Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: Postcards

Two Postcard Views of a Growing Dallas

skyline_dallas-texas_rppc_postcard_ebayThere’s a church, and a bank, and a bank, and a bank…

by Paula Bosse

A couple of quickies: these are two really nice postcards which popped up recently on eBay — I’d never seen them before.

Above, a lovely, creamy, glowing shot of the skyline. I recognize several of the buildings, but I’m not sure where the photographer was positioned. I’m sure a smart person will put the location in the comments.

And below, a great image of the “Dallas-Oak Cliff viaduct,” looking toward the city. There’s even a Volk’s billboard to welcome visitors.

oak-cliff-viaduct_rppc_ebay

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Sources & Notes

Both postcards found on eBay.

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Copyright © 2022 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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

birds-eye_ebay

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.

Miscellaneous Postcards

tx-centennial_praetorians_postcard_ebay

by Paula Bosse

I’ve seen so many Dallas postcards that it’s always a little bit of a jolt when I see one I’ve never seen before, like the one above. The Praetorians Life Insurance exhibit was inside the Varied Industries building (below). So much is written about the architecture of Fair Park — but we don’t hear a lot about the interiors. I don’t think there are many color photos in existence. This is a colorized image, but the colors in real life were pretty vibrant. Even the floors were fantastic! One of my favorite “finds” was the ad at the top of the post “State Fair Coliseum/Centennial Administration Building/Women’s Museum/Women’s Building” — it’s a color photo (!) which shows glimpses of the interior, the furniture, and, best of all, the custom linoleum.

tx-centennial_varied-industries-bldg_postcard_pinterestvia Pinterest

And speaking of the Fair Park Coliseum, this is a great postcard (with a 1911 postmark):

fair-park_coliseum_postcard_postmarked-1911_ebay

And here’s the Magnolia Building — it never gets old:

magnolia-bldg_postcard_postmarked-1955_eaby

The “new” Cotton Exchange Building, at St. Paul and San Jacinto (I wrote about the old and new Cotton Exchange buildings here — scroll down to #4):

cotton-exchange_new_postcard_ebay

Highland Park Presbyterian Church (circa 1940s): 

highland-park-presbyterian-church_postcard_ebay

The Inn of the Six Flags — along the DFW turnpike in Arlington. I’d never seen this postcard — and the resolution is pretty bad — but I post this almost entirely to drink in that unbelievably pastoral view of 1960s Arlington.

inn-of-the-six-flags_postcard_ebay

Here’s another view:

inn-of-the-six-flags_pool_postcard_portal_dallas-heritage-villagevia Dallas Heritage Village

A bird’s-eye view of the Stemmons Corridor, with handy labels:

magnificent-big-d_postcard_ebay

And, lastly, a cool view of a cool skyline:

big-d_color_jack-saunders_ebay

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Sources & Notes

Unless otherwise noted, all postcards found on eBay.

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Copyright © 2022 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Two Men, Two Steeds, Two Derbies: A Nice Ride Through City Park — 1907

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by Paula Bosse

Out for a leisurely ride through the park. Have derby, will travel. 

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Sources & Notes

This real-photo postcard from January, 1907 was addressed to 19-year-old Gussie Holland, then studying in Maryland. Gussie was the daughter of the Dallas publisher and former mayor, Franklin Pierce Holland. Found on eBay.

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Copyright © 2022 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Main Street, West Toward the Clock Tower

main-street-west-from-st-george-hotel_ebayEnjoy it while you can…

by Paula Bosse

A nice view of Main Street, looking west toward the probably pretty new courthouse (built in 1892). Streetcars, the St. George Hotel, the North Texas Building, the Trust Building. Much the same shot is seen in this photo from 1954 (more buildings, less sky).

I hope citizens back then weren’t getting too attached to that beautiful clock tower, because it would go bye-bye in April, 1919 after it had been determined that it might be on the verge of collapse. 

From The Dallas Morning News, Jan. 22, 1919:

COURTHOUSE TOWER IS ORDERED REMOVED

Believing the courthouse tower to be a nuisance to the safety of persons in the building, the Commissioners Court yesterday ordered H. A. Overbeck, architect, to prepare specifications for its removal. The tower will be leveled off even with the balcony.

