Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

“Sometimes I Run”: Dallas Noir — 1973

5-sometimes-I-run_stanley-maupin_hoseStanley Maupin at work…

by Paula Bosse

Several years ago, Robert Wilonsky wrote a Dallas Observer article about the short documentary “Sometimes I Run” — I watched it immediately afterward, and it’s stuck with me ever since. The 22-minute film, shot in 1973 by SMU film student Blaine Dunlap (who also made the fun 1970 Sunset High School film I wrote about earlier this year) shows Dallas Public Works Dept. street flusher Stanley Maupin at his job sweeping the downtown sidewalks late at night, accompanied by a soundtrack of jazz music and Maupin’s philosophical musings. It’s cool, gritty, seedy, nostalgic, and somehow life-affirming, all at the same time. Also, Dallas always looks best at night — the wet streets add a definite noir-ness to the overnight municipal goings-on which were happening when most Dallasites were home in bed. (See the bottom of this post for various sites on which you can watch the film in its entirety.)

It took the opening moments of this film to remind me that, yes, I DO remember (if vaguely) seeing that revolving beam of light shot from the “rocket” on top of the Republic Bank Building. You can see it at about :35. Also included in the film are Franklin’s, the Greyhound Bus station, the Capri movie theater, a late-night-diner, the Mayfair department store, the Municipal Building, Sanger-Harris, and much more. And while Maupin’s philosophical pronouncements might be a bit heavy-handed at times, I have to admit that I could listen to him talk for hours, if only to hear his accent, a Dallas-area trapping of the past that one doesn’t come across nearly often enough these days.

Here are a few screen captures.

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Sources & Notes

The 44-year-old award-winning student film, “Sometimes I Run,” directed by Blaine Dunlap, can be seen in its entirety in several places online: on Vimeo (good sound and video), on YouTube (via South Carolina Arts Commission), and at the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (from the collection of the Dallas Municipal Archives). Sound by Ron Judkins, music by Ken Watson.

I have tried to find some history on Stanley Maupin, but I didn’t come up with much. He lived in Irving as a boy, but as a teenager, he attended North Dallas High School and, later, McMurry College in Abilene.

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North Dallas High School yearbook, 1953

maupin-stanley_mcmurry-college_1956_freshman_portalMcMurry College yearbook, 1956

Born in 1935, he appears to have died in 1985, perhaps in a shocking way (which I have been unable to verify) — see comments from his grandchildren in the YouTube video here.

Some background on the film can be found in an article by Don Clinchy, here.

Read a 1986 interview with Blaine Dunlap (by Bo Emerson, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Oct. 24, 1986) here.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Architect Donald Barthelme’s Hidden Signature on the Hall of State

hall-of-state_barthelme_080917“B-A-R-T-H-E-L-M-argh!” (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

A large number of Texas architects had a hand in designing the Fair Park buildings built expressly for the Texas Centennial in 1936. One such architect was the young (still in his 20s!) Donald Barthelme (1907-1996) of Houston, the principal architect for the Centennial park’s crowning jewel, the Hall of State. Years ago — when the only Donald Barthelme I had ever heard of was the acclaimed writer (who was the son of the architect) — I read an amusing factoid about Barthelme’s amusing “signature” which adorns his beautiful building. It can be seen on the wing to the left of the Hall’s entrance — seen above. (I took the photo this week — the flags are at half-mast in honor of the recent death of former governor Mark White.)

Around the top of the building is a frieze containing names of notable Texans. I’m sure a committee of some sort came up with this list of names which were carved into what was then the most expensive public building in Texas. All I can say is that it’s a shame they couldn’t have come up with just one more name — someone whose last name began with the letter “E,” because Mr. Barthelme arranged the first eight names to spell out his last name (which ended one letter too soon, at “M” — for Milam). I think if I had been in Barthelme’s position I might have just thrown in another name. Maybe “Erath.” …For closure. Click the photo below to see Mr. B’s winking historic signature.

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A couple of sentences on the Hall of State by David Dillon, former architecture critic for The Dallas Morning News, written for the paper in November, 1989:

Few Texans know who designed the Hall of State — it was Donald Barthelme of Houston, assisted by 10 other architects — yet 53 years after it opened it continues to stir us. It is a building of exceptional individual pieces held together by a powerful central idea — an exemplary period piece that reminds us what public design used to be, and what much contemporary civic architecture is not.

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Photos of the Hall of State taken by me on Aug. 9, 2017.

