Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: Medical

Orphaned Factoids: Year-End Grab Bag, 2018

primrose-petroleum-company

by Paula Bosse

Time for another end-of-the-year collection of odd Dallas-related bits and pieces that don’t really go anywhere, but which should go somewhere. So here they are. (Most images are larger when clicked.)

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Above, the Primrose Petroleum Company (later the Primrose Oil Company), founded in Dallas in 1916, led by brothers Herbert and Jesse Brin. I just checked, and the company is alive and well today, in business in Dallas for over a century!

primrose-petroleum_aug-1921
Aug., 1921

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pure-liquors_no-strychnine_dallas-herald_1858
Dallas Herald, 1858

PURE LIQUORS of all kinds — Apple, Peach and Cognac brandies of the best brands; Bourbon, Rye and Irish whiskeys; Wine of all kinds, all warranted to be pure and unadulterated, and to have NO STRYCHNINE, are for sale at my SALOON, on the East side of the Public Square. I have also on hand the best qualities of Cigars, and a choice lot of Confections, and articles usually to be found in a good establishment. — Those who ‘indulge’ are invited to take the pure stuff. — D. Y. Ellis, Dallas, July 13, 1858.

There used to be a time when foods and beverages were not always “pure.” Mr. Ellis assures his patrons that there is absolutely NO STRYCHNINE in his products. Or at least very little. …Hardly any. …Probably not enough to notice. …Some.

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croquet_dal-her_040874
Dallas Herald, April 8, 1874

Pierce & Lyle was a book store on Main Street, on the north side of the block just east of Austin (the block now occupied by the El Centro campus). I’ve never thought of croquet as being an activity indulged in by early Dallas settlers, but apparently it was. The earliest mention I found of croquet being played in Dallas was one year before the appearance of the above ad: in 1873 “an innocent game of croquet” was seriously irritating a snarky, unnamed Dallas Herald scribe:

croquet_dallas-herald_042673
Dallas Herald, April 26, 1873

A Letter to the Editor rolled in the next day, from the town marshal (which might explain the floridly apologetic editor’s response):

croquet_dallas-herald_042773
Dallas Herald, April 27, 1873

Do not besmirch the reputation of a member of the constabulary enjoying a genteel activity when he’s off the clock.

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bicycles_dallas_windsor-hotel_cook-collection_degolyerGeorge W. Cook Collection, DeGolyer Library, SMU

The photo above shows a bunch of cyclists standing by their “wheels” in the dusty streets of Dallas (the Windsor Hotel can be seen at the right). This may have been a photo of the Dallas Wheel Club or the Dallas Bicycle Club (these might have been the same organization?) — the Wheel Club was organized in 1886 and was the first of its kind in the state; Hugh Blakeney was the captain of the Bicycle Club and T. L. Monagan was the lieutenant. In 1888 a one-way cycling ride to Fort Worth took 4 hours (the participants returned by train). Imagine that for a second: biking anywhere, much less all the way to Fort Worth (!), before the days of paved streets. Wagon-wheel-rut accidents could have ended a man’s cycling days!

Below is an ad for the ridiculous-looking “penny farthings,” sold by W. A. L. Knox. If the Inflation Calculator is to be believed, the first bicycle, which cost $100 in 1887, would cost almost $2,800 today. Also: “tandem tricycles”!!

penny-farthings_dallas-herald_041287
Dallas Herald, April 12, 1887

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Smallpox was a scary, scary, highly contagious virus. If you were unfortunate enough to come down with it, you’d probably be sent to the pest house. And your house might even be torched by the mayor.

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DMN, Feb. 14, 1889

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DMN, March 14, 1889

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Here’s an interest-piquing classified ad from 1894 — the details of which I’ll sadly never know: “Wanted — Lady who plays the guitar to travel with gentleman. Address Box X. News office.”

lady-who-plays-guitar_dmn_090294
DMN, Sept. 2, 1894

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1912: “Commissioner Bartlett is pursuing a policy designed to prevent an increase in saloons in that section known as ‘Deep Elm.'” …That worked out pretty well.

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DMN, Jan. 30, 1912

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“The car you have been looking for.” …If the car you’ve been looking for is a hearse.

