Houston in 1937
At a cost of approximately $23,000,000, contributed by the citizens of Harris County and the Federal Government, Buffalo Bayou has been transformed into a deep waterway, called the Houston Ship Channel, and an ocean port created. Of the above amount, $11,000,000 has been expended by the citizens of Harris County alone for wharves, warehouses and other port facilities, and the remainder represents the cost of dredging the channel.
From the Turning Basin (within the city limits) to the Gulf of Mexico, the Houston Ship Channel is approximately 50 miles in length. It has a depth of 30 feet, and a minimum bottom channel width of 150 feet. Government authority has been given to further deepen the channel to 32 feet, and the dredging work is well under way. The largest merchant vessels visiting the ports of the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic safely and speedily navigate Houston’s waterway.
The development of the business of the port has been just as remarkable from the standpoint of results obtained as it has been romantic from the standpoint of human achievement.
In 1920, which was the first full year of the operation of the port, a total of 1,210,204 tons passed over the public wharves. During 1934 a total of 18,516,317 tons of shipping was handled, breaking all previous records, despite unfavorable business conditions. In 1934, 4,986 vessels entered and cleared the port of Houston.
Houston ranks as first cotton port, third in export tonnage and sixth in total foreign tonnage. These ranks refer, of course, to ports of the United States.
Houston has one Class A1A airport—the municipal field -- and several other usable landing fields. The first named is well equipped with boundary hazard lights, hangars, repair and supply equipment, passenger conveniences and beacons. It also houses the
Houston radio range beam and weather broadcasting station, operated by the Aeronautics Branch, Department of Commerce. Hangars and other premises for 36th Division, T. N. G. air service, are also located at the airport.
Three air passenger lines serve the city—one operating north and south, another operating east and west, and one providing a service from Houston to Atlanta via New Orleans.
Vast improvement in recent years of the numerous main highways serving Houston has resulted in a constantly increased service for passengers and shippers by motor bus and motor truck lines.
Truck lines operating out of Houston now have in service more than 250 heavy-duty freight trucks. Motor buses for passenger service now operating out of Houston number more than 100.
Destinations of the truck lines include virtually every section of the state, while passengers may board a motor bus at Houston and travel to points in the United Stares, Canada and Mexico over routes entirely served by motor buses.