Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

“Start Your Day the Happy Way … with The Dallas Morning News” — 1961

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(click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

A word from a secretary:

I’m a secretary, and I prefer The Dallas Morning News.

My boss refers to me as his “Girl Friday” because I am more than an ordinary secretary. I make more money than an ordinary secretary makes, too.

Questions come up from time to time and I am able to supply the answers … simply because I start my day the happy way … with The Dallas Morning News.

I read it all … the news, editorials, even glance through the business and sports sections. I pay particular attention to current affairs, both foreign and domestic.

For myself, I browse the women’s pages … the fashion news, club activities, and all the special features. The advertising is very helpful. I do most of my shopping during the lunch hour. I always know where to go for what I want without having to shop around.

If you are a secretary and would like for your job to be more interesting … and valuable, too … here’s a tip. Start your day the happy way with The Dallas Morning News.

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Hoisting a Few in the Basement Speakeasy

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by Paula Bosse

It’s tax day. Here’s a photo of men drinking illegally and gambling. Cheers!

“Dallas voted for Prohibition October 1917 — but it didn’t go dry, as this workingman’s speakeasy (a word not developed then) shows. One sign assures drinkers ‘No Neer Beer Served.’ This is a basement of some downtown building, address unknown.”

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Photo and caption from Dallas, The Deciding Years by A. C. Greene (Austin: Encino Press, 1973).

Click picture for larger image.

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

The Hyperbolic Paraboloids of the Prairie

hyperbolic_paraboloidThe future is NOW! (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

In amongst things the things I’ve haphazardly collected (and I use the term loosely) over the years is this postcard. The image looks familiar to me, as if I remember actually seeing it — but I think that might just be because I’ve looked at this postcard so long. The first thing that popped into my head when I saw it was “turnpike,” but until I read up on the history of local highways (my days are fun-filled!), I wasn’t entirely sure where the turnpike had been other than “the other side of downtown, toward Fort Worth.” Did I ever see this sign and attendant weird looming structures when I was a child? Unless it was still up in the ’70s, I probably didn’t. So what is it?

Here’s the text from the back:

  • Concrete wings
  • THREE HYPERBOLIC PARABOLOIDS
  • GREAT SOUTHWEST INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT
  • Midway between Dallas and Fort Worth
  • “Located on U.S. 80, these hyperbolic paraboloids stand as insignia of the vast Great Southwest Industrial District in the center of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. This thin shell ‘concrete umbrella’ construction form was pioneered in the Untied States by Great Southwest Corporation, developer of a 5500-acre planned industrial district.”

It was somewhere around Arlington and Grand Prairie, back when it was still a vast, undeveloped area being planned in the mid-1950s by Angus Wynne who would, a few years later, bring us Six Flags Over Texas. (US Hwy 80 no longer runs west of Dallas — that stretch is now, I think, Hwy 180 — it was shoved off its Great American Interstate Highway pedestal by the DFW Turnpike and the arrival of what is now Interstate 30.)

hyperbolic-parabola_six-flags_1961_tx-highways-mag_FB
1961 (Texas Highways photo by Willis Albarado)

But … “hyperbolic paraboloids”? Those things are so cool. The “hyperbolic paraboloid” was developed by Mexico-based Spanish engineer-architect Felix Candela who worked in the Dallas area with the great architect O’Neil Ford (on, specifically, the Great Southwest Industrial District and the Texas Instruments Semiconductor Building). Candela is pretty interesting — look him up. Without Candela’s paraboloids and his contributions to engineering and architecture, Santiago Calatrava probably wouldn’t be doing the sort of thing that he’s doing.

Here’s another view of (other) paraboloids out on the Texas prairie. They’re like elegant, curved, inverted parasols. Kind of. Made from thin shells of concrete. (One source identified these paraboloids as being part of the Great Southwestern Industrial District and another source as being from the Texas Instruments campus. (See 1958 TI ad below.) Either way, it’s Felix Candela, all the way.)

paraboloid_texas-instruments

I’m still trying to figure out if I ever saw that fantastic sign and those three silent, looming paraboloids. It’s all pretty cool-looking, and it must have been an unexpected sight in the middle of what was, then, basically nothing.

Speaking of Candela and Calatrava, here’s a photo of the two together:

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And here’s another paraboloid-y structure that stands out in the DFW area — you might have seen it:

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Sources & Notes

Photo of Calatrava and Candela from the blog An Engineer’s Aspect, here.

Photo of the Calatrava bridge from Pinterest, here.

A good overview of Felix Candela’s work, with photos and a video, is on the Columbia University website, here.

The Great Southwest Industrial District (Arlington and Grand Prairie) still exists, and their website has a history page which explains its creation and development by Angus Wynne, here.

Lastly, who could resist reading up on just what the heck a “hyperbolic paraboloid” is (warning: math) — Wikipedia’s on it, here.

A 1958 Texas Instruments ad wants you to know that “hyperbolic paraboloids form roof-ceiling” (click to see larger image):

texas-instruments_hyperbolic-paraboloid_1958_ebay1958

UPDATE: Thanks to comments below, I’m happy to present another photo of the paraboloids, this one from the cover of the 1960 Arlington High School yearbook, complete with Shetland pony! Click the image below to see a larger image of the photo inset. (Thanks to Brad McCorkle for alerting me to the photo — it was taken by his father, Lynn McCorkle, intrepid student photographer!)

paraboloid_arlington-high-school-yrbk_1960

ANOTHER UPDATE, from the comments: this still-standing building at 10830 Preston Road (Preston Royal Shopping Center) was one of many that utilized hyperbolic paraboloids in its design. The American Savings Association building (designed by Brock & Mabrey of Corpus Christi, with Braden & Jones of Dallas as associated architects) opened in March, 1966.

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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