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DMN, June 10, 1917

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Need a croquignole perm? Then hie yourself to F. E. Field’s Beauty School on Ross Avenue.

fields-beauty-school_tichnorBoston Public Library

fields-beauty-school_4921-ross_opening-ad_sept-1934
Sept., 1934

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Benny’s Drive-In had “carrettes” at 1425 Greenville (between Bryan Parkway and Lindell).

hillcrest-high-school-yrbk_1940_bennys-carrettes
1940 Hillcrest High School yearbook

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The Skillern’s Doubl’ Rich chocolate ice cream soda was “the most famous, most popular fountain drink in Dallas.”

skillerns_july-1949
July, 1949

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I’m a sucker for line drawings of the Dallas skyline. I think this one came from a Reynolds-Penland ad.

skyline_ad_1956_det
1956

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My father went to SMU in the ’50s, and while he was a student (and maybe a little while after he graduated) he worked as a bartender at a Greenville Avenue bar called The Kilarney Lounge at 5118 Greenville Avenue. He always talked fondly about the Kilarney, and I to think that short time as a bartender was one of the highlights of his life. I’ve never heard anyone else mention the place (which was around into the ’70s), but I gather it was something of an SMU hangout for a time. This ad is from the March, 1953 issue of an SMU student humor magazine called The Hoofprint.

kilarney_hoofprint_march-1953_degolyer_smu
DeGolyer Library, SMU

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Fab British actor and Swinging Sixties “it-boy” David Hemmings and his model/actress girlfriend, Fort Worth-born Gayle Hunnicutt, were a favorite subject of international media attention. The two beautiful people were photographed at Love Field in Oct., 1967 as Gayle was taking David home to meet her parents. (Gayle is holding Hemmings super-weird album David Hemmings Happens.)

David Hemmings And New Mate
Oct., 1967

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I grew up in the Lower Greenville area, and this Orange Julius was just a couple of blocks from my house. It was across the street from the Granada Theater — the building still stands and has been the home of Aw Shucks since about 1983. I loved that place. And I loved those Orange Juliuses!

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SMU Daily Campus, Sept., 1968

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And, lastly, an SMU student on a pogo stick, from a 1974 student handbook called “doing it.”


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SMU Archives, DeGolyer Library

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Sources & Notes

Sources noted, if known.

For other installments of Flashback Dallas’ “Orphaned Factoids,” click here.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

“The Cedars” Maternity Sanitarium, Oak Cliff — ca. 1923-1944

cedars-maternity-sanitarium_texas-state-journal-of-medicine_oct-1933_portalA “seclusion home for unwed mothers”… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The rather blurry photo above shows a “maternity sanitarium” for unwed mothers, where “unfortunate women” could spend their days in seclusion until their babies were born there on the premises. The home/sanitarium was called “The Cedars” and was located on N. Ravinia Drive in the Beverly Hills area of Oak Cliff; when it opened, it was just outside the Dallas city limits. (It has nothing to do with The Cedars area south of downtown; its name may have had something to do with the name of a nearby street which intersected Ravinia. …Or it might have been located near a cedar grove. …Or it might have been used to subliminally suggest famed Cedars-Sinai Hospital.)

The sanitarium was opened around 1923 by Mrs. Lillie Perry (1876-1929), a woman who might have had some personal experience with the “fallen women” she cared for, as it appears she might have had a child out of wedlock herself. When she died in 1929, her daughter Lillian Hanna took over the running of the sanitarium. Lillian died in 1938, and that seems to have been around the time that the home became part of the Volunteers of America organization, which, among its many social services, provided maternity care for women and also assisted in adoption placement. The last mention I saw of “The Cedars” was in 1944.

The photo above appeared in an ad placed in the Oct., 1933 issue of the Texas State Journal of Medicine with the accompanying text (for larger images, click pictures and clippings):

cedars-maternity-sanitarium_tx-state-journal-of-medicine_oct-1933_portal_text
1933

Another ad, featuring friendly-looking nurses, appeared in the same issue, a few pages earlier:

cedars-maternity-sanitarium_tx-state-journal-of-medicine_oct-1933_portal_nurses

cedars-maternity-sanitarium_tx-state-journal-of-medicine_oct-1933_portal_nurses_text1933

Below are a few discreet newspaper ads for The Cedars which appeared over the years in the “personals” section of the classifieds.

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1923

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1924

cedars-maternity-home_dmn_1006291929

cedars-maternity-home_dmn_0105311931

cedars-maternity-home_dmn_0418341934

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Listing from the 1937 Dallas city directory

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Sources & Notes

Ads from the Texas State Journal of Medicine appeared in the October, 1933 issue, which can be found scanned in its entirety on the Portal to Texas History site, here.

Homes for “unwed mothers”/”unfortunate girls”/”fallen women” were generally places families sent their daughters in order to avoid the social stigma that unmarried girls and women faced when pregnant. They just kind of “disappeared” for several months and had their babies in secret, often feeling pressured to put their children up for adoption. An interesting Salon article on the topic is “The Children They Gave Away” by Sarah Karnasiewicz.

More on the Beverly Hills neighborhood of Oak Cliff can be found in articles from Heritage Oak Cliff and Preservation Dallas.

Thanks to Patricia M. who wrote to ask me a question about this place. I’ve learned a lot of interesting things about Dallas I would never have thought to look into were it not for obscure questions from readers. Like this one! Thanks, Patricia!

