Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: Newspapers

George Dahl’s Downtown Public Library Is Now the Home of The Dallas Morning News

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by Paula Bosse

Today is the official beginning of the next step in the history of the George Dahl-designed building at Commerce and Harwood which once housed the Dallas Public Library: after years of abandonment and deterioration, it is now the miraculously preserved and spiffed-up home of The Dallas Morning News! Read Robert Wilonsky’s valentine to the beautiful building — along with photos old and new — on the News site, here.

And while we’re at it, let’s look back to the beginnings of the building as the wonderfully modern Dallas Public Library in one of my very first Flashback Dallas posts, “George Dahl’s Sleek Downtown Library — 1955,” here.

Thank you, DMN, for saving and resuscitating this landmark Dallas building!

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Dallas Express — A Look Inside the Offices of the City’s Most Important Black Newspaper — 1924

dallas-express-bldg_dallas-express_0607242600 Swiss, home of The Dallas Express (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Without question, The Dallas Express (1892/3-1970) was the most important and most widely-read black-owned newspaper published for Dallas’ African-American community. In addition to stories of particular interest to its Dallas and Texas readership, it also covered national and international news, and in the Jim Crow era, when black Dallasites were rarely mentioned in white-owned newspapers except in crime reports, The Express reported on the people, the businesses, the churches, and the achievements of their large community. They also wrote about politics and issues of race and discrimination. One of the paper’s slogans was “A Champion of Justice, A Messenger of Hope.”

I’ve been interested in newspapers, journalism, and the actual physical process of printing newspapers for as long as I can remember, but until a couple of years ago, I was not aware of The Dallas Express, founded in 1892 by publisher/editor W. E. King. Discovering this paper and its stories about my hometown has been eye-opening. The Dallas Express is an important — and often overlooked — source of Dallas history. I love reading through issues of The Express because unlike white-owned papers of this period, it presents a realistic and human chronicle of the everyday lives of Dallas’ black men and women, something which was almost completely ignored by The Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Times Herald.

For many years, the offices of the Express were just north of Deep Ellum, at 2600 Swiss — at the corner of Good Street, about where Brad Oldham’s Traveling Man sculpture stands today. (I have a feeling the actual location was in the middle of what is now Good-Latimer. See the location on a 1921 Sanborn map here.) Happily, the Express printed a full-page ad for itself in the June 7, 1924 edition, so we can see what the Swiss Avenue building, its offices, and its production rooms looked like. These photos were taken by noted Dallas photographer Frank Rogers. (Apologies for the muddy quality of these photos — I’d love to see the crisp originals!)

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These photos show the Dallas Express offices as they looked in 1924, when the newspaper had already been in business for 32 years. The exterior of the two-story building can be seen in the photo at the top — standing next to a private residence. (Click photos to see larger images.)

Below, president and business manger (and, later, owner), C. F. Starks:

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The editor’s office (John W. Rice was the editor at this time and is, presumably, the man in the foreground):

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The business office:

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The composition room:

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The linotype department (I have written about my fascination with linotype machines here):

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And the press room:

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The text from the ad (this special “Pythian Edition”of the paper was printed to coincide with the 40th annual meeting of the Knights of Pythias):

“YOUR Paper,” The 5th Largest of its Kind in America, Commends The Knights of Pythias Along With All of the Other Fraternities Represented Here for Their WONDERFUL PROGRESS.

THE EXPRESS believes that much of the splendid success which has come to the Fraternities of Texas, has come because of the fact that they have told the public “well and often” about the benefits which they offer and the advantages which they bring. And too, this paper takes a great deal of PRIDE in the thought that it has helped to bring this to pass because it is the medium in Texas best fitted to tell the world about the PROGRESS of the institution of our State.

These views of our force and the equipment at our plant explain why we can guarantee “Distinctive Service” and “Meritorious Printing” to every one of our customers.

The 20,000 copies in this special issue will go to every corner of America and to some foreign countries. No other journal of the Race in the Southwest does this.

The Dallas Express Pub. Co. Solicits Your Patronage not because it is a Negro institution but because it can guarantee to you the sort of service that you need. No job too small for the greatest consideration. No order too big for us to fill.