Photos of Donald Barthelme, Sr. taken from the 1949 and 1950 yearbooks of the University of Houston where he was an Architecture professor for many years.

David Dillon quote from his article “An Old Friend Triumphs Anew: The Hall of State Redo Affirms the Power of Great Architecture” (DMN, Nov. 14, 1989), written after an extensive renovation to the building.

More on Barthelme at the Handbook of Texas History and on Wikipedia.

More on the exterior of the Hall of State from Steven Butler (with a list of the names carved into the frieze) here.

Click photos to see larger images.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

The Swiss Avenue Car on Main Street — ca. 1900

swiss-ave-streetcar_main-and-market_cook-degolyer_c1900Main and Market, looking east… (click to see larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Here’s another great photo from the George W. Cook collection at SMU. This one shows Main Street sometime between 1899 and 1902 (the year asphalt was laid on Main and the year that Sanger Bros. expanded their building from two stories to six); we’re looking east from Market Street. (The aesthetically challenging view as seen today on Google is here.)

On the north side of Main (at the left), we can see horse-drawn wagons parked in front of a group of businesses including Konantz Saddlery Co., Ben F. Wolfe & Co. (machinery), a banner across the sidewalk for the Southwestern Electrical Engineering & Construction Co., Swope & Mangold wholesale and retail liquor company; then past Austin Street, on the corner, is the Trust Building, with the then-two-story Sanger Bros. building right next door (Sanger’s would build that up to six floors in 1902 and would eventually take over the Trust Building); across Lamar is the North Texas Building, with Charles L. Dexter’s insurance company advertised on the side; and, beyond, the Scollard Building, etc. The Windsor Hotel can be seen on the south side of the street in the foreground. And in the middle, an almost empty little streetcar with “Swiss Av.” on it, moving down Main underneath a canopy of hundreds of ugly electric wires zig-zagging overhead. Let’s zoom in around the photo to see a few closeups (all images are much larger when clicked).

Wagons parked at the curb:

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Is that someone in the window looking down the street?

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Swope & Mangold was one of the oldest “liquor concerns” in turn-of-the-century North Texas.

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The electric streetcar shared the roadway with horses, buggies, and wagons.

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I can’t quite make out the writing on the umbrella or on the sign posted on the pole. Part of the old Windsor Hotel can be seen at the right. At the bottom corner is a shop that sold “notions” and household goods, and just out of frame were a fish market and a meat market.

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And the little Swiss Avenue car 234. Lotsa free seats.

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Here’s another view of Main Street looking east, taken around the same time. There’s even a streetcar in about the same spot.

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See the 1899 Sanborn map for this general area here (note that Record Street was once Jefferson Street).

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Sources & Notes

Top photo — titled “Main Street between Austin and Market Streets” — is from the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; more information on this photo is here.

The circa-1900 bird’s-eye view photo at the bottom is from the collection of the Dallas Historical Society, found in the book Dallas Rediscovered by William L. McDonald (p. 42).

All images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Proposals from the Bartholomew Master Plan for Dallas — 1940s

municipal-center_erwin-earl-schmidt-rendering_bartholomew-plan-1946Behold… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

A few proposals from the Dallas master plan for post-war development and planning, commissioned by the city from the St. Louis firm of Harland Bartholomew and Associates (in association with Hare & Hare Landscape Architects). The scanned reports which made up this plan — submitted between 1943 and 1946 — can be found on the Portal to Texas History site, here, courtesy of the Dallas Municipal Archives. If you’re interested in urban planning and maps, these reports are fascinating.

The image above (from 1946, rendered by architect Erwin Earl Schmidt) shows a proposed municipal center on the familiar “South Akard Street Site.” The plan is below. (All images are larger when clicked.)

municipal-center_bartholomew-plan-1946

The previous year, the site for this proposed municipal center was north of Pacific:

municipal-center-plan_bartholomew-plan-1945

And Schmidt’s rendering for that compound is just as interesting:

municipal-center_erwin-earl-schmidt-rendering_bartholomew-plan-1945

Also discussed in the plan was what to do with Fair Park. Here’s a 1945 redevelopment proposal:

fair-park-redevelopment_bartholomew-plan-1945

And here’s the 1946 re-jiggering (the Cotton Bowl’s getting a lot of action):

fair-park_preliminary-plan_bartholomew-1946

And, lastly, a 1946 plan for expansion of the “Hall Street Park for Negroes.” I’m not sure that any of this ever happened. The last mention I see of this park was in 1945 (the first mention I found of the park in the Dallas Morning News archives was 1922, and it had clearly been around for a while before that — perhaps it was absorbed into the existing Griggs Park? “Central Boulevard” would soon be built and renamed Central Expressway, the highway that sliced through the thriving black neighborhood centered around Hall Street.

hall-street-park_bartholomew-plan-1946

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Sources & Notes

The 1945 plates can be found in the original publication here; the 1946 plates here.

