Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Three Flags Over Texas at the Entrance to Fair Park — 1936

tx-centennial_flags_entrance_nyplMexico, France, and Texas welcome visitors… (click for larger images)

by Paula Bosse

Another State Fair of Texas is winding down. Here’s what the entrance to Fair Park looked like when the Texas Centennial opened in June, 1936. This Associated Press photo was accompanied by the following caption when it ran in newspapers:

Dallas, June 6 — Three of six flags which have flown over the Lone Star State, waved over the main entrance to the Texas Centennial celebration at its opening here today. Buildings throughout the grounds of the exposition are ultra modern in design.

This view — taken at about Parry and Exposition — hasn’t changed all that much. See it on Google Street View here.


Associated Press photo from the New York Public Library’s digital collections, here.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

“How the News Got Made” — SMU’s WFAA Newsfilm Collection Spotlighted at the Dallas VideoFest

wfaa-newsfilm_thumbnails_hamon_cul_smu(G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, SMU)

by Paula Bosse

The Dallas VideoFest is in full swing this weekend, and one of the events on the schedule is How the News Got Made: A Rare Look at SMU’s WFAA Newsfilm and a Conversation with the People who Created It.” This screening and panel discussion will include WFAA news clips and B-roll footage on 16mm film from the 1960s and ’70s, selected from the large WFAA Newsfilm Collection (part of the moving image holdings of the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University).

A few months ago I saw a screening at SMU of some of these clips — which had been selected by the collection’s curator, Jeremy Spracklen, who has also, I believe, compiled the clips for the VideoFest presentation — and I really enjoyed it. Being able to watch 45- or 50-year-old news clips — of subjects both newsworthy and not-so-newsworthy — is an interesting way to study moments in the history of Dallas. It’s certainly more immediate and “flavorful” than reading old black and white newspaper clippings. I mean … you can listen to people actually talking. (With actual ACCENTS!) And see them move! SMU is in the process of identifying people and places seen in these clips and may soon request crowdsourced assistance from the public. It’s a large undertaking, further complicated by the fact that much of the footage was received by SMU randomly spliced together, some of it raw footage without sound. The hope is to identify subjects and subject matter in order to assist researchers, historians, and documentarians.

At present, almost two decades’ worth of these film reels are slowly being digitized; when the transfers are complete, they are uploaded to SMU’s Central University Libraries site and are free to be viewed by the public. Check what’s up now, here, and watch a few yourself.

There is a great Dallas Observer article by Jamie Laughlin on this collection. You must make sure to scroll down and watch the clip of fresh-faced Channel 8 newsboy Bill O’Reilly (yes, that Bill O’Reilly) interview the only slightly younger-looking future superstar ventriloquist (…two words I’ve never typed one right after the other before…) Jeff Dunham, who, at 14, seems really excited to be talking about his craft on TV.

And, if only a sliver of what I saw of the hilariously bizarre and wonderfully entertaining footage from about 1969 of mini-skirt-and-sideburn-hating Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Sadler — who was reported to have grabbed and choked a political critic in a dispute over Spanish galleon treasure recovered off the Texas coast (…yes, that’s what I said…) —  is shown at the VideoFest, it will be WELL worth your time!


The top image is a collection of thumbnail images of WFAA digital files which have been uploaded to the Central University Libraries’ site, here.

Read about this WFAA Newsfilm Collection in the Hamon Arts Library digital collection here.

For more information on the collection, contact filmarchive@smu.edu.

The Dallas VideoFest program, “How the News Got Made: A Rare Look at SMU’s WFAA Newsfilm and a Conversation with the People who Created It,” takes place this weekend, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, 5:15-6:45 PM at the Angelika Film Center. More information on the event and the panel participants is here.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Empire Central and Its Fabulous Empire Club

empire-central_1958_ebay_det“Northwest Dallas” in 1959 — how quaint… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

“Empire Central.”

