Two photo albums, 11 1/2 by 15 in., bound at left margin with string ties. Approximately 350 black & white photos, varying in size (8 x 10 in.; 7 3/4 x 9 1/2 in.; 5 x 7 in.; 4 x 5 in.; 2 3/4 x 2 3/4 in.), laid down on black album sheets, or held in place by corner mounts. A photo documentary of the USDA's involvement in the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Mexico, including often graphic images of the attempts to contain and eliminate the diseased livestock. A typed introduction to the two photo albums (approx. 240 words) is laid in, entitled "Border Patrol," and details the work done by the Bureau of Animal Industry to protect the U.S. border with Mexico against entry by animals and animal products which might carry Foot-and-Mouth disease: "Traveling by horseback, Jeep, and airplane, the 600 men of the BAI Border Patrol keep vigil over some of the roughest and most remote areas of the country," along the border from San Diego to Brownsville.
Several of the photos have typed caption labels explaining the manual labor required to dig the animal burial pits, stockyards of livestock awaiting destruction, disinfection of the livestock cars, etc. Some of the images have manuscript notes in chalk in the margins identifying photos whose negatives were to be "sent back to Mexico." One photo identifies the Mexican and American veterinarians who are cooperating on the control efforts, others show the replacement steel plows and mules distributed to farmers to compensate for their losses, a group of images show members of the border patrol at work. A few of the photos are by well-know photographer Juan Guzman, others are by Charles H. Bernhard of the USDA, etc. Photo images of maps showing the areas of Mexico affected are included (primarily south of Vera Cruz along the Gulf of Mexico, as well as vaccination preparations in the lab, and administration of vaccines in the field. Operations centering on the Jeffcott Ranch in the Toluca area are depicted. Several of the photos have become detached from the album pages. All of the images very good, clear. Item #61417
This pair of albums came from the estate of Claude Smith, a veterinarian with the USDA who worked overseeing animal inspections and quarantines. According to a USDA publication, "Foot-and-Mouth Disease: A Menace to North American Livestock," (USDA: 1967), the collaborative effort between the U.S. and Mexico to combat the spread of the disease resulted in the destruction of some 883,000 animals. A vaccination plan was also implemented.
A handful of the photos are stamped with the name of Juan Guzman (1911-1982), who was born Hans Gutmann in Germany. A photojournalist, he participated in the Spanish Civil War against Franco's forces and produced some graphic photos of the conflict. Gutmann emigrated to Mexico in 1939, under the name Guzman and later worked for the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.