Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Year-End List: My Favorite Images Posted in 2018

tx-centennial_armstrong-linoleum-ad_1936_detWelcome to the Centennial…

by Paula Bosse

Time for the inevitable year-end lists, and this is the first of three. Below are some of my favorite photos, postcards, and artworks posted on Flashback Dallas in 2018. They’re in no particular order, although the one above may be my overall favorite of the year. (All images are larger when clicked.)

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The image above is from — of all things — a linoleum ad. While flipping through an old magazine from 1936, I came across an Armstrong Linoleum Floors ad which featured a color photograph of the reception area in the Administration Building at Fair Park (the old Coliseum, redesigned and redecorated for the Texas Centennial). True color photographs from the Texas Centennial celebration in 1936 are fairly uncommon. I love everything about this photo. See the full ad — as well as a history of the Fair Park Coliseum (now the Women’s Building) — in the post “State Fair Coliseum / Centennial Administration Building / Women’s Museum / Women’s Building.”

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The very first image I posted in 2018 — on New Year’s Day — is the one above, a detail from the 1872 hand-drawn map of the city of Dallas, by 21-year-old Herman Brosius (click it and you’ll see the full, gigantic map). The Dallas Herald wrote that “every house in the corporation limits, together with every street, [is] so accurately drawn that any one acquainted at all with the city can recognize any building.” More on this map can be found in the post “The Bird’s-Eye View of Dallas by Herman Brosius — 1872.” (Image source: Dallas Historical Society, via Wikimedia Commons)

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smu_1951-yrbk_athletics_caropresi

This energetic illustration from the 1951 Rotunda is one of dozens that appeared in various editions of SMU’s yearbooks by SMU-alum Fred Caropresi. At the time, Caropresi was working as both a commercial artist and a fine artist; he ultimately settled in Pennsylvania and established his own advertising agency. I love his mid-century style, and over 20 examples of his work from the 1951 yearbook can be found in the post “Fred Caropresi’s Mid-Century-Modern Illustrations for SMU’s 1951 Yearbook.” (Source: DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University)

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When I first saw this photo of Elm Street’s Palace Theatre, I was so struck by the neon sign that I completely missed the next-door Dairy Queen. A downtown Dairy Queen! More on this exciting discovery can be found in the post “The Palace — 1969.” (Source: Lovita Irby Collection via the Spotlight on North Texas project, UNT Media Library, University of North Texas)

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This great photo from 1935 shows a swollen Trinity River and what things looked like in South Dallas where the levees ended (just south of both the Corinth Street viaduct and the old railroad trestle). Above the magic line: tidy levees, water contained. Below the levees: a whole mess of water, water everywhere. From the post “Forest Avenue-Area Flooding, South Dallas — 1935.” (Source: Lloyd M. Long photo, found on eBay.)

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I love this photo of a Weber’s Root Beer drive-in (which I think was either in Oak Cliff or Lower Greenville). The post this appears in was originally posted in 2017, but I didn’t come across this photo until this year, when I added it to “Weber’s Root Beer Stands: ‘Good Service with a Smile.'” (Source: Traces of Texas Twitter feed)

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The beautiful old Titche’s building is still standing at Main and St. Paul, but it’s no longer quite as elegant. From the post “Titche-Goettinger, Fashions for the Chic Dallas Woman — 1940s.” (Source: Noah Jeppson’s “Unvisited Dallas” website)

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civil-defense_NM-austrian-fortnight_1965_degolyer_SMU_crop

Speaking of department stores (or rather THE department store): Neiman-Marcus (I will forever hold onto that hyphen!). This slightly warped and blurry photo (completely my fault, and explained in the original post) is included in my favorites because of that unexpected fallout-shelter sign plastered onto the Neiman’s building in 1965 — this was surely the most sophisticated location for a bomb shelter in the entire Southwest. I was surprised how much I enjoyed learning about Dallas bomb shelters, and this photo became one of my favorite parts of the resulting post, “‘Dallas Is a Major Target Area!’ — Know Where Your Nearest Fallout Shelter Is.” (Source: DeGolyer Library, SMU — the original photo is of much higher quality than my not-intended-to-be-used quick photo-of-a-photo)

