Dallas Morning News Lobby — c. 1904

by Paula Bosse


by Paula Bosse

Suppose it’s 1904 and you’ve placed a classified ad in The Dallas Morning News — looking for a job, looking for a buyer for your business, or looking for your reprobate cousin Harold who’s skipped town without re-paying you the money you loaned him. You want to retain a certain amount of anonymity or you have no fixed abode, so you’ve requested that replies from interested parties be addressed in care of a box number at the newspaper offices. If you had done that in 1904, this is where you would have gone to pick them up: the lobby of The Dallas Morning News, seen here in their first building (built in 1885) at 500-501 Commerce St. I can only assume there is another strategiacally-placed spittoon just out of frame.

Here are a few random classifieds with box numbers, all of which appeared in the paper 110 years ago today. These people would have been wandering in and out of this lobby hoping to see envelopes waiting for them when they arrived. Having watched a LOT of old movies, I picture woefully conspicuous detectives hanging out in the lobby, pretending to read the paper, with one eye fixed on those boxes. Waiting. …Watching. …Spitting.





Photo from the Belo/Dallas Morning News collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University, accessible here.

Classifieds from the May 17, 1904 edition of The Dallas Morning News.

Click photo for larger image.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.