Mr. Overbeck recently made an inspection of the tower, reporting that while there is no immediate danger, it is altogether advisable that the tower be demolished, as a strong windstorm might cause it to collapse. The walls have numerous cracks in them, the sandstone is disintegrating in places, and some of the iron supports are rusted and deteriorating, he said.

The work of removing the tower will begin as soon as Mr. Overbeck can complete the necessary plans.

It wasn’t even 30 years old. The tower came down a few months later at a cost to the county of $10,000 (the equivalent today of about $153,000). 

From The Dallas Morning News, April 20, 1919:

COST $10,000 TO REMOVE COURTHOUSE TOWER

The work of razing the courthouse tower was completed this week, and workmen yesterday began tearing down the scaffold and improvised elevator shaft which had been erected to facilitate the removal of the large quantity of stone and steel contained in the old tower.

It is estimated that there were close to 75 tons of material in the tower. It cost the county $10,000 to have it removed.

75 tons!

But, oh dear — it looked bad without the tower. Real bad. …I mean REAL bad.

old-red-courthouse_no-clock-tower_postcard_ebayYikes

But, thankfully, the Dallas County Courthouse got a brand new clock tower in 2007, and Old Red looks beautiful again!

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Sources & Notes

Images from eBay.

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Miscellaneous Dallas #2

rainbow-restaurant_tichnor-bros-collection_boston-public-libraryOpen 24 hours, plenty of free parking…

by Paula Bosse

And now, a bunch of homeless, random images (all are larger when clicked).

Above, the 24-hour Rainbow Restaurant, 1627 N. Industrial at Irving Blvd. Below, its menu.

rainbow-restaurant_ad_dec-19511951

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Thomas Confectionery, 1100 Elm Street. “Largest Confectionery In the State.” Popular date spot with the pre-flapper generation.

thomas-confectionary_postcard_1911_sam-rayburn-house-museum-via-portal1911 (via Portal to Texas History)

thomas-confectionery_0915121912. Dallas Morning News want-ad

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Fair Park Church of God in Christ, 1036 S. Carroll Ave.

fair-park-church-of-god-in-christ_1974_USC-libraries 1974 (via USC Libraries)

And it’s still standing! (I love that the curb tiles are still there.)

fair-park-church-of-god-in-christ_google-street-view-20172017 (via Google Street View)

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The Knox Street Business District, pre-Central Expressway. …Way pre.

knox-street-business-district_1932-smu-rotunda1932 (via SMU Rotunda)

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A. Harris & Co. — Texas Centennial Commemorative Paper (gift wrap?).

tx-centennial_a-harris_gift-paper_elm-fork-echoes_april-1986_portal-tx-hist1936 (via Portal to Texas History)

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The Lakewood Country Club (see it before the landscaping in this photo from this post).

lakewood-country-club_postcard_ebay(via eBay)

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The McFarland Drug Co., 598 Elm, at Hawkins, in Deep Ellum (later became 2424 Elm).

mcfarland-drug-co_hints-to-housekeepers_degolyer_SMU_19051905 (via DeGolyer Library, SMU)

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The Lyric Theatre, 364 Elm, near Stone (later 1602 Elm).

lyric-theater_degolyer-lib_SMU_dallas-theaters_nd1907-ish (via DeGolyer Library, SMU)

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Dudley M. Hughes Funeral Home, 400 E. Jefferson Blvd, Oak Cliff.

dudley-hughes-funeral-home_tichnor-bros_boston-public-library(via Tichnor Bros. Collection, Boston Public Library)

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“A Drive in White Rock Valley.” Before the lake.

white-rock-valley_postcard_1912_ebay(via eBay)

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Sources & Notes

Rainbow Restaurant postcard is from the Tichnor Bros. Postcard Collection, Boston Public Library.

See the first installment of “Miscellaneous Dallas” here.

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Lutheran Ministers Visit Dallas — 1911

open-streetcar_rppc_1911_ebayBest way to see the sights of 1911 Dallas…

by Paula Bosse

I’m always a sucker for photos of streetcars. I’m not sure I’ve seen one quite as open as this one.

This image was featured on a real-photo postcard — below the photo, the sender had written “Conference at Dallas, Texas. Sept. 8-12, 1911.”

The card was addressed to Miss Sidonie Wissmann in Matson, Missouri and was mailed from Palacios, Texas on Oct. 11, 1911.

Dear Sidonie,

Here you have a postal of Dallas, Tex. We are all on that “special” car taking a trolley ride through Dallas on a hot afternoon. If you wish to see me, look at the sixth seat from the front end of the car.