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I absolutely LOVE this crazy building. Never in a million years would I have guessed that this building was in downtown Dallas. But it was, at the southeast corner of Elm and Akard. I traced this building through the years in the post “Elm & Akard, Photographer J. C. Deane, and The Crash at Crush.” (Source: photo by George A. McAfee, DeGolyer Library, SMU)

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That crazy art deco-ish building was just steps away from the view seen above, which was taken at Elm and Stone. I really wish I could walk through that Woolworth’s store. From the post “The Five & Dime at Elm & Stone.” (Source: photo by George McAfee, DeGolyer Library, SMU)

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oak-cliff-viaduct_night_postcard

The Oak Cliff viaduct, at night. When it was brand new in 1912, Dallasites were positively giddy over the fact that their very own “longest concrete bridge in the world” was illuminated with LIGHTS — people were so thrilled by this that they flocked to the viaduct to see the spectacle for themselves, either to marvel at the lights or to shoot the globes out. More can be found in the post “Dallas in ‘The Western Architect,’ 1914: Skyscrapers and Other Sources of Civic Pride.” (Source: “the internet”)

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I love photos of the city at night. Here is the new Stemmons Tower in 1963, standing all alone, with the Dallas skyline in the background — like the wistful child told he’s too little to play with the big kids. “Stemmons Tower, Downtown Skyline — 1963.” (Source: photo by Squire Haskins, Special Collections, University of Texas at Arlington)

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mcclung_triple-underpass_1945_david-dike-fine-art

I love Texas Regionalist art from the first half of the 20th century, and this painting of the Triple Underpass by Dallas artist Florence McClung is fantastic. Her original price for the painting was $300; it recently sold at auction for $252,000. More on this at “‘Triple Underpass’ by Florence McClung — 1945.” (Source: David Dike Fine Art)

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And now a whole bunch of State Fair of Texas pictures.

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Above, a Kodachrome photo of the midway and Cotton Bowl (and the tops of people’s heads) from 1961 (source: eBay); below, a supremely odd photo of oil tycoon (and often-rumored “richest man in the world”) H. L. Hunt, personally hawking his line of Aloe vera cosmetics at the 1971 SFOT (source: unknown). Both photos are from the post “The State Fair of Texas Over the Decades.”

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I love this screen-capture of a Channel 5 news report about the rainy opening day of the fair in 1967. Watch the filmed report and see other damp screenshots at “A Rainy Opening Day of the State Fair of Texas — 1967.” (Source: KXAS-NBC 5 News Collection, UNT)

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I’m not exactly sure why I like this behind-the-scenes photo so much, but I do. There are lots of things to zoom in on. The post this appeared in is “Prepping for the 1932 State Fair of Texas Midway.” (Source: collection of George Gimarc)

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sfot_big-tex_serape_1965_dallas-heritage-village_portal

This postcard features what may well be my favorite photo of Big Tex. Not only does he look like a standing-upright, cowboy-hatted Gulliver surrounded by tuckered-out Lilliputians, but HE’S WEARING A SERAPE! After years and years of looking at Dallas photos and seeing the same ones over and over, this was one I’d never seen. Better yet, it showed me something I didn’t even know about — that Big Tex had once added a little south-of-the-border sartorial flair to his much-beloved outfit. Find out why he was making this bold fashion statement in the post “‘Hola, Folks!’ — Big Tex at the State Fair’s ‘Exposition of the Americas’ — 1965.” (Source: Dallas Heritage Village, via UNT’s Portal to Texas History)

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This is a photo of my late father, Dick Bosse (on the right), taken in 1968 when he was the manager (later the owner) of The Aldredge Book Store. I’d never seen this 50-year-old photo until a very nice person at SMU sent it to me (thank you, very nice person at SMU!). (My father’s co-worker Charlie Drum is on the left.) From the post “The Aldredge Book Store — 1968.” (Source: photo by Andy Hanson, DeGolyer Library, SMU)

