A Bird’s-Eye View Across the Central Business District — ca. 1905

birds-eye-view_ebay_colorDallas, home of meat, drugs, and saddles

by Paula Bosse

Above, a sort of bland, colorized view of downtown, looking to the east, with Main on the left and Commerce on the right. Below, the muddier, grittier reference photos, taken from the courthouse (all three were issued as postcards).

birdseye-view_ca-1908_ebay

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In the foreground is the First Texas Chemical Manufacturing Co. (on Market Street, between Main and Commerce), established in 1903 by super-rich guy C. C. Slaughter et al. The company manufactured a wide variety of drugs, pharmaceuticals, elixirs, and preparations.

first-texas-chemical_ca-1908_greater-dallas-illustratedvia Greater Dallas Illustrated, 1908

first-tx-chemical_dmn_122003Dallas Morning News, Dec. 20, 1903

In the middle right of the postcards — facing Commerce — is Speer, Steinmann & Co., which made saddles and traded in wholesale leather products.

speer-steinmann_dmn_022699DMN, Feb. 26, 1899

In the lower left is Fulton Market. Below is a rather grisly newspaper account which starts off sounding like there’s been a bloody massacre on Main Street, with carnage everywhere. Turns out it’s just an arresting ad for butcher Mike Younger, a recent arrival from Atlanta.

fulton-market_dmn_012503_adDMN, Jan. 25, 1903

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Sources & Notes

The first three images are postcards, all found on eBay. There is another copy of the second postcard in the George W. Cook collection of the DeGolyer Library at SMU which you can enlarge — see it here.

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Copyright © 2022 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.