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Thompson & Swanson: “The Oldest Exclusive Optical House In Dallas”

thompson-swanson_1914-ad_erik-swansonDon’t blink… (1914 ad, courtesy Erik Swanson)

by Paula Bosse

Dr. Alfred F. Thompson (1862-1942) and Dr. Frank V. Swanson (1885-1949) opened their “manufacturing opticians” practice, Thompson & Swanson, in 1911. In addition to examining and treating patients, they also ground lenses and manufactured their own glasses, something which I gather was somewhat unusual in 1911 for such a small practice.

They first set up shop on Elm Street, and their ads — generally eyeball-themed — were always attention-grabbers: not only did they stare at you from newspaper pages, they also seemed to follow you around the room.

thompson-swanson_1911-ad1911 ad

They soon moved to the Sumpter Building, in late 1912 (ad at top), directly across from the brand new Praetorian Building. By February of 1916 they’d hit the big-time and were actually in the Praetorian Building, Dallas’ tallest building and its most impressive address. Not only were they in the building, they were at street-level, which guaranteed that practically everyone who spent time downtown was familiar with Thompson & Swanson, if only because they passed the Praetorian Building. The ad below, featuring the building, is fantastic, in a weird-fraternal-order kind of way. (The ad at the top is also kind of weird — you can practically hear the spooky theremin.) (Click ads to see larger images.)

thompson-swanson_1923-ad_erik-swanson1923 ad (courtesy Erik Swanson)

Thompson & Swanson’s business history:

thompson-and-swanson_erik-swanson(courtesy Erik Swanson)

Similar ad, but aimed at the Texas Centennial visitor. “Good glasses if you need them, good advice if you don’t.”

thompson-swanson_june-1936June, 1936

The successful partnership of Thompson and Swanson lasted into the early 1940s. After Dr. Thompson’s death in 1942, Dr. Swanson continued at the same address as “Swanson & Son,” a practice with his son, Dr. F. V. Swanson, Jr.

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Sources & Notes

The top ad, the ad with the Praetorian Building, and the “85 Years’ Experience in Optometry” ads were very kindly sent to me by Erik Swanson (grandson of Dr. Swanson); they are used with permission. I love old ads, especially ones that feature Dallas buildings. Regarding the location of his grandfather’s business in the Praetorian Building, Erik wrote: “Little did he know there would one day be a giant eyeball at the location where he had his optician shop.” Ha! Now when I see that giant eyeball I’ll think of Thompson & Swanson (and hear that spooky theremin).

I was doubly happy to exchange emails with Erik because I’ve been a fan of his Western Swing bands for many years. His current band is Shoot Low Sheriff (listen to them here), but I first became a fan when I heard his former band, Cowboys & Indians. Thanks for the ads, Erik!

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Casa Linda Animal Clinic, Est. 1948

casa-linda-animal-clinic_bwIf only Garland Rd. & Jupiter still looked like this… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Sometimes you can find interesting historical photos in the most unexpected places — like my mother’s veterinarian’s office. The photo above shows the cool mid-century design of the Casa Linda Animal Clinic, at 11434 Garland Road, just past the intersection with Jupiter.

Two young veterinarians — Robert Weinberger and Roland Mallett — opened the animal clinic/hospital/boarding kennel in June, 1948, out in the boonies. I’m not actually sure that that stretch of Garland Road was even technically in Dallas in 1948. The 1948 city directory shows Garland Road ending at the 11200 block (with no cross-streets after Peavy). (Click to see a larger image.)

garland-road_1948-directory
1948 Dallas directory

When Weinberger and Mallett (whose name is often seen spelled as “Mallet”) opened their veterinary practice, theirs was the very last business (or residence) between the Dallas and Garland boundary. (To see how empty things were around there, check out a couple of pages from the 1952 Mapsco, here; the first one shows a developed area around White Rock Lake, Forest Hills, and Casa Linda, and the second one shows a much less developed area once you’ve passed Jupiter Road — and anything east of Shiloh is either a bleak no-man’s land or … Garland.) (I’ve never heard of Hudson Airport, seen on the second map — north of Northwest Highway, between Jupiter and Garland Road — so that’s cool to see.)

But back to the Casa Linda Animal Clinic (and it’s not really in Casa Linda, but I’m not sure what that area is). Being so far out in the sticks in 1948 probably explains how a couple of fairly recent Texas A&M veterinary school grads (and former WWII servicemen) who were still in their 20s were able to buy land for their first practice. The money they saved on real estate was apparently put into building a well-appointed clinic (according to Dr. Weinberger’s obituary, the clinic itself was “designed in collaboration with Texas A&M as sort of a showpiece of a modern, small-animal veterinary clinic”). Below, photos of Mallett, on the left, and Weinberger, from their vet school days at A&M — both were Class of ’44.

mallett-1943_weinberger-1942_texas-a-m-yearbooks

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June, 1948

The building today (seen here on Google Street View) looks nothing like it did in the photo at the top. It has been almost 70 years, but the building has either been drastically remodeled or is a new building. (Perhaps exterior work was done on it all the way back in 1951 when a car ran through the front wall.)

