Snapshots of the Fair, 1936-1940

by Paula Bosse

tx-centennial_strolling_fwplCentennial Exposition, 1936 — photo by Lewis D. Fox (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

An amateur photographer named Lewis D. Fox took a lot of photos at the State Fair of Texas — from the Texas Centennial in 1936 through 1940. The Centennial photos are particularly interesting, because they show what the “Exposition” was like to the average visitor — there was more going on than just the spectacular extravaganza we usually see — there are also shots of people doing un-spectacular things like just walking around or enjoying a quiet, late-afternoon cup of coffee. There are also photos of the people who do the heavy-lifting at a state fair — the men and women who work the Midway shows and the concession stands (a link to a larger collection of Mr. Fox’s State Fair photos — almost a hundred snapshots — is below).

Enjoy this look at a time when going to the fair meant dressing up and, apparently, often leaving the children at home! (Click photos to see larger images.)












Sources & Notes

All photos taken by Lewis D. Fox, from the Fox Photograph Collection in the Fort Worth Public Library Archives, courtesy of the Genealogy, History and Archives Unit, Fort Worth Public Library. Mr. Fox took a lot of snapshots at the fair — see  more here.

On a personal note, I’m mesmerized by “The Waffle Man.” He looks just like a young Lefty Frizzell! Lefty was from nearby Corsicana and he spent a lot of time in Dallas, but he wasn’t born until 1928, so it can’t be him — but check out this photo of Lefty as a teenager and see the remarkable resemblance! Not only did the (no doubt syrup-scented) young man above look like one of my favorite singers, but he also had ready access to waffles. What’s not to love? Oh, Waffle Man….

All images larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.