I have to admit that I’d never heard of anyplace in Dallas called Empire Central, but because I wanted to post the picture above (which I love) (and which is  from a 1959 ad), I felt I should at least look into finding out what and where it was and broaden my horizons a bit. So I did. It was (is?) an “office community” built in 1958 on 90 acres of land (later expanded), located in the “V” between Hwy. 77 (soon to be Stemmons Freeway) and Hwy. 183 (aka Empire Freeway, soon to be John W. Carpenter Freeway), with W. Mockingbird on the south and Dividend Drive on the north(-ish). It was developed as an office park as part of the already existing 1,200-acre Brook Hollow Industrial District (which, when its development began in 1953, was beyond the city limits) — both areas were developed by Windsor Properties. Empire Central was announced in 1957. (All images and clippings are larger when clicked.)

Dallas Morning News, June 30, 1957

DMN, Nov. 24, 1957

Unsurprisingly, almost every early newspaper story about plans for the new district mentioned what was its sexiest, most novel attraction: the Empire Club, an on-site dining and recreation club for employees — executives and underlings alike — who worked in the “community’s” office buildings. It was a round, 45,000-square-foot structure that sat on 9 acres and featured a distinctive roof which utilized 24 tamarack logs “more than 100 feet long, imported here especially for the club from the virgin forests of Washington” (DMN, Nov. 24, 1957). Its amenities included a sunken garden, a terraced dining room, lounge, swimming pool, putting green, and shuffleboard court, all nestled in a “garden-like atmosphere.” What a great perk!

The club was important in the conceptualization of the office park, as the developers insisted that a happy employee was a productive employee, as can be seen in the text from a 1959 advertisement which ran the week the club opened:

Two fundamental concepts were taken into consideration by Windsor Properties, Inc., in designing Empire Central.

First was the realization that the company able to attract the most capable employees at a given wage would be most successful. Second, the urbanization of our population has created the need for a measure of community life.

The Empire Club, as the heart of Empire Central, is designed to accomplish both objectives for management.

And that club looked cool. It was a cutting-edge design from the always impressive George Dahl, one of Dallas’ top architects. (Dahl worked on several other projects with W. C. Windsor — Sr. and Jr. — including a prison (?!) and several other buildings in the Empire Central District.) Dahl’s previous big round building — Memorial Auditorium/Dallas Convention Center — had opened in 1957, just months before construction began on this unusual and sophisticated clubhouse, something one would certainly not expect to find plonked down in the middle of such prosaic surroundings.




The full ad, which appeared the week the new Empire Club opened in October, 1959:

DMN, Oct. 18, 1959

At some point (or maybe always) the club began to be used by outside groups. In the ’60s, it was the site of a lot of Junior League and debutante activities and dances. In 1966 the Empire Club became The Round House restaurant (in which could be found the Fatted Calf club). The last listing I could find of a restaurant or club at that address (which was, originally, 100 Empire Central Drive and, later, 1100 Empire Central Place) was in 1971. Sadly, that cool-looking building was torn down somewhere along the way. What a shame! I just discover a George Dahl-designed building I’d never seen — in a part of town I’d never heard of — and *poof*! … it’s gone. …At least I didn’t have time to get too attached.


Here’s a great photo from 1960 (click it — it’s really big) looking southeast toward downtown from about Regal Row (bridge in foreground), with the new and improved Carpenter Freeway/Hwy. 183 in the center, and Stemmons — coming in from the left — meeting it in the distance; the Mockingbird bridge is just beyond it, just above the point. The Empire Central district — in between Stemmons and Carpenter — looks kind of puny here. You  might have to squint, but you can see the brown, round Empire Club building in the center of the triangle. If you listen closely, you might be able to hear a Southwestern Drug Company secretary splashing happily in the heated pool.



1958 ad

DMN, Jan. 19, 1958

DMN, Jan. 18, 1959

DMN, Nov. 24, 1957

DMN, Oct. 11, 1959

DMN, Nov. 23, 1966

Google Maps


Top image is from a full-page magazine ad from 1958, found on eBay.

The 1960 photo appeared on the cover of Dallas magazine (October, 1960); I found it on the unbelievably thorough Dallas-Fort Worth Freeways site (main page is here, this photo is linked from here).