The clinic has gone through several partners and owners over the past 69 years, but it’s nice that it’s kept the same name all this time. I would assume that it has become something of a neighborhood fixture and has probably treated the pets of several generations of Casa Linda, Casa View, and Lochwood residents. …Maybe even some from Garland.

And now I know more about my mother’s veterinary clinic than she does!

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Sources & Notes

Top photo is on the wall of the Casa Linda Animal Clinic. I wish more businesses would post old photos like this. If the (very nice) staff saw me taking this photo of a photo this morning, they probably wondered what I was doing. I’m afraid I didn’t ask permission to reproduce it, so it seems only right that I direct you to their website if you live in the area and are looking for a veterinarian.

Photo of Roland C. Mallett (1920-2010) is from the 1943 Texas A&M yearbook; photo of Robert Weinberger (1922-2009) is from the 1942 yearbook. Both graduated in 1944.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News archives:

  • “Dallas Veterinarians Open Casa Linda Animal Hospital” (DMN, June 20, 1948) — with photo of newly constructed building
  • “And the Wall Came Tumbling Down” (DMN, July 28, 1951) — photo shows Dr. Mallett looking at a car that had crashed into the animal hospital (no people — or animals — were injured)

Current boundary map of Garland can be found here.

All photos and clippings are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Zap Those Extra Pounds Away in Mrs. Rodgers’ Electric Chair — 1921

ergotherapy_jewish-monitor_090921_detThrowing the switch in 3-2-1… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

While looking for something completely unrelated (which is always the best way to find unexpected things), I came across this full-page ad which appeared in the Sept. 9, 1921 edition of The Jewish Monitor (click to see a larger image):

ergotherapy_jewish-monitor_090921

Why Be Fat When
E R G O T H E R A P Y
WILL REDUCE YOU?

Within the last few years a method of automatic exercise, known as the Bergonie treatment, has found favor among physicians abroad in the treatment of obesity and other chronic disorders.

One advantage is that with the Sinusoidal current, which is employed, very powerful muscular contractions may be induced without pain or sensation other than that due to the muscular contraction itself.

The Treatment chair is the last word in comfort. It is fitted to meet the physiologic needs of the body as well as being comfortable. The arm and leg electrodes are wide and comfortably curved to fit the arms and legs of the patient easily. 

ERGOTHERAPY

The Kellogg-Bergonie System of Battle Creek, Mich., will reduce you just where you wish to be reduced. No drugs, exercise or inconvenience. We will reduce you from one (1) to three (3) pounds per treatment and improve your physical condition. Trained nurses in attendance (under a registered physician’s supervision).

Treatments by Appointment Only

Hours for Men, 8 A.M. to 1 P.M.
Hours for Women, 1 P.M. to 6 P.M.
Phone X 5759
Ruth Rodgers, Mgr.
1614 1/2 Main Street, Dallas, Texas.

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“The arm and leg electrodes are wide and comfortably curved” — there’s a line one doesn’t often encounter in an ad!

So what was this treatment of obesity that required “no drugs, exercise or inconvenience”? Well, basically, it was a low-voltage electric chair in which the naked, smock-draped “patient” reclined on wet towels and was covered with sandbags (which weighed up to 100 pounds). Electrodes were attached to the arms, legs, and abdomen. When the switch was flipped, electrically-provoked exercise began, and electric current caused muscular contractions (up to 100 a minute) without fatigue to the “exerciser.” All sorts of physiologic things were happening during these sessions, including a whole bunch of sweating. Patients would lose from 1 to 3 pounds during their time in the chair, hose themselves down and walk away refreshed.

Jean Albard Bergonié (1857-1925) was a French doctor/researcher/inventor who specialized in radiology in the treatment of cancer, and this odd electric chair was something of a departure from his oncology studies. It was used to treat a variety of ailments and conditions such as obesity, heart conditions, diabetes, “suppressed uric acid elimination,” and, later shell-shock. Professor Bergonié died in 1925 as the result of prolonged exposure to radium in his research to find a cure for cancer (in the years before his death, he had lost an arm and fingers to continual X-ray exposure). The Institut Bergonié continues in Bordeaux, France as a cancer research center.

So back to the chair. By the time of the 1921 ad above, Bergonié’s “ergotherapy” had become a weight-loss feature in beauty spas and salons. The ads I found mentioning the electric chair as something corpulent men and women of means might have seen in Dallas newspapers appeared between July and October of 1921, touting the miracle chair at Mrs. Ruth Rodgers’ beauty salon, The Old London Beauty Shoppe at 1614 ½ Main Street, a couple of doors from Neiman-Marcus.

ergotherapy_071721
July, 1921

I don’t know if it didn’t catch on or whether it just wasn’t mentioned in ads, but the chair made its final appearance in an Old London Beauty Shoppe ad in early October of the same year.