All illustrations are from the Bartholomew master plan proposal; these reports are from the collection of the Dallas Municipal Archives, accessible on UNT’s Portal to Texas History, here.

Additional images from the plan can be found in the Flashback Dallas post “‘Your Dallas of Tomorrow’ — 1943,'” here.

All images larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

“Your Dallas of Tomorrow” — 1943

downtown_your-dallas-of-tomorrow_1943_portalMain Street, 1943… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Harland Bartholomew, a St. Louis urban planner and civil engineer, was asked by the City of Dallas in 1943 to prepare a master plan for Dallas which would address the needs of the city’s post-war growth and livability. As then-mayor Woodall Rodgers said, “We need another Kessler Plan and have waited long enough to start. We want to be ready to put Dallas ahead when the war is over and we will have great opportunities to put a master plan in effect” (Dallas Morning News, April 1, 1943).

Read Bartholomew’s incredibly thorough 51-page report titled “Your Dallas of Tomorrow” here. It has been scanned in its entirety and is presented (courtesy of the Dallas Municipal Archives) on UNT’s Portal to Texas History site. In addition to the report, there are drawings, graphs, maps, and the wonderful photo seen above showing an already-vibrant metropolis, with its newest addition to the skyline, the Mercantile Bank Building. Below are a few other things from Bartholomew’s master plan I found interesting. (All images are larger when clicked.)

your-dallas-of-tomorrow_1943_portal_cover

This map showing the growth of the city, from 1855 to 1943, is really interesting. Check out the “disannexed” areas. (I think that area east of the Park Cities was disannexed because landowners — which included W. W. Caruth — argued that it was undeveloped farmland and shouldn’t be subjected to city taxation. …I think.)

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A somewhat recognizable skyline.

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Levee District.

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The old Union Depot at the edge of Deep Ellum, demolished in 1935.

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There is much more in this interesting report, including quite a bit of good historical information on the development and growth of Dallas.

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Source & Notes

All images from “Your Dallas of Tomorrow, A Master Plan for Dallas, Texas,” prepared by Harland Bartholomew and Associates of St. Louis, Missouri in September, 1943. Booklet from the Dallas Municipal Archives, accessible on the Portal to Texas History, here.

The report above was the first one issued — and it was the most glitzy. The ones that followed were more down-to-business. Some of the plans were implemented, some were not. See all of the reports of the master plan prepared by Bartholomew and Associates — issued between 1943 and 1946 — here. If you like maps, this link has your name all over it!

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Historic Neon: The Super-Cool Sigel’s Sign

sigels-neon-sign_greenville-ave_072717One of Dallas’ favorite neon signs… (photo: Paula Bosse)

by Paula Bosse

I stopped by Sigel’s liquor store the other day (as one does…) and saw this legendary Sigel’s sign, recently installed in its new home in the parking lot of the Sigel’s store on Greenville Avenue, between Lovers Lane and Southwestern Boulevard, across from the Old Town Shopping Center. I love this neon sign. (See a very large image of it here.)

The sign’s design can be traced back to Dallas artist Marvin M. Sigel (whose great-uncle Harry Sigel founded the business in 1905) — this Fabulous Fifties design was created around 1953 specifically for the then-new store at 5636 Lemmon Avenue (at Inwood). When that store closed in 2009, the sign was refurbished and moved up to the company’s Addison location until that store fell victim to the company’s bankruptcy and was closed. Here’s a video of the fabulous sign when it was in Addison, with close-ups of its flashing neon and dancing bubbles:


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Marvin Meyer Sigel was born in Poland in 1932 and settled in Dallas in 1937 with his immigrant parents, both of whom had been doctors in Poland (his mother a dentist, his father an M.D.), although only his father continued to practice medicine in the United States. He lived in the vibrant Jewish enclave of South Dallas and went to Forest Avenue High School where he seems to have been a popular kid, interested in art, drumming, and ROTC. Below, a photo from the 1949 yearbook with the caption “Marvin ‘Hot Drums’ Sigel plays with the Swing Band.”

