Austin Postcard
August 29, 2003 10:01 AM   Subscribe

Austin Postcard. Photographs, postcards, history and ephemera related to Austin, Texas.
posted by plep (21 comments total)
Strange synchronicity--yesterday I started to think about setting my next book here in Austin. Then I realized I knew nothing whatsoever about the city prior to 1988. "The Internet will light the way," I consoled myself.

Metafilter really takes the work out of life sometimes.
posted by vraxoin at 10:12 AM on August 29, 2003

What exactly do you suppose you'd find on the other side of this postcard.

"Wish you were here"?
posted by pitchblende at 10:20 AM on August 29, 2003

Looking North from deaf and dumb institute

We used to actually call schools for the deaf that?!

I know people like to mock euphemisms and politically correct speech (is it differently abled or functionally impaired?), but if this is where we came from, I'll be happy to call someone whatever the current going terms are. "Deaf and Dumb" is a horrible thing to call a children's school.
posted by mathowie at 10:24 AM on August 29, 2003

Hmm, interesting. on deaf-mute and deaf and dumb (and the two meanings of 'deaf-and-dumb' - dumb meaning 'unable to speak' and dumb meaning 'stupid'; Bartleby claims that 'dumb' meaning 'unable to speak' is the older of the two). The National Association of the Deaf disagrees.
Also check out the title of this page - the term is still in use in parts of the world.
posted by plep at 10:46 AM on August 29, 2003

Coooool. I used to be the front desk manager here.

It's haunted, you know.
posted by ColdChef at 10:47 AM on August 29, 2003

CC, I knew about the ghosts, but I didn't know Concrete Blonde wrote a song about it until now. (scroll down)
posted by whatnot at 11:04 AM on August 29, 2003

That deaf, dumb and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pinball!
posted by kirkaracha at 11:19 AM on August 29, 2003

ATX represent!
posted by jammer at 12:09 PM on August 29, 2003

You think that's a doozie mathowie, how about these:

Texas State Lunatic Asylum

State Institute for Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Colored Youths

I wonder if they had postcards...
posted by pitchblende at 12:17 PM on August 29, 2003

Neato. I'll be visiting Austin for the first time in October for JournalCon. It's nice to get a glimpse at a city's history (since most places try to show visitors what they want to be).
posted by pzarquon at 12:32 PM on August 29, 2003

Everything I know about Austin I learned from Slacker (and vraxoin). Oh, and the employers there suck. No wonder all the cool slackers are unemployed.
posted by Shane at 12:37 PM on August 29, 2003

Another neat post, plep. The postcards of Barton Springs are great. I remember swimming there as a kid when we went to visit my cousins. So cool and clear--just what you need during the summer. Coming from West TX I thought it was amazing that there was something like this in the middle of a city.
posted by lobakgo at 1:15 PM on August 29, 2003

barton springs is still amazing and the absolute best place to spend your time on a hot summer day.

visit - for more recent info on barton springs and to support the protection of the Edwards Aquifer (the source).
posted by ggggarret at 2:16 PM on August 29, 2003

Thanks for the link plep. I left Austin in ‘86. Barton Springs is one of the most beautiful spots in Texas and it’s nice to see Austin folks fighting to save it. I remember other swimming holes like Hamilton’s pool and Hippy Hollow on Lake Travis that are probably in the same straights as Barton Creek.

I went back a few years ago and the changes were as dramatic as the post cards from the 1900’s. Sixth Street looks like downtown Philadelphia and I-35 to Georgetown is no longer a little county highway. I left because of all that. Still, it’s the best place in Texas by far. Great music and great food. Do any Austin Mefites remember the Armadillo?

I agree the School for the Deaf and Dumb isn’t very nice (or Insane Asylum, for that matter). The Texas State School for the Blind was right around the corner from the restaurant I worked in and on many weekday afternoons, teachers would bring their young students in to have a meal. Folksinger Nancy Griffin was one of those teachers (I can’t stand her music but she is nice). They came in exhausted and overworked with about 20 overjoyed kids. If you were deaf, mute or blind in 1900, the name of the school was the least of your problems.
posted by jabo at 8:35 PM on August 29, 2003


Do you remeber the Armadillo?
posted by jabo at 8:44 PM on August 29, 2003

Aaaaarrrggghhhh. I give up.
posted by jabo at 8:55 PM on August 29, 2003

My fondest memories of Austin come from 1974 and the Texas Union (student union building at UT). I wasn't a student, just lived nearby and visited frequently (I was 16, emancipated minor). This doubtless relates to why I made Level 2 in Dante's inferno. ::sigh:: While youth is all too often wasted on the young, I put some of mine to very good use, thank you!
posted by Goofyy at 11:55 PM on August 29, 2003

Texas State Lunatic Asylum

I just call it "Texas".
posted by trondant at 1:56 AM on August 30, 2003

Bartleby claims that 'dumb' meaning 'unable to speak' is the older of the two). The National Association of the Deaf disagrees.

And here's what the NAD has to say:
The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, pronounced us "deaf and dumb", because he felt that deaf people were incapable of being taught, of learning, and of reasoned thinking. To his way of thinking, if a person could not use his/her voice in the same way as hearing people, then there was no way that this person could develop cognitive abilities. (Source: Deaf Heritage, by Jack Gannon, 1980) In later years, "dumb" came to mean "silent".
This is just dumb. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) Point 1: Aristotle (wait for it) didn't speak English. He therefore had no opinion on the word "dumb," which did not yet exist. Point 2: The meaning 'destitute of the faculty of speech' is as old as the English language (c1000 Ags. Gosp. Matt. ix. 32 Hi brohton hym dumbne man). The meaning 'foolish, stupid, ignorant' is first attested in 1823 (J. F. COOPER Pilot II. iii. 39 ‘They're a dumb race’ said the cockswain,..‘now, there was our sargeant, who ought to know something’), although the OED includes a 1756 citation referring to Thomas Aquinas that does not seem to me clearly relevant (A. BUTLER Lives Saints I. 393 His school-fellows thought he learnt nothing, and, on account of his silence, called him The dumb Ox). Conclusion: the meaning 'silent' is indisputably earlier, by a very long shot, and the National Association of the Deaf is talking through its collective hat.

"Deaf and Dumb" is a horrible thing to call a children's school

It really doesn't make sense to transfer today's sense of these words (and other similar ones) back in time. A hundred years ago, that was simply the normal way to refer to "hearing- and speech-impaired people," and nobody thought anything of it. Such people were looked down upon by "normal" people of course, as they still by and large are today, but that was not because of the terminology. People don't base their attitudes on the words used. When "secretary" meant a well-paid male, in the mid-19th century, it was a respected title; when it later came to refer to an ill-paid female, it became a less respected term, and after much lobbying we now talk about "administrative assistants," at least officially. Does anyone think this change of terminology has made the actual people more respected?
posted by languagehat at 9:19 AM on August 30, 2003

Point 1: Aristotle (wait for it) didn't speak English.

Exactly. Languagehat, I knew I could depend on you. ;)
posted by plep at 9:59 AM on August 31, 2003

Here's another example of a word which has gradually changed its meaning: originally the word 'rape' meant something like 'abduction' (as in 'The Rape of the Sabine Women').
posted by plep at 10:06 AM on August 31, 2003

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