This area — what is it called? The consensus seems to be “Brook Hollow.” Or maybe “Stemmons Corridor” (the Wikipedia entry for the latter is here).

The Flashback Dallas post on the area’s 1920s-era namesake golf club — “Brook Hollow Country Club — 1940s” — is here.

(Thank you, Dallas History Facebook group for the helpful tidbits!)

Think it should be bigger? Click it!


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Lady Godiva and the “Flesh Shows” of the Texas Centennial — 1936

tx-centennial_streets-of-paris_ticket_cook-coll_smuGeorge W. Cook Collection/SMU

by Paula Bosse

When one thinks of the Texas Centennial Exposition, the splashy 6-month extravaganza held at Fair Park to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Texas independence, one might not immediately think of the three things associated with the big show that were making headlines around the country (and were undoubtedly responsible for healthy ticket sales): according to Variety, the Centennial had “all the gambling, wining and girling the visitor wants” (June 10, 1936).

The Dallas exposition (and the coattail-riding Frontier Exposition, which was held at the same time in Fort Worth) was “wide open” in 1936: there was gambling, liquor, and nudity everywhere. The Texas Rangers cracked down on some of the gaming in the early days, but alcohol and girlie shows continued throughout the expo’s run.

As far as the nudity, it really was everywhere. It’s a little shocking to think that this sort of thing was so widely accepted in very conservative Dallas — 80 years ago! — but it was (despite some local pastors disdainfully referring to the big party as the Texas Sintennial). Many of the acts — and much of the personnel — had appeared in a version of the same revue in Chicago in 1933 and 1934. Some of the offerings for the Centennial visitor: peep shows a-plenty, the clad-only-in-body-paint “Diving Venus” named Mona Lleslie (not a typo), a naked “apple dancer” named Mlle. Corinne who twirled with a “basketball-sized ‘apple'” held in front of her frontal nether regions, and the somewhat obligatory nude chorus girls. There was also an “exhibit” in which nude women were on display as “artists’ models,” posing for crowds of what one can only assume were life-drawing aficionados who were encouraged to render the scene before them artistically (…had they planned ahead and brought a pencil and sketchpad); those who lacked artistic skill and/or temperament were welcome to just stand there and gawk.

Another attraction was Lady Godiva, who, naked, rode a horse through the Streets of Paris crowds. Her bare-breastedness even made it into ads appearing in the pages of the staid Dallas Morning News. (Click to see larger images.)

DMN, June 4, 1936

There were two areas along the Midway where crowds could find these saucy attractions: Streets of Paris (which Time magazine described as appealing to “lovers of the nude”) and Streets of All Nations (“for lovers of the semi-nude”). Lady Godiva was part of the Streets of Paris, and she rode, Godiva-esque, nightly. The gimmick (beyond the gimmick of a naked woman riding a horse in Fair Park) was that she was supposed to  be a Dallas debutante who rode masked in order to conceal her identity. The text below is from the ad above.

MASKED…but unclothed in all her Glory…Riding a milk-white steed. […] Miss Debutante was introduced to Dallas society in 1930. She was later starred in Ziegfeld’s Follies, in “False Dreams, Farewell,” “Furnished Rooms,” and other Broadway successes. She appeared in motion pictures, being starred in “Gold Diggers of 1935,” “Redheads on Parade” (yes, she is a redhead) and other picture successes.


And, of course, none of that was true (including the fact that this “Lady Godiva” rode a white horse — apparently one could not be found), but I’m sure it got local pulses racing. My guess is that there were several Ladies Godiva (none of whom were members of Dallas society). One woman was actually named as the Centennial’s exhibitionist horsewoman. I haven’t been able to find mention of a “Paulette Renet” anywhere other than the caption of this photo, but here she is:


Madera (California) Tribune, Aug. 29, 1936

And another photo featuring what appears to be the same woman:

Altoona (Pennsylvania) Tribune, June 23, 1936

The Godiva who appeared in the March of Times newsreel “Battle of a Centennial” appears to be a different woman. (Watch a 45-second snippet of the newsreel which features both a glimpse of Lady Godiva and a head-shaking son of Sam Houston wondering what the deal is with the younger generation — here.)