You must have some pretty cold weather up there. Saturday at about noon, the wind began to blow from the north. It grew stronger, and Sat. night it was pretty cool. I was at Francita’s [?] staying with Mr.  Luebben.  My bed was just before the north window. The wind blew with great force. The window was open. Instead of closing the window, I clung to the covers that were there (a thin quilt and a white spread) to keep them from flying away. I put everything but my face under the covers. So I lay in the north wind all night. Those “Northers” are feared by these southern people. I did not take cold. But several people were holding their nose the next day. When I left for Blessing in the P.M. I saw one man at the depot have a bad cold. Monday night I closed my windows in Palacios.

Some curious news!! Here you are: On account of the bad connections, I walked from Blessing to Palacios Monday A.M. 8:30-11:30. Twelve miles!! Hard work.

–Fred–

I checked The Dallas Morning News to see what kind of conference was held in Dallas in September, 1911 — it was the Texas State pastoral conference of the Missouri evangelical Lutheran synod. One of the 60 Lutheran ministers in attendance was Rev. F. H. Stelzer (Fred Stelzer), fresh out of seminary in Missouri — in fact, he was so fresh out of seminary that he had been ordained for only two weeks when he visited Dallas and wrote his sweetheart this card.

Fred Stelzer (1888-1978) and Sidonie Wissmann Stelzer (1888-1950) eventually married and had 8 children. They lived in Thorndale, Texas where Fred was the pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church for 40 years. But when he was a newly ordained 23-year-old minister, he visited Dallas where he rode a cool “special” streetcar to see the sights,and spent a miserable night trying to sleep in a freezing-cold room with an open window, under nothing more than a thin quilt and a white spread.

lutheran-tour_dmn_091111Dallas Morning News, Sept. 11, 1911

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Sources & Notes

Real photo postcard found on eBay.

open-streetcar_rppc_1911_ebay_sm

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Kennedy Memorial and the County Courthouses — Early 1970s

kennedy-memorial_courthouses_postcard

by Paula Bosse

A view of the new John F. Kennedy Memorial, the not-new Old Red Courthouse, and the not-old-but-not-really-new “new” County Courthouse, in a postcard photo by Bob Glander.

The text on the back of the postcard reads:

The old and the  new County Courthouses with the Kennedy Memorial. The new Courthouse was dedicated Feb. 4, 1966 and the Kennedy Memorial June 24, 1970, Dallas, Texas. Photo by Bob Glander.”

See the same view — from Main and Market — today, via Google Street View, here.

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Sources & Notes

Postcard found somewhere online.

Previous Flashback Dallas posts with images to compare imagined and actual views of the “Courthouse Complex”:

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Copyright © 2020 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

George Dahl’s Proposed Massive “Lone Star” Entrance to Fair Park

tx-centennial_proposed-lone-star_george-dahl_dma-catalog_1972_portalWhat could have been at Fair Park: a really, really big star…

by Paula Bosse

As this year’s State-Fair-of-Texas-that-wasn’t draws to a virtual end, I thought I would post this image I came across a while ago — I’d never seen it before, and it’s something of a mystery. It appeared in a 1972 Dallas Museum of Art exhibition catalog called “1930s Expositions” (link at bottom of post). One of the expositions covered in the catalog was the Texas Centennial Exposition held at Fair Park in 1936. Most of the buildings we see today were built in 1935/1936, and the entire sprawling project was led by visionary chief architect George L. Dahl of Dallas. The description of this image reads:

“The monumental scale of the central area of the Exposition was set by the massive pylons which formed the entrance to the Centennial. How even more heroic would have been George Dahl’s proposed ‘Lone Star’ entrance.”

Whoa! Can you imagine that gigantic star spanning the entrance? A sort of  Colossus of Rhodes for Big D! (Big Tex is as close to a Colossus as we’re going to get.)

I searched and searched but could find nothing more about this incredibly dynamic Dahl vision. The closest I got was not what I was looking for, but it was still pretty interesting.