TEXAS’ OLDEST AND LARGEST NEGRO NEWSPAPER AND PRINTING PLANT
In Dallas Since 1892
2600 Swiss Avenue

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The full-page ad:

dallas-express_060724_p8_full-page
Dallas Express, June 7, 1924

Another photo of the printing room appeared in an Express ad which ran in the paper the following week:

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Dallas Express, June 14, 1924

dallas-express_1923-directory
1923 Dallas directory

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Photos by Frank Rogers. Original prints might be in the Frank Rogers Collection at the Dallas Public Library, but nothing showed up when I searched the DPL database. Original crisp prints would be wonderful to see!

Photos appeared in the June 7, 1924 edition of The Dallas Express. The full newspaper can be found here. Only a few years’ worth of scanned issues of The Express are available on UNT’s Portal to Texas History site — mostly 1919-1924 — they can be accessed here.

Read about The Dallas Express at the Portal to Texas History, here; the Wikipedia entry is here.

Click photos to see larger images.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Blackie Sherrod: “The Most Plagiarized Man in Texas” — 1919-2016

blackie-sherrod_dmn-video

by Paula Bosse

Legendary sportswriter Blackie Sherrod died yesterday at the age of 96. My father was not a follower of sports, but I remember he read Blackie Sherrod’s columns because, along with other great, larger-than-life, and exceptionally talented DFW sportswriters such as Bud Shrake, Dan Jenkins, and Gary Cartwright, Blackie was — for want of a better word — a “literary” journalist whose style transcended his subject matter. His writing appealed to everyone who enjoyed and appreciated well-written and caustically funny forays into, around, over, and under the world of sports. Sports fans — and other sportswriters — loved the guy. And so did everyone else.

In the December 1975 issue of Texas Monthly, Larry L. King (forever known as the man who made more money from the best little whorehouse in Texas than any of the girls who plied their trade there) wrote a fantastic profile of Blackie (“The Best Sportswriter in Texas”), in which he described Blackie Sherrod as being “the most plagiarized man in Texas.” Sportswriters around the state routinely stole all of Blackie’s best lines and inserted them, unattributed, into their own columns. King himself admits he was one of the worst offenders. The lengthy profile is great. Great. Read it here.

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Sources & Notes

Watch a Dallas Morning News-produced video tribute to Blackie Sherrod from 2013.

The Dallas Morning News obituary — “Legendary News Sportswriter Blackie Sherrod Dies at 96” — written by Kevin Sherrington, is here.

Several of Blackie’s Sherrod’s books can be purchased online, here.

Moments after I posted yesterday’s photo of the Dallas Times Herald lobby, I read that Blackie had died. He must have walked through that lobby thousands of times. That was an odd bit of synchronicity.

Thanks, Blackie.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

“The Times Herald Stands For Dallas As a Whole”

dallas-times-herald-lobby_UTA_squire-haskinsCool and sleek (click for very large image)

by Paula Bosse

Above, the Dallas Times Herald lobby, in all its gleaming mid-century style.

And, below, its smart, crisp exterior.

dallas-times-herald-bldg_squire-haskins_uta

RIP, DTH. (And, yes, I’m still bitter.)

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Sources & Notes

Photos by Squire Haskins, from the Squire Haskins Photography, Inc. Collection, UTA Libraries, University of Texas at Arlington; more info on the interior photo is here; more on the exterior photo is here.

The Dallas Times Herald building was located in what is now a parking lot bounded by Pacific, Griffin, and Patterson.

Photos larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Dallas News Special: Fast Train to Denison — 1887

dallas-news-special_belo-collection_smuThe Dallas Morning News, full speed ahead! (Belo Collection, SMU)

by Paula Bosse

In October, 1885, The Galveston News decided to launch a sister publication in Dallas, The Dallas Morning News. They sent 26-year old George Bannerman Dealey to run it. Before that first month was up, go-getter Dealey had made a special arrangement with the Texas & Pacific railroad — “at considerable expense to The News” — to extend its route and pop into Dallas to pick up papers destined for its subscribers west of the city. (The photo at the top may or may not show that very first “Special Mail train.”)

news-train-fort-worth_dmn_102885DMN, Oct. 27, 1885 (click for larger image)