Imagine seeing performers and attractions like this along the Fair Park midway today!


godiva_dmn_070536-detDMN, July 5, 1936 (ad detail)

DMN, June 4, 1936 (ad detail)

What was the Centennial Club? It was an exclusive, invitation-only private club located within the very large George Dahl-designed building that housed the Streets of Paris (and which was shaped like the famed S. S. Normandie ocean liner).

DMN, May 22, 1936

DMN, June 16, 1936




Can’t miss the ridiculously large land-locked ocean liner in the center of the photo below. Mais oui!



The articles below on “gals, likker, and gambling” are GREAT. They are from the show biz trade publication Variety, which really latched onto the rampant nudity on view at the Texas Centennial. Remember: 80 years ago! (The abbreviation of “S. A.” in the headline of the second article stands for “sex appeal.”) (As always, click to see larger images.)

Variety, June 10, 1936

Variety, June 24, 1936

Variety, July 1, 1936


Top photo shows an admission ticket to the Streets of Paris, from the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; more information is here. Another interesting item from this collection is a brochure (here) which describes Streets of Paris as “the smartest, most sophisticated night club in America. Here you will find the gay night life of Paris in a setting of exotic splendor.”

The photo showing the night-time crowd outside the Streets of Paris Normandie is from the Ryerson & Burnham Archives, Art Institute of Chicago; more info here.

The aerial photograph showing the S. S. Normandie is from Willis Cecil Winters’ book Fair Park (Arcadia Publishing, 2010); photo from the collection of the Dallas Historical Society.

All other sources noted, if known.

See quick shots of the Streets of Paris and the Streets of All Nations in the locally-made short film “Texas Centennial Highlights,” here (Streets of Paris is at about the 7:00 mark and the more risqué bits showing the parasol chorus girls followed by Mlle. Corinne and her apple dance (I mean, it’s not really shocking, but … it still kind of is…) at the 8:45 mark. (Incidentally, there appears to be a new book on Corinne and her husband — Two Lives, Many Dances — written by their daughter.)

A very entertaining history of the State Fair of Texas and the Texas Centennial Exposition can be found in the article “State Fair!” by Tom Peeler (D Magazine, October, 1982), here.

A Flashback Dallas post on the feuding Dallas and Fort Worth Centennial celebrations can be found here.

More Flashback Dallas posts on the Texas Centennial can be found here.

Click pictures and clippings to see larger images.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

“Night View, Downtown Section” by Arthur Rothstein — 1942

rothstein_elm-street_jan-1942_loc_lg“Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty…”

by Paula Bosse

If you’re interested in Dallas history, chances are pretty good that you’ve seen this photograph by Arthur Rothstein, which was taken in 1942 — sometime between January 9th and 16th — taken for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). It shows Elm Street — “Theater Row” — looking west from the block east of Harwood. This photograph is from the Library of Congress (here) a larger image can be explored here.

Below are a few magnified details (click pictures to see much larger images).


Chattel loans and good will:



Morton’s Pants Shop (2014 Elm) has a neon sign in the shape of a pair of pants!



More interesting neon: the Texas Pawn Shop (2012 Elm) has the traditional three balls, and, better, the Campbell Hotel (Elm and Harwood) has a camel!



The White Plaza on Main St. (at Harwood) was originally the Hilton Hotel and is now Hotel Indigo. There were some great buildings in this block.



That light is blinding.



The towering Tower Petroleum Building (Elm and St. Paul) is pretty cool-looking here.



The 2000 block of Elm (seen in the foreground, just east of the Majestic block) was full of furniture stores, pawn shops, and tailors. This is my favorite detail from this photograph. Sadly, the entire block — which was once filled with businesses and activity — was completely demolished; the “camel” side of the street is now occupied by an ugly parking garage, and this side of the street is a wasteland of ugly asphalt parking lots. Yep.



