“When ‘Big D’ Lights Up” — Phelps Dodge Ad (1969)

by Paula Bosse

ad-phelps-dodge_1969_ebayCopper, aluminum, and alloys … EVERYWHERE! (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

One doesn’t expect a cute, quirky drawing of Dallas to appear in an advertisement for an international mining company that excavates and manufactures “copper, aluminum, and alloy products.” But here you are, a 1969 Phelps Dodge ad featuring the Dallas skyline. It’s a bit reminiscent of both the delightful telephone book cover art of Karl Hoefle and the distinctive naive “matchstick men” art of L. S. Lowry. The ad copy is a lot less whimsical:

Dallas … a busy, prospering commercial center and Showplace of the Southwest. A bright, shining ever-changing city where the new is commonplace.

Look behind the splendor and the bright lights and you’ll see that Dallas is also a Phelps Dodge city. Our condenser tubes are used at the generating plants of the Dallas Power and Light Company. Our 135-kv transmission cables and other high-voltage power cables distribute power throughout the city … and the transformers, coils and motors wound with our magnet wire make things happen … from the flashing signs downtown, to factories along the river … to homes, stores, and offices everywhere.

Go north on Stemmons Freeway or west to Fort Worth on the Turnpike, or south on I-45 and Phelps Dodge buried lighting cables, telephone or coaxial CATV cables are following alongside. You’ll also find our building wire and aluminum conduit … our plumbing, gas and refrigeration copper tubing at work everywhere. Many new buildings, like the Statler Hilton Hotel, use PD building wire and copper tubing exclusively.

We specialize in conductors of electricity, liquids, gases and heat made of copper, aluminum and alloys. Look closely, and you’ll find Phelps Dodge products at work everywhere.


Ad found on eBay, here.

See the artwork from this same ad — only in black and white — here. Zoom in and look at the details. No Karl Hoefle, but still pretty cool.


Interested in knowing more about Phelps Dodge? Wikipedia to the rescue, here.

The drawing is by commercial artist Lee Albertson, who, apparently, did a whole series of these ads, each featuring a different “copper, aluminum and alloy product”-enriched city, a few of which can be seen here.



Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.