sigel-marvin_forest-avenue-high-school_drums_1949

His Forest Avenue High School senior photo, from 1949:

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And his 1953 senior photo from the University of Texas:

sigel-marvin_university-of-tx_1953_senior

After studying art at both SMU (under Ed Bearden and DeForrest Judd) and the University of Texas and receiving his B.F.A. from UT in 1953, Sigel served a stint in the Eighth Army in Korea. Back in Dallas, he was remarkably active in the local art community — for decades — as both a fine artist and as an art instructor. He also worked for a while at Peter Wolf Associates, in advertising (on projects for companies like Braniff), and he even did a lot of the tedious paste-up work for Sigel’s ads (back when every picture of a bottle of wine or spirits had to be cut out individually and pasted into one of those huge ads!). But his passion was art, and at the same time he had those regular-paycheck gigs, he also managed to maintain a furious pace of painting new pieces to exhibit at a dizzying number of art shows. Below is an example of one of his watercolors, from 1957 (which was recently offered at auction by David Dike Fine Art). The title? “Cocktail Abstraction” — appropriate subject matter for a member of the Sigel family!

sigel-marvin_cocktail-abstraction_1957_david-dike-fine-art_jan-2016
“Cocktail Abstraction” by Marvin Sigel (1957)

When the Sigel’s Liquor store No. 7 opened at Lemmon & Inwood, it was suggested by family members that, hey, we have an artist in the family, let’s get Marvin to design a sign for us. According to Marvin, his cousin Sidney Sigel, who ran the company, probably just wanted a “rectangular sign with block letters,” but other family members wanted something newer and more exciting — something modern that would jump out of a sea of boring rectangular signs with block letters and draw attention. And it certainly did just that. If, as reports have it, that dazzling neon sign was designed in 1953, Marvin Sigel was only 21 years old!

When news broke 56 years later, in 2009, that the Lemmon & Inwood store was closing, there was a concerned uproar from the public about what would happen to the sign. Mr. Sigel was a bit taken aback by how much the people of Dallas had grown to love that sign and considered it a city landmark. Marvin Sigel, then 77 years old, said in a 2009 Dallas Morning News interview, “It was clever, but I figured it would be replaced by something more clever in a half-dozen years.”

The sign was built by the venerable Dallas firm of J. F. Zimmerman & Sons (est. 1901) who for generations had installed decorative neon elements all around town and had built innumerable lighted signs for companies big and small — their work could be seen on the Mercantile Building’s wonderful tower, on the exterior of the downtown Titche’s store on Main Street, and in the instantly recognizable signs for places as varied as the Cotton Bowl, Big Town, and, presumably, various other Sigel’s stores around the city.

The sign which was moved from Store No. 7 at Lemmon & Inwood to Addison had on its pole a small plaque (seen here) which said:

This Non-Conforming Sign designed by Marvin Sigel was built in the early 1950s. It was moved from Dallas, TX at Lemmon Ave. & Inwood. After being granted a variance it was refurbished to Code and installed here in June of 2009. Sign refurbished and installed by Starlite Sign of Denton, TX.

Interestingly, the plaque on the new location of the sign has a slightly different text:

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It appears that this is a different Sigel’s sign. In 1965, there were two Sigel’s stores on Lovers Lane: Store No. 8 was along the Miracle Mile on West Lovers Lane, near what is now the Dallas North Tollway, and Store No. 12 was on East Lovers Lane at Greenville (then near Louanns nightclub).

sigels-stores_1965-dallas-directory
1965 Dallas directory

In an April 22, 2009 Dallas Morning News article by Jeffrey Weiss (“The Story Behind That Sigel’s Sign”), is this quote from Mr. Sigel’s son, David S. Z. Sigel, about the original sign at Lemmon & Inwood, with mention of another similar sign: “He created the designs for this sign, as well as a similar but smaller sign which stood outside the Lovers Lane store (where Central Market now stands) for many years.” Here’s a map from a November, 1964 grand opening ad for the new store at 5744 E. Lovers Lane:

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Detail from a grand opening ad, Nov. 6, 1964

So is the sign currently standing in the parking lot of the Sigel’s Fine Wines & Great Spirits at 5757 Greenville Avenue the sign which originally stood only a short four-tenths of a mile away? I hope so! And if it is, welcome back to the neighborhood, cool sign!

Whichever sign this is, it is one of the greatest neon designs Dallas has ever had, and I’m so happy it’s survived for over a half-century, through phenomenal city growth, physical displacement, and even company bankruptcy.

