Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: Halloween

Halloween Party? Don’t Forget the Dr Pepper! — 1947

dr-pepper_halloween_1947_flickr“‘Twill add zest to your buffet foods…”

by Paula Bosse

(While searching for a Halloween advertisement, I unexpectedly came across reports of a federal grand jury case brought against Dallas-based Dr Pepper for violating strict wartime sugar-rationing. Scroll down to read about the legal case.)

Happy Halloween! Might I propose an eye-catching party suggestion? The “Frosty-Pepper Pumpkin”! Hollow out a pumpkin, fill it with cracked ice, and load it up with bottles of Dr Pepper. Voilà!

The text of the ad, from the fall of 1947:

EASILY DUPLICATE THIS “frosty-Pepper” PUMPKIN!

Smart, original; more decorative and eye appealing than a bowl of giant ‘mums. Fashion this “Frosty-Pepper” Pumpkin and serve as photo shows. Pre-chill bottles and bury deep in cracked ice. Dr. Pepper! So keen, so cold, so sparklingly alive! A smart lift for active people. ‘Twill add zest to your buffet foods … add laurels to your “rep” as a clever hostess. Keep plenty in your home refrigerator … for party hospitality … for good cheer and a quick lift, at 10, 2 and 4 o’clock, or anytime you’re hungry, thirsty or tired. 

NOTE: Dr Pepper availability in a few markets has been delayed by continuing shortages. These will be opened by new, franchised Dr. Pepper bottling plants as rapidly as supplies will permit.

HANDY CARRY HOME CARTONS
Carry Dr Pepper home from the stores 
“sixes,” “twelves” and “twenty-fours.”
 
“DARTS FOR DOUGH”
NEW TIME: Thursday Night, ABC Network
9:30 EST, 8:30 CST, 7:30 MST, 6:30 PST

Drink Dr. Pepper
GOOD FOR LIFE!

DRINK A BITE TO EAT at 10, 2 and 4 o’clock

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Sources & Notes

Ad found on Flickr, here.

“Darts for Dough”? I had to look that up. It was a radio game show involving quizzes and dart-throwing, created by Orval Anderson and Bert Mitchell at WFAA radio. It debuted in the summer of 1943 as a strictly local program, but it’s popularity was such that it moved to Hollywood in August, 1944 and — still run by the WFAA creators — it began to be broadcast “coast to coast” for several years, moving to television by 1950. It was originally developed in Dallas as a sponsorship vehicle for Dallas-based Dr Pepper and was frequently advertised as “Darts for Dough — The Dr Pepper Show.”

1947 was a big year for Dr Pepper — that was the year their beautiful (and sorely missed) plant opened at Mockingbird and Greenville.

dr-pepper-plant_pinterest

1947 was also a noteworthy year for the company, because of a large federal grand jury indictment which charged several corporations and individuals — including Dr Pepper and some of its bottlers and employees — with sugar-rationing violations (these “irregularities” appear to have begun in the last months of World War II, when wartime food rationing was still serious business). Black-market sugar! A district representative of Dr Pepper was assessed a small fine, but charges of conspiring to violate sugar-rationing regulations which were brought against the DP parent-company were ultimately dismissed, a ruling which angered Federal Judge Alfred P. Murrah, who seems to have been extremely unhappy about the dismissals, as can be read in his blistering statement below.

dr-pepper_sugar-rationing-case_waco-news-tribune_073047
AP story, via Waco News-Tribune, July 30, 1947

Two of the individuals charged in the case — New Mexico residents — received prison sentences in what was described as “the largest black market sugar operation on record,” involving over a million pounds of sugar.

This “Happy Halloween!” post took a bit of an unexpected dark detour. Let’s cleanse our palate with something happier: another party idea with Dr Pepper and a hollowed-out pumpkin (found on eBay).

halloween_dr-pepper_booklet_ebay

More Halloween posts from Flashback Dallas can be found here.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Dunking For Apples at a Halloween Night “Spooks’ Party”

halloween-party_dallas-parks_portalKids used to really have to WORK for those treats!

by Paula Bosse

In an effort to steer young revelers to safe Halloween festivities, the Dallas Park and Recreation Department organized parties in community centers around Dallas in the 1930s and ’40s. One of those parties (in an unidentified location) can be seen above, in a photograph titled “Dunking for Apples — Hallowe’en Night — October 31 at Spooks Party.”

The party’s apple-bobbing is in full swing. All eyes are on the dunker, who has obviously been hard at work, dunking down well past his shoulders. A couple of young hobos appear to be in attendance, both with prominent five o’clock shadows. Even though the party is for children, the adults seem to be having more fun than the kids, but perhaps this is early in the evening. And the party’s not just for the small-fry — there’s a pool game going on in the background, providing dunk-free entertainment for dads (and other men who might have wandered in).

Happy Halloween! Dunk responsibly!

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This photograph comes from the Dallas Municipal Archives, accessed through the Portal to Texas History, here. The photographer is Harry Bennett. The photo is undated, but it looks like it is from the early 1940s. These city-sponsored parties appear to have started in the late-1930s as a way to keep children out of mischief and away from the riotous celebrations downtown (which I wrote about previously, here).

More Halloween photos from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department collection, taken by Harry Bennett — perhaps taken the same year, perhaps at the same location — can be seen here.

Click picture for larger image.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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