The splashiest news about Bergonié’s invention was a few months later, in early 1922, when it was revealed that the UK’s Queen Mary had availed herself of the chair in order to slim down in time for her daughter’s wedding, with Prof. Bergonié himself apparently operating the current flow. The best part of the lengthy and breathless article about the plump royal allowing herself to lie in this electric chair as she was rather unceremoniously weighted down with royal sandbags was this sentence:

[Mrs. David Lloyd George, the wife of the British prime minister] lost no time in telling Queen Mary all she knew about Professor Bergonie, the famous French ergotherapist, and his marvelous electric chair, which is said to jar fat from the human frame with the ease and almost the rapidity of a man peeling a tangerine.

Hey, I want that!

One would assume that sort of free publicity would be a boon to spas and salons offering State-side ergotherapy — I have a feeling Mrs. Rodgers had moved on by then and was probably kicking herself for concentrating on the more mundane treatment of wrinkles and sagging skin and the administering of marcel waves (her specialty).

Below, some views of The Chair over the years (all pictures larger when clicked).

ergotherapy_1913-medical-bk_ebay

Above, a drawing from a 1913 medical book, found here.

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ergotherapy_medical-record_050115

From the journal Medical Record, May 1, 1915.

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bergonie-chair_shell-shock_electrical-experimenter_feb-1919

A World War I soldier being treated for shell-shock, from The Electrical Experimenter (Feb. 1919), here (continued here).

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ergotherapy_012321
Jan., 1921

Ruth Rodgers was the proprietress of the Old London Beauty Shoppe (later the Old London School of Beauty Culture), which seems to have operated in Dallas from the ‘teens to at least the late-1930s. The location during the period of the ergotherapeutic chair was in the basement of 1614 Main Street.

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ergotherapy_dmn_081421
Aug., 1921

Mrs. Rodgers did it all. That might be her in the ad.

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ergotherapy_081421
Aug., 1921

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ergotherapy_082121
Aug., 1921

It’s a bit unusual seeing ads like this directed toward men.

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ergotherapy_san-francisco-chronicle_092521
San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 25, 1925

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queen-mary_1922

Above, a very Aubrey Beardsley-esque depiction of the “distressingly stout” Queen Mary, ready to undergo her course of treatments. Read the full, widely-circulated article from February, 1922, “Queen Mary’s Jarring Anti-Fat Ordeal; Yearning for a Girlish Figure to Grace Her Daughter’s Wedding, the Queen-Mother Got One by Sitting in an Electric Chair and Losing 3½ Pounds a Week,” here. (They don’t write headlines like that anymore….) The photo below, showing the control panel, was also part of the article.

queen-mary_1922_battery

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ergotherapy_ogden-standard-examiner_041826

The caption for this photo (which appeared five years after the cutting-edge Ruth Rodgers was offering it to Dallas patrons): “The new French electric chair on which one reclines in comfort while form-fitting electroids [sic] direct the fat-melting current, as demonstrated by Alice Harris, a stage beauty who must keep thin.” (Ogden Standard-Examiner, April 18, 1926)

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And, finally, to bring this back to Dallas, the location of Mrs. Rodgers’ Old London Beauty Shoppe in 1921 — 1614½ Main Street (basement) — is circled (this building was later the Everts Jewelry store before it moved across the street to the north side of Main). To the left is Neiman-Marcus, at the corner of Main and Ervay. (Full view of this postcard, from the collection of the DeGolyer Library, SMU, is here.)

1614-main_n-m_degolyer_smu_det

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Sources & Notes

Top photo is a detail from the ad below, which appeared in the Sept. 9, 1921 edition of The Jewish Monitor; it can be accessed via the Portal to Texas History, here.

Read a doctor’s account of just how Bergonie’s chair worked, in the article “Modern Treatment of Obesity” by Edward C. Titus (Medical Record, Jan. 24, 1920), here.

I’m not sure about the connection of this chair to J. H. Kellogg (the treatment in the ad was referred to as “The Kellogg-Bergonie System of Battle Creek, Mich.”). It appears that he and Bergonie might have developed similar chairs independently of one another and decided to form some sort of partnership — either by mutual agreement or court edict. Here is a photo of Kellogg’s “patented electrotherapy exercise bed” used in his Battle Creek sanitarium:

kellogg-chair
via Oobject (more Kellogg contraptions here)

And speaking of Mr. Kellogg, might I direct your attention to a previous Flashback Dallas post — “Electricity in Every Form — 1909” — here.

