Fort Worth in 1891

Old Fort Worth

In the late nineteenth century, cities commissioned birds-eye views like this as promotional materials. But artists capable of creating them were rare.

India ink, a fine steel nib, and a mind that could see things from angles the eye could not. That's what it took to create a fine birds-eye view and Henry Wellge had the trifecta.

In 1891 he wandered every street and alley, making hundreds of sketches on the ground. Then he returned to his drawing board to move the perspective skyward and assemble the mass of drawings into what you see here.

His view of Fort Worth is glorious in its detail.

It even shows the Spring Palace, where Fort Worth hosted an annual exhibition of farm and forest products. What makes that odd is that the structure burned several months before this view was completed. It was included because city fathers had promised to rebuild it.

Henry Wellge could see things that weren't there and draw them as well as things that were.

Some close-up views from 1891:

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