“The Fair Is In the Air — Let’s Go!”

by Paula Bosse

state-fair_1923Look at this 1923 typeface!

by Paula Bosse

Here we are again in the final days of another State Fair of Texas. Why not take a look at a few random images of the fair over the years. (Click pictures for larger images.)

First, from 1900, the entrance to the fairgrounds. (It appears to be the same view as the top postcard seen in a previous post, here, just a few steps inside the archway.)

fairgrounds-main-entrance_bohemian_1900_fwplFort Worth Public Library


A cartoon from The Dallas Morning News in 1912 — “The People’s University.” Remember, it’s not just about Ferris wheels and candy apples.

state-fair_dmn_102012-cartoonDMN, Oct. 20, 1912


1921. Don’t miss The Whip.



From the Texas Centennial in 1936, a shot of a remarkably spotless Midway. (Am I the only one who would have paid to see the “28-Ft. Monster” do battle with whatever freakish specimens were ensconced within the walls of the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not building?)



During World War II, no fair was held between 1942 and 1945. “Not until the boys come home, will there be another State Fair of Texas.”



By the ’50s, everything was back to normal. Big Tex had arrived, and this ad promises “She’s a LULU in ’52.” Martin & Lewis and whatever a Thrillcade was!



And, lastly, an aerial view of the Midway from 1966. Now this IS all Ferris wheels and candy apples. (To watch a short collection of color footage from the damp 1967 SFOT — including a sad, rainy parade downtown — click here.)

state-fair_1966_UNTUniversity of North Texas


Sources & Notes

1900 photo of the entrance to the fair is from The Bohemian magazine (1900) in the collection of the Fort Worth Public Library (those perforations in the photo are the FWPL’s).

1921 photo — I’m afraid I have no source on this one.

1936 postcard of the Centennial Midway is from eBay.

Patriotic WWII ad is from the 1945-1946 Texas Almanac.

Photo of the 1966 Midway is from the University of North Texas University Libraries blog, here.

My previous collection of SFOT photos over the decades appeared in the post “So Sorry Bill, But Albert Is Taking Me To The State Fair of Texas,” here.

Other Flashback Dallas posts on the State Fair of Texas are here; posts specifically on the Texas Centennial are here.

Again … some of these pictures are pretty dang big — when in doubt, click ’em!


Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.