A year and a half later, The News one-upped itself and made the announcement that it would operate a special train to Denison — again, “at a vast expense.” This train would transport editions of the paper in the wee small hours in order to assure that The Dallas Morning News would actually BE a morning newspaper for as many of its subscribers as possible, whether they lived “within a block of the press” or a hundred miles away (DMN, Sept. 30, 1888). News-hungry Denisonians could read their papers over breakfast at the same time their Dallas counterparts did.

news-train_dmn_052287DMN, May 22, 1887

The train was dubbed by some “The Comet” (not to be confused with the MKT’s later Katy Komet). It was a “fast train” that carried passengers as well as newspapers along the Houston and Texas Central rails.

ad-special-news-train_dmn_052287-det

ad-special-news-train_dmn_052287-det2DMN, May 22, 1887

Not only was this a clever way to extend its reach and expand its circulation, but, as the Handbook of Texas notes, it also “enabled the paper to meet the threat of the St. Louis newspapers, which in 1885 had a larger circulation in North Texas than did any state paper.”

A rousing account of the first Dallas-to-Denison run appeared in the pages of both The Dallas News and The Galveston News (which often shared content). A link to that full story is below, but here are a few passages from an article written the next year, touting the wondrous success of the News Special, written as only a nineteenth-century newspaperman could write it (and the writer might well have been G. B. Dealey himself).

First, one encounters a mention of Plano in a more grandiose combination of words than one might expect, as the writer describes his pleasant pre-dawn train trip along the route.

Plano was reached before the drowsy god of day had wiped his eyes at the first yawn. He rolled over in his couch by the time it reached McKinney, and he was sitting on the side of it when the train was at Melissa. And here the mocking birds, with no ruddier iris upon their breast, but moved with the spirit that makes the burnished dove mourn out his love, made the air resonant with their chatter and their songs. Into Sherman and Denison the train plunged and the trip was done.

Um, yes. Then he breaks it down in a little more specifically. Actually a LOT more specifically.

It starts. Two minutes are consumed at the Missouri Pacific crossing five miles out, two minutes at Caruth’s, five minutes for water, two minutes at Richardson, two minutes at the Cotton Belt crossing, three minutes at Plano, two minutes at Allen, three minutes at McKinney, two minutes at Melissa, fifteen minutes at Anna for a meeting point, three minutes at Van Alstyne, two minutes at Howe, five minutes at Sherman. Total forty-eight minutes. The distance between Sherman and Dallas is sixty-four miles. The time card calls for two hours and five minutes from Dallas to that point. Forty-eight minutes is consumed in stoppages. Anyone can make the calculations, sixty-four miles in seventy-seven minutes, and see the terrific speed that this train makes, has made for over a year, and made it without a single accident, and it is a good road — an awful good road — to make it over.

And then he congratulates his employer on giving even its most distant readers “an even whack.”

Is there anything like this in the history of newspapers? True, some of them in the north run special trains on special occasions, but THE NEWS stands without a rival in this sustained work of giving its remote patrons an even whack with its people of the city. (–The Dallas Morning News, Sept. 30, 1888)

Below, a train identified as this H&TC News Special to Denison, even though it looks remarkably similar to the T&P train (in the photo above) which may or may not have been that earlier 1885 mail train to Fort Worth. Dealey is identified as the man in the light-colored suit, standing on the steps (he also resembles the man in the top photo, but now with a full beard).

dallas-news-special_train-to-denison_1887_mcafee_degolyer_SMU

The train would slow down as it neared a small-town depot, and, without stopping, a man would toss bundles of papers from the train into the waiting arms of another man on the platform, who would then divide them up and hand them off to men and boys on horseback who would race to deliver them to stores and homes before breakfast.

The Dallas Morning News ran its hot-off-the-presses newspapers up to Denison for several decades on this train until, presumably, cheaper trucks were pulled into action. But did the rather less romantic trucks, rattling up to Grayson County, inspire the mockingbirds to “[make] the air resonant with their chatter and their songs” as had the noble locomotive speeding the news through the night? I think not.