Click pictures for larger images

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Under the Paw of the Tiger: Taking the Cocaine, Morphine, and Opium “Cure” — 1890s

ad-dallas-ensor-institute_souv-gd_1894
“No cure, no pay…”

by Paula Bosse

In the 1890s, Dallas had a big cocaine problem. And a big morphine problem. And a big opium problem. In fact, the whole country did. Before the over-the-counter dispensing of these drugs was made illegal, they were easily obtained in any drugstore. Cocaine was especially cheap: a nickel or a dime (the equivalent of about two bucks in today’s money) could get you plenty. Things seem to have hit the breaking point in Dallas in 1892, with scads of lurid cautionary tales about crazed and doomed hopheads filling the papers, but the problem had been building for a while.

With this sudden surge in readily available opiates came a surge in institutions attempting to help the addicted kick their habit. Between 1893 and 1895 or 1896, there were three such places one could go to “take the cure” in Dallas: the Dallas Ensor Institute (which was located at what is now 1213 Elm Street, between Griffin and Field, where Renaissance Tower now stands), the Hagey Infirmary (in what is now the 2100 block of Main, just east of Pearl), and, most famously, the Keeley Institute (which for many years was on Hughes Circle in The Cedars, just south of Belleview, between S. Akard and S. Ervay). The first two  were gone after only a couple of years, but the Dallas branch of the then-famous Keeley Institute lasted in Dallas at a few different locations until at least 1936.

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The text of the 1894 Dallas Ensor Institute ad above:

No Gold – No Mineral
The Dallas Ensor Institute
For the Cure of
Liquor, Morphine, Cocaine
and Tobacco Habits
No. 287 Elm Street,
Opened in the City of Dallas on the 1st day of July, 1893, and has successfully cured Two Hundred and Sixty-Three people all told, who are to-day sober men with the exception of three.
We Guarantee a Cure in every case, to the entire satisfaction of the patient, or it COSTS HIM NOTHING
REMEMBER, NO CURE, NO PAY.
Consultation Free and Correspondence Solicited.
Address Lock Box 367.
C. B. BEARD, Manager
Call and see us

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The more widely known Keeley Institute opened in Dallas around 1895 (click ad for larger image).

keeley-institute_dmn_103195
Dallas Morning News, Oct. 31, 1895

The text is worth a read of its own:

keeley-institute_dmn_103195-det

It’s interesting that the Keeley ad and the Ensor ad both admit to being less than perfect in their success rate — to the tune of “three.” I wonder if they were the same three people?

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Even though the addiction rate was getting to be something of an epidemic — especially, it seems, among women — pharmacists were split on whether the city council should ban sales of these drugs except when ordered by a doctor. While all of them saw first-hand the hopeless addicts who came in every day proffering scrounged dimes, many were loath to lose the steady business — they were making a pretty good living. It wasn’t until about 1901 that the city council outlawed the sale of narcotics unless accompanied by a prescription; the State of Texas enacted a similar law four years later. Not that that stopped people from continuing to “hit the pipe” (a phrase I was surprised to see had been around in 1910), but it probably did save many lives in the days when addiction was not very well understood and was not very effectively treated.

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Sources & Notes

Dallas Ensor Institute ad from the Souvenir Guide of Dallas (Dallas: D. M. Anderson Directory Co., 1894).

Interested in more on a druggy Dallas?

  • See an ad for the Hagey Infirmary in my post “Hagey Infirmary, No Patient Too Frail — 1894,” here.
  • See my post “‘Delusions of Affability’ — Marijuana in 1930s Dallas,” here.
  • And, heck, see my other cocaine-related post, “New Year, New Teeth — 1877” — about a dentist who might have been dipping into his own medicine chest a little too frequently — here.
  • See the Dallas Morning News article “When Dope Sold Like Aspirin,” by Kenneth Foree (DMN, Sept. 5, 1951) for a really interesting look at Dallas during its first wave of drug problems. Imagine, if you will, the sight of a woman so in need of a fix that, despite having vehemently assured the druggist only moments earlier that the “medicine” she was purchasing was not for her, she began to lick the bottle before she even left the store. Cocaine is a hell of a drug….

A Dallas Morning News article which was cited by Kenneth Foree in the above article was this one, from 1887 (click to see a larger image):

morphine-habit_dmn_090587
DMN, Sept. 5, 1887

The song referenced in the Foree article mentioned above is “Take a Whiff on Me,” which Lead Belly — who played around Deep Ellum in the ‘teens and ’20s — recorded in the 1930s. One of the verses of the song sometimes called “Cocaine Habit Blues” has a Dallas shout-out: “Walked up Ellum and I come down Main / Tryin’ to bum a nickle just to buy cocaine / It’s oh, oh, baby take a whiff on me.” Hear his version of the song (and read the lyrics) here (the “Ellum” line is at the 1:29 mark).

Most images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Lt. Mary L. Roberts, The “Angel of Anzio” — The First Woman Awarded the Silver Star

silver-star_feb-22-1945Roberts (left) and two fellow Army Nurse Corps nurses receiving the Silver Star

by Paula Bosse

The opening paragraph from a chapter in Tom Brokaw’s book The Greatest Generation:

There are so many impressive numbers connected to World War II that it’s difficult for one or two to catch your eye. Here are a few that caught me by surprise: more than sixty thousand women served in the Army Nurse Corps. Sixteen died as a result of enemy action. Sixty-seven nurses were taken prisoner of war. More than sixteen hundred were decorated for bravery under fire or for meritorious service.