Thanks, Marvin, for designing this wonderful sign! And thanks, Starlite Sign of Denton, for the beautiful refurbishing!

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Sources & Notes
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Top photo and photo of blue plaque taken by me on July 27, 2017 at the Sigel’s store at 5757 Greenville Avenue.

YouTube video by Andrew F. Wood, shot in Addison in 2013.

Sources for other images as noted.

The Zimmerman & Sons nameplate can be seen on the original Lemmon & Inwood sign here (click to enlarge), posted on Flickr by Tim Anderson (a detail of his photo can be seen below) (there is another Zimmerman nameplate posted in the comments on that Flickr page); what appears to be a Zimmerman plate is on the side of the sign at the Greenville Avenue location facing the store’s entrance, not on the side seen in my photo at the top.

zimmerman-nameplate_sigels-sign_lemmon-inwood_flickr-det

Please check out the Dallas Morning News article in the DMN archives titled “Sigel’s Sign Designer Surprised by Its Fame — Project for Family’s Liquor Store Wasn’t a Hit with Boss, He Recalls” by Jeffrey Weiss (April 28, 2009) in which Marvin Sigel discusses his famous sign.

Also, check out these related (online) DMN articles:

  • “Sigel’s Beverages, A 111-Year-Old Dallas Chain, Filed for Bankruptcy; Wants to Close 5 Stores” by Maria Halkias (Oct. 21, 2016), here
  • “Sigel’s Iconic Neon Sign Returning to Dallas After Years Wasting Away in Addison” by Robert Wilonsky (March 27, 2017), here

If anyone can verify that this sign is, in fact, the sign from Store No. 12 (Lovers & Greenville), please let me know!

Most images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

How to Keep Cool During a Heat Wave — 1951

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by Paula Bosse

The photo above appeared in newspapers around the country in August, 1951 above this caption:

What the well-dressed Texas gal will wear during the current heat wave might be something quite novel. Here, Dallas secretary Mildred Walston starts a new trend in her efforts to keep cool. She uses two fans and a cool pan in which to slosh her feet. Later in the afternoon, Aug. 14, when the temperature hit 103 degrees, Mildred’s boss broke down and sent her off to the nearest swimming pool.

Mildred Walston Fulenwider (1915-1962) worked for many years in the motion picture business in Dallas, working for the Interstate chain, for Paramount, and for Republic Pictures. At the time of this photo she was working as a booker, not a secretary.

I’m going to have to remember that fan-pointed-at-feet-soaking-in-pan-of-cool-water trick.

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Photo from the old Bettmann/Corbis site.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

A Few Photo Additions to Past Posts — #6

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by Paula Bosse

Sluggish days of summer — seems like a good time for another round of updates to old posts. Most images are larger when clicked. To see the original post, click the title.

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First, the postcard above shows Berkelely Avenue, Dallas, Texas. Berkeley Avenue was the original name of Armstrong Avenue, which runs through Highland Park. See more on the very early days of Armstrong at the post this has been added to: “The Rolling Hills of Highland Park — 1911.” (Source: Flickr stream, by Coltera, who suggests this might be the Berkley Avenue in Oak Cliff, but it’s definitely Highland Park.)

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This photo of the Hall of Negro Life — built expressly for the Texas Centennial at Fair Park (it is no longer standing) — has been added to the post “Juneteenth at the Texas Centennial — 1936.” (Source: Portal to Texas History)

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And speaking of the Centennial, I’ve added a few apple-dancer-related things to the post “Lady Godiva and the ‘Flesh Shows’ of the Texas Centennial — 1936.” (Sources: 1. DeGolyer Library, SMU; 2. newspaper ad; 3. Franklin, Indiana Evening Star)

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This ad for the then-under-construction Titche’s building — “the new shopping center … dedicated to the fine art of Better Living” has been added to the post “George Dahl’s Titche-Goettinger Building.” (Source: Sunset High School’s 1929 yearbook)

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Photos of vehicle-free highways fascinate me. Here’s US 67, looking east to Loop 12/Buckner Blvd., with the “two-bridge rotary” intersection in the foreground — seen seven months before it opened in July, 1951. The photo and caption have been added to the amazingly popular post “The 67-80 Split Near Mesquite — ca. 1951.” (Source: Oscar Slotboom’s Dallas-Fort Worth Freeways)