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Sources & Notes

Top photo, titled “The Dallas Morning News special train,” is from the Belo Records, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; it can be viewed here. It’s a bit confusing, but this may show the inaugural run of the DMN’s special train to Fort Worth on May 22 ,1885, along the Texas & Pacific Railway. If anyone has suggestions on where this photo may have been taken, please let me know.

I came across a cropped version of the second photo in the March, 1976 issue of Texas Historian, with the caption: “The Comet, Dallas News special train operated between Dallas and Denison in 1887. G. B. Dealey, then Dallas News business manager, stands on first car platform.” The version seen above is from the George A. McAfee photographs collection, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University here; it is titled ”The Dallas News Special (H&T.C.).”

If you’re into trains (and even if you’re not), you might enjoy reading the following three stories from The Dallas Morning News:

  • “Special  Mail Service, Observations of a Staff Correspondent Along the Route” (DMN, Oct. 27, 1885), describing the new Fort Worth route and how The News convinced (i.e. paid) the Texas & Pacific Railway to include a stop in Dallas to load up on newspapers and haul them westward, can be read here.
  • “The News in North Texas, The Special Mail Train Service” (DMN, May 23, 1887), a rousingly written ride-along narrative, is here. (I would advise more fragile readers to skip to the next paragraph when they come across mention of a cute little calf — nineteenth-century journalism is not for the overly sensitive.)
  • “News Special Train, Between Dallas and Denison Before Day, Remarkable Record, But the Following Cheerful Narrative Tells the Whole Story, Extending Over Sixteen Months, Over Fifty Miles an Hour” (DMN, Sept. 30, 1888), another genuinely exciting and poetic account of the special train and its crew, again, probably written by Dealey, can be read here. The few sentences that are illegible at the bottom of the first column: “He rang it with jerks in town, he rang it clangingly at crossings, but away out in the solitudes of the country, softly and gently he would peal it slowly, as if he had quit; softly as if his head had dropped upon his bosom. Lyerly is promoted now. Lasher is on the regular passenger train, and R. R. Roe has beautifully and [evenly?] taken his place. But Gentry still sits upon his old seat on the right hand side and watches growing into beefhood the….” 

Click photos and clippings to see larger images.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Hot Lead: Linotype Machines at The Dallas Morning News — 1914

dmn_linotype_belo-coll_degolyer_1914Etaoin Shrdlu not pictured (click for larger image) SMU photo

by Paula Bosse

Above, a photograph by Charles E. Arnold showing the Dallas Morning News “machine room” in 1914, in which we see several Linotype machines and their operators. I have no technological aptitude, but, for some reason, I have been fascinated by elaborate machines like these my whole life. Even though computers long ago made these “hot metal” typesetting machines obsolete, it’s still kind of thrilling to see once-revolutionary contraptions in everyday use. I’m sure it was a deafening and monotonous job, but I’d love to have had the chance to operate one of those machines just once and churn out my own slugs of hot type. I love this photo, and it has lots of interesting things to zoom in on (click for larger images).

lino-1

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lino-3

lino-4

linotype

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Sources & Notes

This photo is titled “Machine room at opening of Mechanical Building,” taken by Charles Erwin Arnold in 1914; it is from the Belo Records collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University. I have had to tweak the color, because my image editor tends to turn the warm tones of the original into a harsh yellow — see a scan of the original photograph here.

See additional photos of linotype machines used at The Dallas Morning News, from the Belo/DeGolyer Library collection, here.

I lived in England for a couple of years, and while there, I was given an intensive lesson on the elaborately arcane rules of cricket. I finally understood the game perfectly! …for one day. Today I immersed myself in all-things linotype, and I completely understand how the machines worked. I’ll probably forget this by tomorrow, but today … YES! And it’s absolutely fascinating. You, too, can understand how they worked:

  • The Wikipedia entry is very clearly written — check it out here.
  • An industrial film from 1960 — viewable here — is WONDERFUL. Yes, it’s over 30 minutes long, but if you love stuff like this, the time will fly by! Seriously — it’s incredibly well-done.
  • In a video on YouTube — seen here — you can watch a retired linotype operator type on a (malfunctioning) WWII-era machine. (Imagine how loud an entire room of these machines would be.)