The chapter is titled “Mary Louise Roberts Wilson,” a profile of Mary L. Roberts, a Methodist Hospital nurse who enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps in 1942. She served with the 56th Evacuation Hospital Unit alongside many other medical professionals from Dallas (the unit — sometimes called the “Baylor Unit” — was organized by the Baylor University College of Medicine in Dallas). She knew she would be serving overseas in field hospitals in combat zones.

As far as seeing action, the worst of the worst for the 56th was on February 10, 1944 when their hospital tents on the Anzio beachhead in Italy were attacked by German long-range artillery shells for a full thirty minutes. Several operations were underway during the attack, and Roberts, the chief nurse of the operating tent, managed to keep a calm head and help to maintain as much order as possible.

“I wanted to jump under the operating table, but first we had to lower litter cases to the floor. Pieces of steel already were ripping through tents. There were four litters. I saw a patient on the operating table had his helmet near him so I put it over his head to give him that much protection.” (Mary L. Roberts, Dallas Morning News, Feb 23, 1944)

When the shelling ended, two enlisted men in the operating tent had been wounded, and elsewhere in the field hospital, two nurses had been killed and several other personnel wounded. As a result of their exceptional bravery, outstanding leadership, and “gallantry in action,” Roberts and two other nurses, 2nd Lt. Rita Virginia Rourke and 2nd Lt. Elaine Arletta Roe were awarded the Silver Star. No women had ever received the medal. As 1st Lt. Roberts had seniority, she was the first woman in history to be decorated for heroism in action.

Maj. General John P. Lucas surprised her and the other two nurses on Feb. 22, 1944 with an informal presentation of the medals at the same Anzio hospital that had been shelled only twelve days earlier. After the brief pinning ceremony, the nurses immediately returned to their duties, all feeling they were accepting acknowledgement for their team, not for themselves alone. Roberts spent 29 months overseas, and tended to more than 73,000 patients.

After the war, when Lufkin-native Mary Roberts returned home, she worked for almost 30 years as a nurse at a VA hospital in Dallas, and, rather late in life, she married fellow veteran Willie Ray Wilson. Mrs. Wilson died in 2001 at the age of 87. She was buried with full military honors.

roberts_texas-women-first_mcleroy_UTA1944 (Fort Worth Star-Telegram Archives, UTA)

roberts_dmn_022344-photo1944

roberts-cover_army-nurse_april-1944Presentation of the Silver Star at Anzio

roberts_obit-photoMary Roberts Wilson (1914-2001)

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Sources & Notes

Top photo and first quote from The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw (New York: Random House, 1998).

For an exceedingly detailed history of the 56th Evacuation Hospital Unit, with several photographs, see here.

Articles on Mary Roberts from The Dallas Morning News archives:

  • “Baylor Unit In Action” (DMN, Aug. 26, 1942): photo of unit, including Roberts, working around an operating table
  • “Dallas Nurse, Two Others Win Medals” (DMN, Feb. 23, 1944): “The award, denoting exceptional bravery went to Lt. Mary L. (Pinky) Roberts, 1205 North Bishop, Dallas, Texas, chief nurse in an operating room hit by shell fragments.”
  • “Nurses of Dallas Unit Serving at Anzio Doing Jobs Cheerfully Despite Many Hardships” by Wick Fowler (DMN, March 31, 1944)
  • “Ends Military Career: WWII Recalled By Heroic Nurse” (DMN, July 26, 1964): photo and interview with Mary Roberts Wilson on her retirement from the U. S. Army Reserve
  • “Happiness Is Being Part of a Team” by Jane Ulrich Smith (DMN, May 16, 1972), photo and interview, on her retirement from the Veterans Administration Hospital
  • “Compassion Revisited: Nurse Reunites With GI She Treated For Serious Injuries In WWII” (DMN, Nov. 4, 1999): a reunion with former patient Dewey Ellard of Mobile, Alabama, brought together by Tom Brokaw
  • “Distinguished Career In Medicine Followed — WWII Gallantry — VA Hospital Honors Longtime Nurse — Who Won Silver Star in ’44” (DMN, Nov. 6, 2001): interview with the then-87-year-old Mrs. Wilson, published two-and-a-half weeks before her death
  • “Mary Wilson, ‘Angel of Anzio,’ Dies at 87 — WWII Nurse Known For Kindness Was Decorated For Bravery Under Fire” (DMN, Nov. 24, 2001)

Other women who were honored in 1944 for heroism and achievement in the line of duty:

women_ww2_medals_FWST_082044Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Aug. 20, 1944

Click pictures and articles for larger images.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Old Parkland — 1950

parkland_aerial_1950_utsw_smThe *OLD* Old Parkland… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Fantastic aerial view of Parkland Hospital, looking south toward Reverchon Park (you can see the baseball diamond at the very top, just west of the old Turtle Creek pump station — now the Sammons Center — in the upper right corner). Maple is running north and south at the left of the photograph, Oak Lawn, east and west, just above the center.

