Texas-OU, 1948

by Paula Bosse

tx-ou_editorial-cartoon_dmn_100948Welcome, y ‘all! Let’s be careful…

by Paula Bosse

Another Cotton Bowl match-up between Texas and Oklahoma is upon us. Let’s look back at a previous one — say … 1948. I’m not a huge sports fan, so let’s get the game itself out of the way: Oklahoma won, 20-14.

Other than the actual game, what was going on?

People were scrambling for impossible-to-find tickets. It was reported that scalpers were asking as much as — gasp! — 20 bucks (the equivalent of about $200 in today’s money, according to the Inflation Calculator). Never hurts to try the classifieds….

DMN, Oct. 7, 1948

It seems unusual, but the Texas-OU game of 1948 was held on Oct. 9 — the opening day of the State Fair of Texas. This game was the first one held in the newly improved and expanded Cotton Bowl stadium. Since the Cotton Bowl game in January, the part-wood grandstand (which had held 45,195 people) had become a concrete “saucer” with a new deck of seats which brought the total capacity to 67,435; there were also three new scoreboards and a new three-story press box. The builders were really cutting things close, as concrete was being laid and seats were being installed uncomfortably close to game-time. This furious rush to finish in time was even referenced in ads, like this one from top sporting goods store Cullum & Boren (click for larger image):

Dallas Morning News, Oct. 9, 1948

DMN, Oct. 9, 1948

The other notable thing about this game was that it was apparently the first football game ever televised from Dallas — or maybe it was the first televised football game ever seen in Dallas. Actually, it was probably both. Television in Dallas was really, really new at the time: WBAP — DFW’s first television station — had been broadcasting (officially) only TEN DAYS when the Texas-Oklahoma game was shown. Ads in newspapers had some TV sets going for the equivalent of $4,000 in today’s money. So, basically, hardly anyone in DFW had TV sets at the time. I’m not sure where you’d watch the game on TV except the First Methodist Church (which had, surprisingly, installed a set in the Men’s Bible Class room in the basement) or visit a local retailer of the new machines and stand around gawking at the game in a store.

DMN, Oct. 9, 1948

DMN, Oct. 9, 1948

But for those who couldn’t make it to the game or watch it on television, there was always the “instant replay” of the movie theater newsreel a week or so later.

DMN, Oct. 11, 1948


When visitors come to Dallas, they, inevitably, shop. Here are a few things they could buy in October of 1948.

The “Dallas Souvenir Spoon”stamped with Dallas landmarks, designed expressly for Linz Jewelers ($1.95/about $20 today) (I love ads with the Dallas skyline in them):

DMN, Oct. 9, 1948

The hand-forged aluminum “Touch of Texas” ashtrays and matching coasters, from Everts Jewelers:

DMN, Oct. 9, 1948

Also from Everts, the companion “Touch of Texas” ladies compact, featuring images of longhorn cattle, the Cotton Bowl, an oil derrick, the Hall of State, and the Dallas skyline — only $4.95 (about $50 today):

DMN, Oct. 9, 1948

But, really, if you’re visiting Big D and you want to buy something quintessentially “Dallas,” you’re heading to Neiman’s.

tx-ou_nm_dmn_100948DMN, Oct. 9, 1948

The copy:


And, finally, this great ad, which isn’t selling anything other than the N-M label.

tx-ou_nm_dmn_100948bDMN, Oct. 9, 1948



Cartoon at top appeared on the editorial page of The Dallas Morning News, Oct. 9, 1948.

Read about the first Texas-Oklahoma football game in Dallas in the Flashback Dallas post titled … you got it … “The First Texas-OU Game in Dallas — 1912” (with actual football content!), here.

Click pictures and clippings to see larger images.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.