Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Up North in Denton: “Famous School and College County”

denton-co-courthouse-1928Denton County Courthouse, 1928 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Okay, so it’s not Dallas, but who in Big D doesn’t love Little D? Besides, this is just too great a photo to keep to myself.

And in case you need to bone up on your 1928 Denton County stats for “Jeopardy” or something, look no further (click for larger image):


“Kindergarten to College Degree —
Board at home and be educated free.”



Might as well see where the photo of the courthouse was taken from: the Wright Opera House (now Recycled Books). Here it is, about 1900:

denton-opera-house_1900_tx-historian_1982The Wright Opera House, built in 1899, shown here in 1900 (click for much larger image)


The photo of the courthouse and the ad are both from, where else, the program for the 52nd Annual Convention of the State Firemen’s Association of Texas, held in Denton in June of 1928. If you’re into firefighting ephemera or old Denton photos, you might want to peruse it yourself: click here. (From the collection of the Denton Public Library.)

Photo of the Opera House from the article “Faded Echoes: A History of the Wright Opera House in Denton” by Clare Adkins, featured in the September, 1982 issue of Texas Historian, accessible through the Portal to Texas History, here.

Click pictures for larger images.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Interurban vs. Streetcar

interurban-vs-streetcarOh dear… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

I’m not sure what’s happened here, but it looks like the interurban has emerged victorious.


Sources & Notes

I don’t know the original source of this photo, but I came across it on the Northern Texas Traction History Group on Facebook. The electric-powered interurban car is the big red one on the left; the puny (but cute) electric-powered green streetcar is on the right. The view here is looking north on Record, from just south of Young Street, inside what would one day be called “Communications Center”: the Dallas Morning News Building is on the left, and the not-yet-built WFAA studios will later be to the immediate right (east). The long-gone Hotel Jefferson is north of Ferris Park (the hotel was catty-corner from Union Station, across Houston Street). In the distance you can see the tippy-top of the Old Red Courthouse, just above the green streetcar. Also, those now-gone smokestacks that were such a fixture on the skyline are straight ahead.

Click photo for larger image.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


“Speed With Safety” on the Crimson Limited — 1930

crimson-ltd_interurban_1930(Click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

A 1930 ad for the Crimson Limited deluxe interurbans (electrified railway trains) that ran between Dallas and Fort Worth, a couple of years before the company went into receivership, put out of business by the rise of automobile culture. Even though the writing was pretty much on the walls, the Northern Texas Traction Company fought hard to reverse the decline in ridership by introducing these fancy Crimson Limited cars:

“The most notable of their moves was the introduction of the Crimson Limited in October of 1924. The Crimson Limited was the name given to the upgraded interurban service to Dallas because the cars were painted bright red. The trailer car saw the most extensive upgrades. The bench seats in the rear half of the car were removed and replaced with wicker chairs. The rear doors were converted to windows giving the car a ‘parlor car’ appearance. Additional upgrades were implemented in 1927. Although the public approved of the new more luxurious trains and more modern streetcars, they continued to abandon mass transit for the automobile.” (–North Texas Historic Transportation, Inc.)

Wicker chairs? Pure LUXURY!



The ad is from an old magazine I can’t cite because it’s stuck in a box in a closet somewhere.

The quote is from a page on the very informative North Texas Historic Transportation site, here.

For more on this topic, check out the nice, meaty, image-filled post (which includes an ad touting the somewhat vague “Special Conveniences for Ladies”) on the Hometown by Handlebar blog, here. (Hometown by Handlebar is a really great Fort Worth history blog that might prove I was separated at birth from a twin sibling I knew nothing about!)

Not quite sure what an “interurban” is? Fret not. Wikipedia’s here to help, here.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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