Here’s the same view today.

maple-oak-lawn_google-earthGoogle Earth

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Sources & Notes

Photograph titled “Aerial view of Parkland Hospital on Maple with Southwestern Medical School adjacent,” is from the UT Arlington Special Collections Library, hosted on the UT Southwestern Archives Collection site, here. You can zoom in and see incredible magnified details here.

The photo was taken August 15, 1950, by an unknown photographer. It looks a lot like a photo by Squire Haskins, taken a couple of blocks south — see it in the previous Flashback Dallas post “Reverchon Park Flyover,” here.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

“Dallas … Undisputed Medical Center” — 1946

medical-centers_so-this-is-dallas_ca-1946_smSix of the city’s top facilities (click for larger image and caption)

by Paula Bosse

The photos above and the text just below are from a publication from about 1946 which was prepared for potential newcomers to the city in order to encourage them to move their businesses and/or residences to Dallas. This page focuses on the city’s superior medical centers, including Parkland Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital, Scottish Rite Crippled Children’s Hospital, Methodist Hospital, Bradford Memorial Hospital for Babies, and Baylor University Hospital.

medical-centers_so-this-is-dallas_ca-1946-text(click for larger image)

Locations of these and other “Hospitals and Dispensaries” can be found in this clipping from the 1946 Dallas city directory:

hospitals_1946-directory

 

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Photo collage and text from “So This Is Dallas,” edited by Mrs. E. F. Anderson (Dallas: The Welcome Wagon, ca. 1946); photographs by Parker-Griffith.

Hospital listings from the 1945-46 Worley’s Greater Dallas (Texas) City Directory.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

St. Paul’s Sanitarium — 1910

st-pauls_postcard_de-paul-univSt. Paul’s Sanitarium, located at Bryan & Hall (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

My posting has been infrequent as of late, due, in part, to obligations concerning a family member’s hospital stay. So, since I have a short time before I have to rush off to run errands and make visits, why not focus on a historic Dallas hospital?

St. Paul’s Sanitarium was opened in a small cottage on Hall Street in 1896 by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, but it soon moved to the new large H. A. Overbeck-designed building on Bryan Street in 1898. In 1927 the name changed to St. Paul’s Hospital, and in 1958, the name changed again, this time to St. Paul Hospital. The imposing building and annex (and whatever other structures were contained in the complex) were demolished in 1968.

Below are several wonderful photographs taken inside the sanitarium around 1910 by one of Dallas’ best photographers, C. E. Arnold. They are from the St. Paul Hospital Collection in the UT Southwestern Library (click links below photos to see info about each picture).

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st-pauls_nursing-stn_1910_utsw_smThe nursing station.

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st-pauls_mexican-ward_1910_utswThe “Mexican Ward” (as noted on the back of the photograph).

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st-pauls_sleeping-porch_1910_utswA patient ward on a screened-in sleeping porch.

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st-pauls_waiting-room_1910_utswA waiting room.

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st-pauls_xray-room_1910_utswThe x-ray room.

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st-pauls_nurses-library_1910_utswThe nurses’ library. (I LOVE this photo! Check out the crazy typewriter stand attached to the desk — I’ve never seen anything like that before.)

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st-pauls_student-nurses-dorm_1910_utswThe nurses’ dormitory on the top floor.

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st-pauls_mattress-sterilization-room_1910_utswAnd, my favorite, the ominous-looking mattress sterilization room in what appears to be a dungeon.

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st-pauls_flickr_coltera

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UPDATE: Check out some fantastic historic photos of the hospital and its nurses contained in this UT Southwestern Medical Center publication, “St. Paul University Hospital, A Legacy of Caring,” here.

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Top postcard is from the Vincentiana Postcard Collection, Special Collections and Archives, DePaul University Library, Chicago; it can be found here.

Bottom postcard, with the cheerful message from Edna, was found on Flickr, here.

All photographs are from the St. Paul Hospital Collection in the UT Southwestern Library. Other photos from this 1910 collection can be found here. (For fuller descriptions, click the linked text beneath the photos in this post.)

An interesting article on the photographer, Charles Erwin (C. E.) Arnold, and the technique used in capturing his interiors, can be found here.

A historical timeline of St. Paul’s can be found in a PDF here.

Wondering where St. Paul’s Sanitarium was located? It was at Bryan and Hall streets, across from Exall Park. Here is the location, from a 1919 map:

st-pauls_1919-map

All images larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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