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I posted this watercolor depiction of downtown Dallas at Christmastime only a few days ago, but I really love it — so here it is again! From “Merry Christmas from Dallas Artist Bud Biggs.” (Source: Texas Tech University)

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The image below is a self-indulgent bonus, because it’s not a photo, and the quality is pretty poor. It’s a blurry screen-capture from a color home-movie from 1953/1954, showing Matilda looking south from Mockingbird. The house I grew up in was about two blocks from here, and when I saw the video I recognized the location immediately. Streetcars stopped running along Matilda in 1955, but it took forever for the street to be paved — I distinctly remember exposed rails from my childhood in the ’70s. I never saw streetcars in Dallas, but this image makes me very nostalgic for my old neighborhood (my school, Stonewall Jackson Elementary, is just out of frame to the left). The video of the last days of Dallas’ streetcars and a whole lot of information on the Belmont line can be found in the post “Ghost Rails of the Belmont Streetcar Line.” (Source: home-movie shot by Gene Schmidt, YouTube)

belmont-line_matilda-from-mockingbird_youtube-cap_ca1954

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And the last photo is another self-indulgent bonus, because it’s one I took myself — just last week: the Hall of State at Fair Park, from the post “Christmas Along the Esplanade.”

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I look forward to discovering more great photos in 2019!

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Sources & Notes

See all three 2018 “Best of Flashback Dallas” lists here.

See all Flashback Dallas Year-End lists — past and present — here.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

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!

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Aug., 1921

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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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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:

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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):

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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”!!

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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

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Sept., 1934

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

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Merry Christmas from Dallas Artist Bud Biggs

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The bright lights of Christmas in downtown Dallas…

by Paula Bosse

An evening in downtown Dallas at Christmastime — alive with traffic and lights and energy — by Dallas artist Bud Biggs.

The painting appeared on the cover of the Christmas, 1959 issue of The Shamrock, a magazine published by the Shamrock Oil and Gas Corporation. The magazine’s description:

On the sidewalks, shoppers dart to and fro. On the street, autos dash by, leaving streaks of light in their haste. Gay lights and laughing Santas swing gayly overhead, festooning the area in a holiday glow. Above all this man-made madness, stars twinkle in contrast, reflecting a serenity reminiscent of a night nineteen hundred years ago. This is what The Shamrock staff sees in this vivid water color of Downtown Dallas at Christmastime by Artist Bud Biggs.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

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Sources & Notes

This work by artist Bud Biggs appeared on the cover of the Christmas, 1959 edition of The Shamrock; this magazine is part of the Southwest Collection, Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University — the entire issue has been scanned and may be viewed as a PDF here.

My guess is that the title of the original painting is “Main Street, Christmas Night” and that it was one of the 12 paintings produced by Biggs in the mid 1950s as cover art for Dallas Magazine, a Dallas Chamber of Commerce publication. These paintings of Dallas scenes appeared as cover art for the monthly issues of 1956, in honor of the city’s centennial. The series won the “Best Covers of 1956” award from the American Association of Commerce Publications, and in 1958 all 12 of the original watercolors were purchased by Southwest Airmotive Company to be displayed in their new Love Field terminal. The 12 covers featured Biggs’ depictions of the following Dallas scenes and landmarks:

  • “Aerial View of Downtown Dallas”
  • “Ervay Street”
  • “Ground-breaking, Dallas University”
  • “Midway, State Fair of Texas”
  • “Trinity Industrial District”
  • “Central Expressway”
  • “Commerce Street”
  • “City Auditorium”
  • “Looking Up Pacific”
  • “Main Street, Christmas Night”
  • “SMU Legal Center”
  • “The Katy Round House”

More on this series of paintings can be found in the Dallas Morning News article “Art & Artists: Biggs Series Bought by Firm” by Rual Askew, Feb. 20, 1958.

Dallas native Bancroft Putnam “Bud” Biggs (1906-1985) attended Forest Ave. High School, SMU, and the St. Louis School of Fine Arts. He was primarily a commercial artist, working first for Dallas artist Guy Cahoon before opening his own advertising studio. He produced fine art as well, specializing in watercolors, and was a respected art instructor.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Christmas Window Shopping — 1950

xmas-shoppers_121650_hayes-collection_DPLHappy Santa fans…

by Paula Bosse

Here are a couple enjoying a Christmas display. Haven’t finished your shopping? There’s still time!

