the Cape Fear Region” in 1956, and wrote numerous magazine articles promoting the Wilmington area. The Louis T. Moore Collection at the library also includes Moore’s local history files, and remains a valuable research tool for historians and writers.

Moore’s efforts left “a remarkable record of life in Wilmington and vicinity between the two world wars,” his biography states.

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8 Responses to “ Who was the person who took pictures in front of the post office in the 1940s?”

  1. On March 30, 2010 at 10:54 am Mike Cooper wrote:

    We have 8 photos like this. They were it lloks like taken in 1941 and 1946. Story from my Mother who is 95 is:

    My Mother: Marie Fennell Cooper
    In April of 1941 when very few people had cameras, a guy set up a camera in front of the US Post Office in downtown Wilmington. He would take your photo one day, sometimes you didn’t know it was taken, then develop it over night and try and sell it to you the next day. My Mom who is now 95 said she thinks he charged .25. If you see some of theses and your parents were around in 1941 this is what they are. I would like to post them.
    Location: Wilmington, NC
    Posted by Mike Cooper

    Check out our Facebook group “Born at James Walker Memorail Hospital”


    Mike Cooper
    Born at James Walker Memorial Hospital

  2. On April 1, 2010 at 3:34 pm Susan wrote:

    Does anyone sell prints of his photos?

  3. On April 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm Cynthia Heath wrote:

    We have three of these photos in our family. We are sure that one of them was taken in late 1941 or early 1942. I am familiar with the Moore collection in the library and I don’t believe he is the photographer. Mr. Moore’s collection is definitely historical in content while these photos are commercial.

  4. On April 2, 2010 at 4:09 pm Mike Cooper wrote:

    We are now up to 12 photos like this on our Facebook site, Born James Walker Memorial Hospital. I did not mention in the first post that the photos were made into Post Cards and could have been mailed with a stamp and address on the back. From the numbers on the back could have been 1000’s made. We also now find two groups, one in 1941 the other in 1946. All same location, taken by same person. Think it might have stopped due to the war during 42-45. Mike Cooper, Founder, Born James Walker Memorial Hospital, Facebook.
    If you have any questions e-mail me direct at FirstFrontier@bellsouth.net

  5. On April 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm Mike Cooper wrote:

    On April 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm Cynthia Heath wrote:

    Cycthia, please e-mail me, I would like to post them on our site, the three photos that you have.

    Mike Cooper

  6. On April 3, 2010 at 7:47 am Mike Cooper wrote:

    On April 1, 2010 at 3:34 pm Susan wrote:
    Does anyone sell prints of his photos?

    Susan: I guess you were asking about Moore’s photos. You can get a copy of most from the New Hanover Public Library for $5.00 each.

  7. On April 4, 2010 at 8:38 pm patsy wrote:

    There was a photographer stationed in front of the Post Office as late as 1951. He was a real hustler from whom I purchased a shot of my then-boyfriend and me, which I still have. This fellow most assuredly was not Louis T. Moore who was far more accomplished.

  8. On April 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm Mike Cooper wrote:

    On April 4, 2010 at 8:38 pm patsy wrote:

    Patsy, would like to get a copy of this for our site on Facebook. E-mail me. Firstfrontier@bellsouth.net
    Mike Cooper

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