Another look at the linotype at work can be seen in the short film “Farewell, Etaoin Shrdlu,” which documents the last issue of The New York Times using Linotype machines (in 1978) — you can watch it here.

Also worth watching is the recent entertaining documentary “Linotype: The Film” — you can watch a trailer here.

Don’t know the significance of “etaoin shrdlu”? I didn’t either until about an hour ago. Wikipedia to the rescue, here.

A very entertaining article to check out in the Dallas Morning News archives: “‘etaoin shrdlu’ The Mystic Symbol” by George Gee (DMN, April 12, 1925). In it Gee wondered what this exotic and mysterious “etaoin shrdlu” phrase could mean, going so far as to interview local “experts.” He obviously knew the secret, but he never did divulge it to his readers. Very entertaining. (As are the accompanying Jack Patton illustrations.)

All images larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

How To Access the Historical Dallas Morning News Archive

lintel-pediment_dmn-bldg_belo_smu_1930sThe old Dallas Morning News building  (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

(UPDATED Sept. 11, 2018. This continues to be one of the most popular and most frequently accessed of all Flashback Dallas posts. The online DMN archives — via the Dallas Public Library website — is frequently updated/redesigned. I try to update this page after each potentially confusing update. Scroll down for step-by-step instructions on how to access the DMN archives.)

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Yesterday I wrote about how I tracked down the location of a photograph with very little information to go on. I hesitated to include the step-by-step process I used to discover the location, because I was afraid that it would be a little too tediously arcane for most people. But, apparently I was wrong. I’ve been surprised by how popular the post has become. It’s gotten many more hits than most Flashback Dallas posts usually do. I’ve seen it shared all over Facebook, and it’s generated more comments and emails than I expected. It’s gratifying that people seem to be interested in the actual process of historical research. Even though I don’t necessarily consider myself a historian (I studied Art History in college, and my background is in bookselling), I’m happy to be able to share historical events and forgotten local tidbits with an audience that finds them as interesting as I do. I consider myself a writer and researcher, and sometimes all the fun is in the researching.

Since I began this blog in February of 2014, I’ve been asked several times how I access the Dallas Morning News archive. Without question, the DMN is the single most valuable resource in the study of Dallas history. Years ago, one would have had to trudge to a library and crank up a microfilm or microfiche reader. Luckily, we are in the digital age, and every edition of the DMN from 1885 to the end of 1984 has been scanned and digitized and can be viewed from the comfort of one’s own home. (Also available in this database are various Fort Worth newspapers — from The Fort Worth Register to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram — from at least 1897 to 1990, which is, of course, very handy!) You can view the paper page by page, article by article, photo by photo, comic strip by comic strip, ad by ad. It’s incredible. You’ll get lost in it for hours. Want to know what was going on 100 years ago today? Easy! Here’s the front page of the DMN from July 30, 1915:

front-page_dmn_073015DMN, July 30, 1915

So how do you do it? First off, you have to live in the city of Dallas — bad news for those of you living outside the city limits, I’m afraid. (UPDATE: THERE IS A WAY FOR NON-RESIDENTS TO ACCESS THE ARCHIVE — FOR A MONTHLY FEE. SEE UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF THIS POST.) For those of us who do live inside the city limits, not only can we access the database whenever we want, but it’s also FREE. All you need is a Dallas Public Library card (information on how to get a free card is here; the DPL’s FAQ is here).

So your first step is to get a library card. Once you have a card, go to the Dallas Public Library site’s “My Account” page, here, to sign up for the free account. You’re now ready to plunge in.

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HOW TO ACCESS THE “DALLAS MORNING NEWS ARCHIVES”

  • Log in to your Dallas Public Library account.
  • Click on “DATABASES.”
  • Scroll down, click on “MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS & JOURNALS.”
  • Scroll down, click on “DALLAS MORNING NEWS ARCHIVE.”
  • This gets you to a screen where you can search through DMN archives from 1885 to 1984 (results will show scanned images/articles as they appeared in the newspaper when originally published), as well as DMN archives for articles published after 1984 (these results will be text-only — no images). Wave goodbye to big chunks of time as you sit in front of your computer searching and reading and searching and reading.

