At Work in Arizona: The First 100 Years

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“At Work in Arizona: The First 100 Years,” is a coffee table book filled with photos depicting the history of work in Arizona. Among the photos are a Jerome mine train in 1900 and a Tucson pressed brick company in the 1920s. The book was commissioned by Alliance Bank and Jim Lundy, president and CEO of the bank, and Marilyn Szabo, curator of the book, will talk about the book and how proceeds benefit education in our state.

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Christina Estes: A new book showcases Arizona's economic history through the lens of the people who built it. It's called "At Work In Arizona: The First 100 Years," The coffee table book is filled with more than 200 photos from the 1880s through today. It was commissioned by Alliance Bank with proceeds going to education groups. Here to talk about it is the photographer Marilyn Szabo, who curated the book. and the bank's president and CEO, Jim Lundy who also served as publisher and phoenix. Why this book?

Jim Lundy: The bank's been open 12 years and we're a commercial bank. And really open and founded and continued in that mission to serve the businesses of Arizona. So along with that focus when we started the bank we conceived of the bank art that would celebrate commerce in Arizona. And so I ended up meeting Marilyn and explained this vision to her that we wanted black and white photos not just old pictures of Arizona which are always neat and people like but really would tell the story of commerce longitudinally from inception to the current day. And so Marilyn took on that project and the bank has grown and done very well. We're the sixth largest bank by deposit share in the state and the fourth largest in Maricopa county. We got through the financial crisis in great shape. So Marilyn came to me a few years ago and said I think this is good photography and tells an important number of story we ought to think about doing a book. So we finally decided to do that, and so the book really captures the best of that photography and really does attempt to string together the story of business in Arizona over 100 years.

Christina Estes: We've got some beautiful pictures, but before we do, how in the world did you find them and then compile it?

Marilyn Szabo: The photos came from everywhere. I bought a lot of photos from different photographers, I went to the historical societies all over the state, I went on eBay, I went to auctions, I went to yard sales, I found some that were thrown away at a yard sale, I went in the back and got them out of the trash. Everywhere. Yeah, they were sitting right on top, very neatly organized in the box and it was amazing what was inside there, eight by 10 glossies of incredible history of Arizona.

Christina Estes: Tell me if you had to dumpster dive for this one, chapter one foundations and we have a shot of Theodore Roosevelt.

Marilyn Szabo: Those are S.R.P. photos.

Christina Estes: We have that photo up there and you may want to talk about this, something like this, how did this set the stage and help us grow as a state?

Jim Lundy: Sure. I think as we envisioned the art project first, and then the book. If you think about the economy, we're a commercial lender that focuses on local businesses, entrepreneurs, sometimes, smaller businesses and maybe a utility. But if you think about the economic backbone of the state, it wouldn't exist without S.R.P. and all that it's meant both in terms of irrigation for the agricultural industry and then hydroelectric power. The same thing is true of the transportation system. So along the way, Marilyn did a great job and she shouldn't sell herself short. She found a lot of these pictures but we always wanted the art project and the book as well to illustrate current economic activity and Marilyn personally photographed many of the subjects in our branches and in the book but, at any rate, S.R.P. and the Roosevelt dam would be just one example of the kind of economic infrastructure that's been so important to the development of the state.

Christina Estes: One of the chapters focuses on air travel and transportation. There's a photo you especially like in there with the concord. This is at sky harbor I think in the '60s?

Marilyn Szabo: 1986.

Christina Estes: I'm sorry. I switched the numbers a little bit.

Marilyn Szabo: 1986.

Christina Estes: It's gorgeous.

Marilyn Szabo: 5th avenue travel in Scottsdale, which existed, charted the plane every summer and I would find about when it was coming in etc. and it was at the executive airport and the guards were very nice and they let me after everyone got off the plane I could go on the tarmac. Back to my work, 1986, there are 80 photographs in the back that I took.

Christina Estes: That's a huge amount. We've got some that cover manufacturing and mining and we've got a photo from Jerome which I think is a railroad car? It had something to do with the mining? Tell us about that one.

Marilyn Szabo: That's the mining it talks about mining, and it's really a wonderful photo because the men standing there are so real. They're so real. And so dirty and the photograph is great. We don't know who took it but that was another one that I got.

Jim Lundy: The 1920s. And it's great picture depicting copper mining in Arizona.

Marilyn Szabo: And you can see the houses on the hill. It must not have been a very easy job.

Christina Estes: Well, a less dirty photo also from the manufacturing chapter has to do with this guy who's holding a golf club. Tell us about this guy. Who's this?

Jim Lundy: One of the main economic drivers of Arizona and tourism but part of our lifestyle here is golf. But not just to play it and many people know but many people might not know that the ping golf company was founded here and he was an engineer, I think with Motorola, and I think the story goes he invented the first putter in his garage as a tinkerer and that led to the founding of the ping golf manufacturing company and that's a great picture of him probably from the 1960s, maybe early 70s.

Marilyn Szabo: That moon valley golf
Christina Estes: in Phoenix.
Marilyn Szabo: And he also worked on the first computer banking system in Palo Alto.

Christina Estes: Brought the golf and the computer brains here.

Marilyn Szabo: He was a genius.

Christina Estes: There's a chapter that deals with architecture and construction and there's a beautiful shot of a memorial bridge at Hoover dam that I had not seen until I opened up the book and it pays tribute to former governor of Nevada as well as pat Tillman, former Cardinals player and U.S. army soldier. And so that photo, I don't know if that was easy to get, it's a beautiful picture.

It's Jamie stillings and Jamie stillings spent six months photographing the bridge.

Jim Lundy: A year and a half.

Marilyn Szabo: A year and a half photographing the bridge, and I saw the image printed at a seminar I went to and I went I have to have. I talked to them about it and finally convinced him that we needed this image.

Christina Estes: There's another photo that we have of the west Phoenix neighborhood, it's a completely different view of construction, I love this. This was in the '50s, and the caption in the book says this was a time when you could get a three bedroom home with a pool for under 10 grand.

Marilyn Szabo: John F. long, he's the one who started this and that's from the John F. long foundation.

Jim Lundy: And John F. long really, you know, sort of revolutionized that affordable housing in Arizona and Maryville was where he really built most of his houses. There's a great picture in the book of him in his prime, it's really capturing that part of Arizona's real estate history.

We are running out of time but quickly I want you to let folks know and how where to get this book.

Jim Lundy: Okay. We've established a website called www.thenext100years.org. And so all the proceeds from the book, you can get the book for $100 and it does tell a great economic history story but all of the proceeds go to one of a dozen Arizona education nonprofits and you can either go online and get the book that way or you can go into any one of the alliance bank branches and acquire a book there.

Christina Estes: Jim and Marilyn, thank you very much, it's a gorgeous book. Thanks to both of you.

Jim Lundy:President and CEO, Alliance Bank; Marilyn Szabo:Curator, "At Work in Arizona: The First 100 Years";

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