1941 plates.



Below, Elm Street businesses from the 1943 city directory, beginning at N. St. Paul and ending at N. Olive. Next stop: Deep Elm.



The view today? Here. Hope you weren’t too attached. Kiss most of it bye-bye.


Photo from the Library of Commerce, here. This photo is all over the place, including the great Shorpy website, here (click the “supersize wallpaper” link under the photo to see it BIG). If you want a super-gigantic 26.3 MB file (5978 x 4619) (!), download the TIFF file in the dropdown beneath the photo.

The movie playing at the Majestic Theatre is “Tarzan’s Secret Treasure.” Newspaper ads show that the movie opened on January 9, 1942 and played just one week, closing on January 16.


Thanks, Cody and Chris for asking about this photo!

Everything’s bigger in Texas, and everything’s bigger when it’s clicked.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Wilson & Co., Their Clydesdales, and the Dallas Jaycees’ Safety Committee — 1951

wilson-and-co_clydesdales_ebay_1951Giant horses at the ready… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

I came across this undated photo a couple of years ago on eBay, and it took a little bit of digging to come up with just what was going on here.

The Wilson & Co. meat packing and processing business began in Chicago in 1916 and quickly became one of the nation’s largest meatpackers, right up there with Armour and Swift. It expanded across the country, and one of its plants was in Dallas — in Unit 3 of the Santa Fe complex of buildings, located on Wood Street, between Field and what is now Griffin. (This building was later known as the Ingram Freezer Building and was demolished in 1988.) The Wilson company was acquired by Dallas-based LTV in 1967, and was later “spun off” from LTV in 1981

The Wilson company had owned a prize-winning “six-horse hitch” of Clydesdale horses since 1917, and they were sent around the country to promote the company and its line of processed meats. Not only were the horses prize-winners at livestock shows, they were also incredibly popular with the public. (They had made a huge splash at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933, and it seems Budweiser took note of the promotional possibilities of the impressive animals, as the Anheuser-Busch Co. ended up buying the original team from Wilson that same year. So there were at least two competing Clydesdale teams clomping along the downtown streets of America, through at least the late ’60s.)

The photo above was taken when Wilson & Co.’s horse celebs visited Dallas in May, 1951. During their time in Big D they paraded through downtown at noontime and entertained workers on lunch breaks; at night they bunked in temporary stables in the service department of a Pacific Avenue car dealership. The photo at the top shows a public service event in which the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce promoted traffic safety in conjunction with the visiting horses. In the photo, the Wilson company employees (who have somehow managed to block the view of several thousand pounds of horseflesh and the huge 1890s wagon behind them) look happy during their little photo-op break from work. And in the background, we see the Adolphus Hotel (…built by the man behind Budweiser beer…), the Magnolia Building, and the Baker Hotel.

All this kind of makes me want a ham sandwich and a bottle of beer…. 

via Amazon


Dallas Morning News, May 9, 1951 (click for larger image)

DMN, May 11, 1951

Wood Street, Dallas city directory, 1953

1952 Mapsco


Photo found on eBay in 2014; it has the stamp of Denny Hayes of The Dallas Times Herald on the back:


See an unimpeded view of the famous six-horse team of Clydesdales (each of which weighed, on average, two thousand pounds) in a 1954 Cedar Rapids Gazette photo, here.

A couple of interesting tidbits about the Wilson company and about the horses:

  1. Thomas E. Wilson, the founder of the meatpacking company also founded Wilson Sporting Goods
  2. As a celebratory nod to the end of Prohibition, the famed Budweiser Clydesdales were purchased from Wilson in 1933 — this was Wilson’s original team from 1917. (Clydesdale horses generally live for 20-25 years.)

Pictures and clippings are larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Marvin’s Drug Store, Main and Akard

akard-looking-north_colteraLooking north up Akard from Main… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

This postcard shows a bustling downtown at the intersection of Main and Akard (the view straight ahead is North Akard). Marvin’s Drug Store, on the northwest corner, was at 1415 Main, and the Palace Drug Store, on the southwest corner, was at 1414 Main. The Palace Drug Store moved to this location in December of 1909, and I’d guess the original photo used here was taken around 1910. See what this view looks like today here.

