Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Dallas Venetian Blind Company — 1619 Hall Street

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by Paula Bosse

This is the sort of old postcard I love. It shows an impossibly idealized version of the past. This lovely house, with its impeccably manicured lawn and bright, shiny awnings is not a home, but the location of a business. It’s the Dallas Venetian Blind Company, at 1619 Hall Street, a few steps from Ross Avenue. When I see old postcards and photographs of places like this, I always wonder about the people who lived and worked there. So who went to work every day in that cute little house, living and breathing all-things Venetian blinds?

The owner of the Dallas Venetian Blind Company was J.S. “Joe” Herold. He was born in Austin in 1905 and moved to Dallas when he was a teenager. He started out in the floor finishing business and didn’t open his “Venetian blind concern” until many years later, in 1942. He was married, had a daughter, lived on Reiger near Fitzhugh, and enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was a “Square Deal” candidate for an East Dallas seat on the City Council in 1951, running against candidates representing the equally quaintly-named “Nonpartisan Association” and “Citizens’ Charter Association.” By 1960 he seems to have moved to Quitman, still fighting the good fight in the blinds game. But, sadly, far away from this wonderful little house which MUST have had Venetian blinds in those windows, even though I can’t see any! And now, Joe Herold — sit back — this is your life!

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The showroom, at 3230 Ross Avenue, right around the corner from the cute little house. This expansion had happened by at least 1947.

Business must have been good in those post-war years, because Joe had ads in 1950 boasting three telephone numbers: the main shop, the showroom, and, yes, Joe’s own car phone (which seems very early for car phones)!

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Dallas Morning News, April 19, 19501950 ad

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Postcards from the absolutely fantastic Boston Public Library Tichnor Brothers Postcard Collection on Flickr, here.

Click postcards for larger images.

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Delta Air Lines’ First Passenger Flight — 1929

by Paula Bosse

Delta Air Lines has had a longer — and more important — association with Dallas than you might think. On June 17, 1929, Delta made its first-ever passenger flight, from Dallas to Jackson, Mississippi via Shreveport and Monroe, Louisiana. According to the Love Field website, “Early flights operated from a passenger terminal near Bachman Lake, which later served as Southwest Airlines’ first headquarters building.” On that first flight, the five passengers sat in wicker chairs and could roll down windows (!) for needed ventilation. The flight took five hours. One of the first ads, from the Delta Flight Museum page, looked like this:

Delta passenger service ad ca. September 1929.

Forty-some-odd years later, the ads — and Dallas — got a bit more sophisticated.

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delta_dallas_fredric-sweney_playing-cardsArtist: Fredric Sweney

And we can’t leave out Cowtown!

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UPDATE, June 20, 2017: This almost-three-year-old post got a TON of hits yesterday, and I couldn’t figure out why. Eventually, though, I tracked it down: it had to do with yesterday’s Final Jeopardy question (or is it “answer”?):

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Nice to see that Jeopardy is incorporating Dallas history into the show!

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Top travel poster — showing Fort Worth in the distance, I guess? — by Jack Laycox.

For a really well-researched article by Timothy Harper describing that first flight, click here (the Dallas bit is contained in the last seven paragraphs).

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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