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ACCESS FORT WORTH PAPERS ONLY:

  • Follow the instructions above. When you reach the main search page, click “Fort Worth Star-Telegram” under “SHORTCUTS” in the left column. This brings up archives for both the FWST as well as The Fort Worth Register. Full scans are available for editions published between 1897 and 1990; after that, it’s text-only.

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ACCESS THE FULLY SCANNED “HISTORICAL” DALLAS AND FORT WORTH PAPERS SIMULTANEOUSLY:

  • Follow the steps above. When you reach the main search page, at the top of the left column, under “Search by” click “COLLECTION,” then click on “America’s Historical Newspapers” — you can now search the fully scanned Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Register, and Fort Worth Telegram/Star-Telegram, going back to 1885.

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ACCESS OTHER TEXAS AND U.S. NEWSPAPERS: To search other (text-only) newspapers (almost none of which go back more than 10 or 15 years), see the options in the left column after having reached the main search page. Consider filters where you can pick several papers to search at once, excluding those that you don’t need. It’s always confusing after a major re-do of a site, so you just have to play around with it until you figure out how everything works. …Then have everything change again when you finally get comfortable with it.

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Note: I find it easiest to SET THE “SORT” OPTION TO “CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER” (so that the results are shown from oldest to most recent) — the default is “Best Matches First” which drives me crazy because the first match is rarely the best, and everything is out of order.

Note: The difference between the “historical” and post-1984 Dallas Morning News archives is that the “historical” (1885-1984) search results include images of fully scanned editions of the newspaper — you see everything the way it looked in the actual newspaper: you can see entire pages as well as individual articles, photos, illustrations, comic strips, ads, classifieds, etc. You do not see any of this in the post-1984 results — the information is still useful, but it’s not as interesting and, maddeningly, not as comprehensive. I tend to use one or the other, otherwise, too many non-applicable results are returned.

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It takes a good bit of time to figure out how to use the search engine quickly and effectively — it has a lot of weird little idiosyncrasies that can cause you to miss out on lots of things you’re searching for (apostrophes, initials, and numbers can be extremely problematic) — but once you start to wander around, you’ll be amazed at what an incredible treasure trove is at your fingertips.

Thank you, Dallas Public Library and Dallas Morning News!

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Sources & Notes

Photo at top: “Lintel and pediment above doorway, Commerce St. entrance,” ca. 1930s, from the Belo Records collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; photo and details are here.

The best newspaper database for those interested in Texas history is UNT’s Portal to Texas History Texas Digital Newspaper database, here. They have tons of scanned and digitized historical Texas newspapers (excluding The Dallas News), AND it’s free and available to everyone. Below are a few of their offerings of particular interest to Dallasites:

  • The Dallas Herald — absolutely ESSENTIAL for Dallas goings-on between 1855 and 1887, here
  • The Southern Mercury, the agriculturally-leaning paper published in Dallas, 1888-1907, here
  • The Dallas Express — a newspaper printed by and for the city’s African-American community — ALSO essential — sadly, only the years 1919-1924 have been scanned, here
  • The Jewish Monitor — published in Fort Worth, serving the DFW (and Texas) Jewish community, 1919-1921, here
  • The Texas Jewish Post, 1950-2011, here

Check out all the Texas newspapers UNT has scanned: go to the Advanced Search page and scroll down the “Collections” menu bar to see the full list.

**If you need some research done, I might be able to help. I have access to several resources and am pretty thorough. Let me know what you’re looking for and inquire on hourly rates by clicking the “Contact” tab at the top of the page.**

Enjoy!