I love colorized postcards from this period, but sometimes draining them of their color gives a more realistic view of the scene (but doing this can also add a weird surreal flavor when you begin to notice evidence of the artist’s heavy hand — check out the two creepy Edvard Munch-like blank-faced pedestrians at the far right). (Click for larger image.)


The building housing Marvin’s Drug Store was originally known as the Rowan Building, seen below in 1899 — its distinctive cupola was unceremoniously cropped from the postcard view.


This attractive building was torn down in order to build the taller Marvin Building, which was originally intended to be 24 stories but was later downgraded to 16 stories, then to 10, then to 4 (but with plans to add more at a later date). When the new building opened in 1927, the namesake drugstore was retained as its ground-floor anchor tenant. This new structure was known as the Marvin Building until 1931 when the Gulf States Life Insurance Company purchased it and it became known as the Gulf States Building (coincidentally, ol’ Z. E. “Zeke” Marvin not only owned the Marvin Building and the Marvin Drug Company, but he was also the former president and CEO of the Gulf States Insurance Company). A Lang & Witchell-designed six-story addition was built in 1935. This 16-story building is still  standing and has been converted into residential loft space.



The postcard at the top is from the incredible Flickr collection of Christian Spencer Anderson (aka “Coltera”), here.

The 1899 photo of the Rowan Building is a detail from an ad for the National City Bank of New York which appeared in The Dallas Morning News on April 20, 1939.

The color photo of the Gulf States Building is from the Chamberlin Roofing and Waterproofing site, here. (See that photo REALLY big here.)

Click pictures to see larger images.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Texas-OU, 1948

tx-ou_editorial-cartoon_dmn_100948Welcome, y ‘all! Let’s be careful…

by Paula Bosse

Another Cotton Bowl match-up between Texas and Oklahoma is upon us. Let’s look back at a previous one — say … 1948. I’m not a huge sports fan, so let’s get the game itself out of the way: Oklahoma won, 20-14.

Other than the actual game, what was going on?

People were scrambling for impossible-to-find tickets. It was reported that scalpers were asking as much as — gasp! — 20 bucks (the equivalent of about $200 in today’s money, according to the Inflation Calculator). Never hurts to try the classifieds….

DMN, Oct. 7, 1948

It seems unusual, but the Texas-OU game of 1948 was held on Oct. 9 — the opening day of the State Fair of Texas. This game was the first one held in the newly improved and expanded Cotton Bowl stadium. Since the Cotton Bowl game in January, the part-wood grandstand (which had held 45,195 people) had become a concrete “saucer” with a new deck of seats which brought the total capacity to 67,435; there were also three new scoreboards and a new three-story press box. The builders were really cutting things close, as concrete was being laid and seats were being installed uncomfortably close to game-time. This furious rush to finish in time was even referenced in ads, like this one from top sporting goods store Cullum & Boren (click for larger image):

Dallas Morning News, Oct. 9, 1948

DMN, Oct. 9, 1948

The other notable thing about this game was that it was apparently the first football game ever televised from Dallas — or maybe it was the first televised football game ever seen in Dallas. Actually, it was probably both. Television in Dallas was really, really new at the time: WBAP — DFW’s first television station — had been broadcasting (officially) only TEN DAYS when the Texas-Oklahoma game was shown. Ads in newspapers had some TV sets going for the equivalent of $4,000 in today’s money. So, basically, hardly anyone in DFW had TV sets at the time. I’m not sure where you’d watch the game on TV except the First Methodist Church (which had, surprisingly, installed a set in the Men’s Bible Class room in the basement) or visit a local retailer of the new machines and stand around gawking at the game in a store.

DMN, Oct. 9, 1948

DMN, Oct. 9, 1948

But for those who couldn’t make it to the game or watch it on television, there was always the “instant replay” of the movie theater newsreel a week or so later.

