University of Arizona

                                             Special Collections will be closed December 20, 2023 through January 1, 2024 in observance of the University Holiday break.

A.E. (Gene) Magee Photographs and Papers

Aerial Photograph of Downtown Tucson, circa 1987

This collection contains photographic prints, negatives, slides and a small number of papers created by A.E. (Gene) Magee from the 1920’s-1990’s. Subjects include aerial imagery of Tucson, Tucson Gas, Electric Light and Power Company, electrical engineering work, businesses and other locations throughout Tucson and the rest of Arizona and trips to California, Montana and Mexico. 

Magee began working full time at Tucson Gas, Electric Light and Power Company (now TEP) and photographing his electrical work, a practice that continued throughout his career. He became the manager at Tucson Rapid Transit Company (now Sun Tran) for eight years in the late 1930s and co-founded Western Ways Photographic Services with photographer and filmmaker Charles Herbert in 1946. In 1948, Magee started his own company Magee Engineering in 1948 and left Western Ways to focus on his new business. Magee spent the next 48 years operating his firm working on over 100 schools, over 30 buildings on the University of Arizona campus, Tucson International Airport, City Hall and a variety of other buildings across Tucson. In addition to his engineering career, Magee became a licensed pilot in the 1930s and began taking aerial photos of Tucson, effectively documenting the city's post-WWII population growth over several decades.