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7/31/15 — UPDATE: GENEALOGYBANK.COM — HOW TO ACCESS THE HISTORICAL DALLAS MORNING NEWS ARCHIVE IF YOU ARE NOT A DALLAS RESIDENT: While looking for something completely unrelated, I came across a comment by someone who said he accessed the Dallas Morning News archives — historical and modern — through a site called GenealogyBank.com. It sounds like something similar to Ancestry.com where you are given access to several different types of resources used in genealogical research. The website indicates the cost is $19.95/month or $69.95/year. There is a free 30-day trial (but if you don’t cancel it and explicitly tell them you are canceling, they will automatically charge you and you will NOT get your money back). This is the first I’ve ever heard of this site, so I have no idea whether it’s good or bad. (The parent company of GenealogyBank is NewsBank, the company that manages the DMN archive accessible through the Dallas Public Library.) I did ask on a Dallas history group tonight, and a trusted member said that he uses it all the time. He posted a few screenshots, and it’s very similar to the archive accessed through the library’s website. For those interested, you might want to try the free trial to see if it’s something you’d be interested in subscribing to. This is pretty cool, because it offers people who live outside the city limits the ability to access the DMN archives for a relatively small fee each month. I am not promoting or endorsing this site because I had never even heard of it until an hour or two ago. I’d love to hear feedback from people who try it out. The Genealogy Bank website is here. A review of the site from About.com is here. I encourage you to check other consumer sites for pros and cons. I hope this is helpful for those of you who, for some reason, choose to live away from Dallas!

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Copyright © 2015-2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Newsboy

newsboy_RPPC_ebay_sm“Nickel a copy, mister.” (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

In 1912, The Dallas Morning News reported that there were over 700 newsboys in the city of Dallas, over 200 messenger boys, and “hundreds of other working boys between the ages of 6 and 17” (DMN, July 19, 1912). Some of these boys were working to help out their families, but many were homeless. Child labor was a major concern throughout the country, and most larger cities, such as Dallas, had “newsie homes” and associations to look after the interests of the boys.

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Newsboy photo found on eBay.

To read “Story of a Street Waif” (DMN, Dec. 22, 1912) — a somewhat Dickensian fictionalized account of a resilient Dallas newsboy written by Mrs. M. L. Kauffman (Sam Houston’s granddaughter, the former Margaret Belle Houston) — click here.

Photographer Lewis Wickes Hine had perhaps the greatest impact on the reform of child labor laws. Hine traveled the country photographing and interviewing working children in order to put a human face to a growing problem. Some of his photos can be seen here; his Wikipedia entry is here.

Some of Hine’s Dallas photos (and stories about the children) can be found on Joe Manning’s SevenSteeples.com site, here.

Photos of newsboys from previous Flashback Dallas posts can be found here.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Lively Street Life Outside the Dallas Morning News Building — ca. 1900

dmn-bldg-c1900-degolyer_smuCommerce & Lamar (click for larger image) (DeGolyer Library, SMU)

by Paula Bosse

A photo showing the bustling streets surrounding the newly-expanded Dallas Morning News building, back when it was located at Commerce and Lamar streets. Below, a closer look at turn-of-the-century pedestrian traffic. Click pictures for larger images.

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dmn-bldg-det1I love the man on the far left … contemplating posting a few illicit bills?

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dmn-bldg-det2Those curbs!

dmn-bldg-det3Journos.

dmn-bldg-det4A woman either stooped by age or bending over to pick something up, a woman with a carpet bag, and a high-off-the-ground buggy which illustrates one reason those curbs needed to be so high.

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Photo titled “The Dallas Morning News building, Commerce & Lamar” from the Belo Records 1842-2007 collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; it can be viewed here.

Other views of the building from 1900 can be seen in these posts:

  • “Loitering In Front of The Dallas Morning News Building — ca. 1900, here
  • “The Dallas Morning News Building, Inside and Out — ca. 1900,” here

More posts where I’ve zoomed in on historic Dallas photos can be found here.

Click pictures for larger images.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

JFK Aftermath: Chaos at the City Desk — 1963

JFK_DTH_newsroom2_portalIt was all-hands-on-deck for a shocked and solemn Times Herald staff, 11/22/63.

by Paula Bosse

Photos of Dallas Times Herald reporters in the newsroom on November 22, 1963, scrambling for information after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the biggest news story of their careers — the biggest news story in the history of Dallas.

JFK_DTH_newsroom3_portal

JFK_DTH_newsroom1_portal

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Photos (by an unidentified DTH staff photographer) are from the Sixth Floor Museum’s Dallas Times Herald Collection, accessible through the Portal to Texas History. Other photos of no doubt shocked reporters in the DTH newsroom who were probably running completely on instinct and adrenaline that day are here (click thumbnails for larger images).

Identification of DTH reporters and other staff pictured above is welcomed.

Click pictures for larger images.

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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