DMN, Oct. 11, 1948


When visitors come to Dallas, they, inevitably, shop. Here are a few things they could buy in October of 1948.

The “Dallas Souvenir Spoon”stamped with Dallas landmarks, designed expressly for Linz Jewelers ($1.95/about $20 today) (I love ads with the Dallas skyline in them):

DMN, Oct. 9, 1948

The hand-forged aluminum “Touch of Texas” ashtrays and matching coasters, from Everts Jewelers:

DMN, Oct. 9, 1948

Also from Everts, the companion “Touch of Texas” ladies compact, featuring images of longhorn cattle, the Cotton Bowl, an oil derrick, the Hall of State, and the Dallas skyline — only $4.95 (about $50 today):

DMN, Oct. 9, 1948

But, really, if you’re visiting Big D and you want to buy something quintessentially “Dallas,” you’re heading to Neiman’s.

tx-ou_nm_dmn_100948DMN, Oct. 9, 1948

The copy:


And, finally, this great ad, which isn’t selling anything other than the N-M label.

tx-ou_nm_dmn_100948bDMN, Oct. 9, 1948



Cartoon at top appeared on the editorial page of The Dallas Morning News, Oct. 9, 1948.

Read about the first Texas-Oklahoma football game in Dallas in the Flashback Dallas post titled … you got it … “The First Texas-OU Game in Dallas — 1912” (with actual football content!), here.

Click pictures and clippings to see larger images.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

“Teen-Age Downbeat”

teen-age-downbeat_broadcasting-mag_051859_detWBAP’s “Teen-Age Downbeat,” 1959 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

“Teen-Age Downbeat” — Fort Worth’s answer to “American Bandstand” — debuted on WBAP-TV in January, 1958 — in COLOR. It featured teens from the Dallas-Fort Worth area (…or maybe I should say from the Fort Worth-Dallas area…) who would play and dance to their favorite records. The host was WBAP broadcaster Tom Mullarkey (seen above at the left, wearing the red vest). The show was quite popular and lasted as best I can tell, from January, 1958 until July, 1961 (the last mention in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram was July 1, 1961). I’m guessing those kids danced to a lot of Fabian.

teenage-downbeat_fwst_010558FWST, Jan. 5, 1958

teen-age-downbeat_sponsor-mag_080860“Sponsor” trade magazine, Aug. 8, 1960

teen-age-downbeat_unt-lab-bandNorth Texas State College’s Lab Band with director Gene Hall

FWST, Feb. 26, 1961

“Broadcasting” trade magazine, May 18, 1959


The color photo (which appeared in a full-page WBAP ad in the trade magazine Broadcasting) shows non-teen Tom Mullarkey watching over the dancers from Arlington Heights High School, as the Polytechnic High School Stage Band plays some happenin’ tunes. (I do see two Dallas high school pennants in the photo: Crozier Tech and Sunset.)

The photo showing director Gene Hall with the North Texas State College (now the University of North Texas) Laboratory Band was found at UNT’s Portal to Texas History site, here. The photo is not dated, but a blurb in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram mentioned that Hall and the band were to appear on “Teen-Age Downbeat” on Feb. 5, 1959.

All pictures and clippings larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Zooming In on the State Fair: The Midway, the Cotton Bowl, and the Octopus — ca. 1950

state-fair_midway-cotton-bowl_squire-haskins_ca_1950_utaAnother visit to the fair… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

When I see old photos of the State Fair, I always look at the people. Let’s take a closer look at this great photo by Squire Haskins, taken around 1950. (See a BIG scan of this photo at the UTA website, here.)

Here are a few magnified details from Haskins’ photo (all are much larger when clicked):








Top photo by Squire Haskins, from the Squire Haskins Photography, Inc. Collection, Special Collections, University of Texas at Arlington Libraries; more information can be accessed here. (Other photos from this collection which were taken around the State Fair Midway at about this time were taken in October, 1950 — this one is not dated, but it seems likely it was taken at the same time.)

See other photos I’ve zoomed in on here.

Click pictures for larger images!


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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