“Erection of a star-shaped building at a cost of $1,000,000 will be asked of the Legislature… This structure would be administrative headquarters for the central exposition in Dallas.” (Dallas Morning News, Dec. 9, 1934)

My first thought was, “Is that thing a building?” And then I searched on “star-shaped building” and found that there had been an extremely controversial “star-shaped building” built as the “Texas Building” at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. Super-wealthy Texan E. H. R. Green was so appalled at the building’s design (by St. Louis-born Texas architect C. H. Page) that he resigned from the state commission in protest, saying this:

“I am not in any way to be identified with the official responsibility of the building that portrays Texas as a freak and that is what that star-shaped building does. No one ever heard of such a type of architecture before. I want a building that will impress those who see it with the idea Texas has some dignity.” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, April 12, 1903)

St. Louis built it anyway. It was kind of freaky — especially with a replica of the State Capitol dome awkwardly plonked down in the middle (gilding the lily, man…) — but it was, apparently, quite popular. See a ground-level photo of the Texas Building here — and here’s a drawing:

tx-bldg_st-louis-worlds-fair_FWST_013104
FWST, Jan. 31, 1904

That was an odd little detour. Anyway….

About that star over the Parry Avenue entrance to Fair Park — I’d love to know more about it. I’d love to see a better image. Anyone know anything? I wonder if Dahl’s plans and drawing for this giant Lone Star might be resting comfortably in the Dallas Historical Society archives?

Here’s the entrance design which was ultimately decided on — the one we still see today at Parry and Exposition. Yeah, there’s a star there, but now that I’ve seen what we could have had, it seems kind of puny. What it lost in overall heft it gained in height, I guess. But just imagine what it COULD have been!

fair-park_entrance_postcard_tx-centennial_1936_ebay_col

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Sources & Notes

Top image is from the 1972 Dallas Museum of Fine Arts catalog for the traveling show “1930s Expositions” (page 16); a scan of the catalog can be found at the Portal to Texas History here, and at the DMA website here.

Color postcard found on eBay.

tx-centennial_proposed-lone-star_george-dahl_dma-catalog_1972_portal_sm

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Copyright © 2020 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Miscellaneous Dallas

wah-hoo-club_lake_ebay

Wah Hoo Club Lake, Members Only…

by Paula Bosse

Here are several images, most in varying degrees of low resolution. I don’t know what else to do with them other than post them all together, randomly. No research. They’re just HERE! Enjoy!

Above, a handsome couple posing under the entrance to Wah-Hoo Club Lake (I’ve seen it more often spelled “Wahoo” — south of Fair Park).

Below, the Coca-Cola Company building, McKinney and N. Lamar (still standing).

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Speaking of Coke, here are some Keen folks, standing on the steps of the Jefferson Hotel (Union Station is out of frame to their right).

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A couple of blocks away, the Old Red Courthouse, seen here from an unusual angle — looking toward the northwest (postcard postmarked 1908).

old-red_postcard_1908_ebay

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This is a super low-resolution image, but I’ve never seen it before, so, what the heck: I give you a fuzzy Jackson Street looking northeast (postmarked 1907).

jackson-street-looking-northeast_postcard_ebay_postmarked-1907

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The “new” Post Office and Federal Building at Bryan and Ervay (postmarked 1964).

post-office_federal-bldg_bryan-ervay_postmarked-1964

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A jog over to Oak Cliff — here’s a horse-drawn hearse.

oak-cliff_hearse_horse-drawn_rppc_ebay

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Up to Preston and Royal (northeast corner, I think) — a Mobil station.

preston-royal_10721-preston_corner_royal_flickr_coltera

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Even farther north, LBJ under construction, looking west at the intersection with Central (1967). (Can’t pass up the opportunity to link to one of the most popular photos I’ve ever posted which shows what is now LBJ and Valley View in 1958 — nothin’ but farmland.)

lbj-looking-west_at-75_flickr_red-oak-kid

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And, lastly, my favorite of these miscellaneous images: the 2200 block of 2nd Avenue (from about Metropolitan — a couple of blocks south of Fair Park). This part of town used to be really interesting. Unfortunately, it looks nothing like this now (see it on Google Street View here). This is a screenshot from the KERA-produced documentary “South Dallas Pop” (which you can watch in its entirety here).

2nd-ave_south-dallas-pop_KERA

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Sources & Notes

All images found on eBay except for the following: Preston-Royal Mobil station, from Coltera’s Flickr stream; LBJ photo from Red Oak Kid’s Flickr stream; and the photo of 2nd Avenue, which might be from the collection of the Dallas Public Library.

See “Miscellaneous Dallas #2” here.

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Copyright © 2020 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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