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Sources & Notes

Taken on Dec. 16, 1950, this photo is from the Hayes Collection, Dallas Public Library Dallas History & Archives Division, Dallas Public Library (“[Christmas storefront shoppers],” PA76-1/43.3).

More Flashback Dallas posts on Christmas can be found here.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Christmas Along the Esplanade

xmas_esplanade_dusk_pegasus_121918_paula-bosseA festive Pegasus…

by Paula Bosse

The holiday lights and “dancing waters” of the Esplanade in Fair Park are always worth a visit. I took these photos the other day after doing some volunteer research at the Dallas Historical Society, based in the beautiful Hall of State. I’m particularly fond of dusk, but nighttime is the really the time to see the lights and fountains at their best.

Above, the Pegasus pylon, by French artist Pierre Bourdelle, one of the many artists who worked on the Centennial Exposition in 1936, the year the Esplanade and many of the buildings in Fair Park were built. (All photos are larger when clicked.)

Below, a look toward the Hall of State from the end of the Esplanade.

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One of the six sculptures along the Esplanade, this one represents Texas, by artist Lawrence Tenney Stevens:

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The Automobile Building with the statue representing France, by French sculptor Raoul Josset:

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A closer look, after the sun has gone down, showing the impressive lighting design:

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Impressive even from the side:

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“Texas” again, lit up and in silhouette:

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The illuminated “dancing waters”:

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Another view toward the Hall of State:

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The jewel of Fair Park, the Hall of State:

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Below are two images of the Esplanade from 1936, when all of this was brand new:

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Sources & Notes

All photos by Paula Bosse.

More information on the statues along the Esplanade can be found at the French Sculpture Census page highlighting “Fair Park, 1936” here, and “The Six Ladies of Fair Park” page from the Texas Escapes site, here.

A very large aerial photo of Fair Park from 1936 can be seen here. Zoom in on the Esplanade.

More Flashback Dallas posts about Christmas can be found here.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Pat Boone, Host of Channel 5’s “Teen Times” — 1954

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“Handsome teen-ager” Pat Boone, host of WBAP’s “Teen Times”

by Paula Bosse

In January, 1954, soon-to-be pop-star Pat Boone transferred from a college in Nashville to North Texas State College (now the University of North Texas) in Denton — he was 19 years old and recently married with a baby on the way. An entertainer since childhood, he had recently appeared on (and won) Ted Mack’s nationally televised “Amateur Hour” and had a few minor recordings under his  belt. He entered the Denton college in the middle of the school year, majoring in speech and minoring in music.

In an interview with the college newspaper, The Campus Chat, student reporter Bill Moyers (yes, that Bill Moyers) asked the scrupulously clean-cut Boone what career he saw for himself. His answer: “I want to preach on Sundays at churches that can’t afford pastors, and perhaps I’ll even become a full-time pastor.” He said that even though he had devoted years to being an entertainer and his father-in-law was a bona fide star, he did not envision a career as a professional singer because, for one reason, he did not approve of night clubs, on moral grounds: “I don’t want to sing at night clubs, and that’s where most of the singers do much of their work” (Campus Chat, Feb. 24, 1954).

The reason he was being interviewed in the first place — after only a couple of months in town — was because he had been named as the host of a Dallas-Fort Worth television show called “Teen Times,” sponsored by Foremost Dairies and broadcast on Saturday afternoons on WBAP-Ch. 5; the show premiered in February, 1954. Boone acted as host, dressed as a soda jerk behind a drugstore soda fountain, with teenaged guests who represented one Dallas school and one Fort Worth school (the schools changed each week), competing in a sort of talent show. Boone kept things moving, performed a few songs, and, in between, sang the praises of Foremost milk and ice cream.