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I’ve added this 1958 photo of Stanley Marcus presenting the “Fashion Oscar” to 22-year-old Yves Saint Laurent (then head of the House of Dior) to one of my favorite posts, Back at the Ranch with Yves Saint Laurent — 1958.” (Source: Stanley Marcus Papers, DeGolyer Library, SMU)

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This photo showing people lined up in front of the Dixie Theatre, an early movie house that opened on Elm Street in 1909, has been added to the post “Three of Dallas’ Earliest ‘Photoplay Houses’ — 1906-1913.” (Source: Collection of Jeanette Howeth Crumpler, via Cinema Treasures)

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This photo of Ferris Plaza has been added to the post “Ferris Plaza Waiting Station — 1925-1950.” (Source: Park and Playground System, 1921-1923 via the Portal to Texas History)

ferris-plaza_park-and-playground-system_pubn_1921-23_portal

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These little ads for Whittle’s Music Co. have been added to “The Whittle Music Building — ca. 1956.”

ad-whittle-music_1922-directory1922 Dallas directory

ad-whittle-music_bryan-street-high-school_1927-yrbkBryan Street High School, 1927 yearbook

ad-whittle-music_tx-almanac-1945-46Texas Almanac, 1945-46

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Not a photo, but this little bit of early baseball reporting has been added to the post “The Dallas Clippers: Early Dallas Baseball.” (Source: Dallas Herald, Aug. 26, 1884)

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

From the Vault: Celery Cola: Never Mind the Cocaine — 1909

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by Paula Bosse

Stuck in the middle of another hot summer, one’s mind is likely to drift to thoughts of refreshing beverages. Like Celery Cola. Yes, it was a thing. Read about it in my post from 2014 — “Celery Cola: ‘It Picks You Up!’ — 1909” — here.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

“Dallas In the French Parliament” — 1876-77

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by Paula Bosse

Today is Bastille Day — seems right to post something about the “French Colonists” of La Réunion. One of the leaders of the French and Swiss immigrants who settled briefly — and ultimately unsuccessfully — on the western banks of the Trinity in the mid-1850s was François Jean Cantegral, “President” of the colony and one of the Directors of the Franco-American Company. Cantegral arrived in Texas about 1855 with hopes of establishing a successful utopian community, but the land, the climate, and the lack of experienced farmers in the group led to its fairly quick demise. Some of the European colonists settled permanently in the young town of Dallas, some scattered to other parts of the United States, and several — including Monsieur Cantegral — returned to their homelands.

Cantegral returned to Paris where, according to an 1876 article in the Dallas Herald, in a mission to participate in the reform and political liberation of France, he served three terms as an “alderman of Paris” and was elected to the French Chamber of Deputies, serving in the French Parliament. In 1877, Cantegral — who apparently had warm feelings toward Dallas and its citizens — sent to the city an early edition of a newly issued map of Paris. On its presentation before the mayor and the city council, it was noted that, in following in the footsteps of his fellow countrymen LaSalle and Lafayette, the members of the French Colony at Réunion “joined hands in efforts to plant the seed of French civilization, French chivalry and French hospitality, alongside and in conjunction with their American brethren in the wilds of Texas” (quoted in The Dallas Daily Herald, March 21, 1877 — see full article below).

It was noted that while living in the colony, Cantegral’s son, Simon Charles Cantegral, was born on March 2, 1856 — Texas Independence Day. He seemed quite proud of that. The map was presented in the names of Cantegral père and Cantegral fils. I wonder if that Paris map given to the City of Dallas in March, 1877 is still somewhere in the city archives?

Merci, François. Liberté, égalité, fraternité, from those of us back here in the wilds of Texas!

(Click articles to see larger images.)

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Dallas Herald, May 5, 1876

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Dallas Herald, March 21, 1877

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Top image from The Dallas Morning News, April 26, 1903.

The two articles are from the Texas Digital Newspaper collection of the University of North Texas, via their Portal to Texas History. The collection contains thousands of issues of the Dallas Herald (not to be confused with the 20th-century Dallas Times Herald); it’s hard to stop reading them because they are so unbelievably fascinating — set aside a few hours and browse the Herald collection (1855-1887) here.

Yes, Cantegral Street was named after Mssr. Cantegral. The May 5, 1876 article above makes mention of the street:

Three years ago a beautiful street in Dallas, that running east of Floyd street Church and west of the Baptist College, was named in his honor and will remain a perpetual memorial of him in this town.

More on the La Reunion colony can be found in other Flashback Dallas posts here.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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