Boone hosted the show through the spring of 1955. During the run of this local show, his popularity grew quickly on a national level, the result of several national TV appearances and ever-increasing record sales. After his year-and-a-half time in Denton, he moved to New York in the summer of 1955 and enrolled at Columbia University; before the end of the year, Pat Boone’s fame exploded: he had a huge hit with a cover of Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That a Shame” and was appearing regularly on national TV. By the late ’50s his record sales were reportedly second only to Elvis Presley’s, even though Boone’s squeaky-clean and sincere wholesomeness was the polar opposite of the suggestive, hep-cat abandon of Elvis’ earthier style.

Even though Pat Boone was a North Texas student for only a short time, whenever he has returned to Denton over the years he has always received something of a hero’s welcome. With formative years spent here, and with his star-turn in the 1962 filmed-at-Fair-Park movie State Fair, Pat Boone has every right to be considered an honorary Texan.

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During his time in Denton, Pat Boone hosted two television shows for WBAP-Channel 5: the Foremost Dairies-sponsored “Teen Times” (often referred to as “Teen Time”) on Saturday afternoons, and the Bewley Mills-sponsored “Barn Dance” on Friday nights. (It looks like “Teen Times” was revamped a few years later and returned to Channel 5 in a somewhat similar format as “Teen-Age Downbeat” in January, 1958.)

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1954

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Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Feb. 7, 1954 (click to read)

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Feb. 13, 1954

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FWST, Feb. 12, 1954

Below, a super-blurry excerpt from Bill Moyers’ article in The Campus Chat (read the full interview here):

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Campus Chat (North Texas State College newspaper), Feb. 24, 1954

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FWST, June 20, 1954

In June, 1955, Les Handy — a voice teacher at Texas Wesleyan College — took over as emcee at “Teen Times.” 

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1955

And in September, 1955, Pat and Shirley and their new baby moved from Denton to New York City.

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Denton Record-Chronicle, Sept. 11, 1955

Pat Boone photos from the 1955 NTSC yearbook, The Yucca:

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Junior class photo, 1955

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Kappa Alpha fraternity photo

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Student Religious Council (detail from group photo)

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Sources & Notes

Top photo of Pat Boone behind a soda fountain holding a microphone appeared in the Feb. 24, 1954 edition of Campus Chat, the college paper of what was then North Texas State College; it is from the UNT Libraries Special Collections, and may be accessed on UNT’s Portal to Texas History, here.

Pat Boone’s wife, Shirley, was the daughter of the legendary Nashville “hillbilly” singer, Red Foley. Here’s a video of a nervous Boone and his father-in-law on Foley’s “Ozark Jubilee” TV show, two weeks after Pat and Shirley had left Denton for New York. They are singing “Tennessee Saturday Night,” Red Foley’s big hit from 1949 (hear his great original hillbilly boogie version here).

Because it involves Pat Boone and UNT, check out the 20-minute informational film all about the college, made for students by students in 1963, available to watch on the Portal to Texas History, here — Pat Boone offers a few enthusiastic bits of narration.

And, why not, here’s a photo of journalist Bill Moyers from the 1953 North Texas yearbook.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Crozier Technical High School — ca. 1946

crozier-tech_woodworking_cook-coll_degolyer_SMUThe Tech woodworking shop… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

It’s always seemed strange to me that Dallas had a technical high school where students were able to learn all sorts of various trades: auto mechanics, metal-working, industrial machine operation, commercial art, introductory science and engineering courses, and much more. Students — while still in high school — could develop skills and acquire practical knowledge in areas they wanted to pursue as careers; they could also discover (while still in high school) that what they thought they wanted to do as a career was absolutely NOT something they wanted to pursue. I imagine that many graduates were ready to step to into jobs immediately after graduation. 

In 1929, Bryan High School (the old “Central High School”) became Dallas Technical High School. In Denman Kelley’s “Principal’s Message” in the 1929 yearbook, he noted that this new idea in education “offers a wonderful opportunity to build up a school for those pupils whose educational needs are not met in the traditional schools…. As the volume of students grows, as the offerings increase with increasing needs, this school must truly become ‘A Greater School for All Dallas.'”

dallas-technical-high-school_1929_seal
Dallas Technical High School, 1929 yearbook

It offered four “general divisions of study” (each arranged in four-year courses): an industrial course, a commercial course, a home-economics course, and the regular literary course. Among the specialized classes offered were automotive repair, woodworking, architectural drawing, stenography, painting, and elementary business training. These courses at Dallas Tech were available to all high school students in the city, and many students jumped at the opportunity to transfer to the downtown campus. (In 1942 the school’s name was changed to N. R. Crozier Technical High School in honor of the late Dallas school superintendent.)

I’m still amazed by this — shouldn’t we still be doing this? I guess this is what magnet schools do, but is magnet-school participation among DISD students anywhere near as widespread as it once was when vocational classes were concentrated at the huge campus of Tech?

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Below are photos showing students in some of the classes available at Crozier Tech in the 1940s. (All photos are larger when clicked.)

crozier-tech_auto_cook-coll_degolyer_SMUUnder the hood

crozier-tech_forge_metal-works_cook-coll_degolyer_SMUAt the forge

crozier-tech_clinical-laboratory_cook-coll_degolyer_SMUIn the laboratory

crozier-tech_sewing_cook-coll_degolyer_SMUModeling finished products in sewing class

crozier-tech_radio_cook-coll_degolyer_SMUNoodling with radios?

crozier-tech_machine-shop_cook-coll_degolyer_SMUIn the machine shop

crozier-tech_nursing_cook-coll_degolyer_SMUIn the nursing course

crozier-tech_printing_cook-coll_degolyer_SMUSetting type in the printshop

crozier-tech_printing_linotype_cook-coll_degolyer_SMUWorking a letterpress and linotype machines (!)

There were also studio and commercial art courses. (I have to add this one because I’m pretty sure I now have evidence that in a previous life I was in a Crozier Tech sculpture class in 1946 — my doppelganger is the blurry girl in the center of the photo, looking with suspicion at the camera.)

crozier-tech_sculpture-clay-modeling_cook-coll_degolyer_SMU

Lastly, a photo of the handsome photography teacher, Orbette A. Homer, who taught at Tech from 1937 until his retirement in 1962. He and his students were responsible for these photos, some of which appeared in the 1946 Crozier Tech yearbook, The Wolf Pack.

orbette-a-homer_crozier-tech-yearbook_1960O. A. Homer, 1960

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Sources & Notes

All classroom photos are from the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library, SMU Libraries, Southern Methodist University; these images (and more from this Crozier Tech collection) can be found here.

The photo of Orbette Anderson Homer (1901-1968) is from the 1960 Crozier Tech yearbook.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

A Gaston Avenue Plumbing Company, Its Windmill, and a Water-Whooshing Neon Sign

gaston-ave_strip-shopping_colteraConsumers Plumbing Co., Gaston and Hall

by Paula Bosse

A few years ago I came across this photo, showing the 3200 block of Gaston Avenue, just west of Hall. At the time I was more concerned with whether the deco-esque building still stood (it does not) that, somehow, I don’t think I even noticed the windmill (!). I know I didn’t notice that absolutely fantastic sign at the right, which I only hope was an animated neon sign with water whooshing from a faucet and then bubbling up at the bottom.

The business seen here is a plumbing supply business referred to over the years as both Consumers Supply & Plumbing Co. and as Consumers Plumbing Supply Co. It began in Dallas in 1924 when Sam Glickman opened a location on Main Street; two years later, the company incorporated, with two locations — one in Dallas and one in Fort Worth: the incorporators were Glickman and his wife, Minnie, and Morris Strauss and his wife, Josephine.

consumers-plumbing_main-st_july-1924
July, 1924 (click for larger image)

In these early years, an incident in July, 1927 involving partner Morris Strauss (who ran the Fort Worth store) led to a highly publicized trial which garnered front-page coverage. Morris was abducted from his house late one night by several men, some of whom may have been wearing masks (which, on its own, was illegal, per the anti-mask law), had a hood placed over his head, and was driven to a deserted country road where he was beaten and flogged with a whip or rope and a tree limb. He was left bloodied, in his robe and pajamas, with a warning that the same fate awaited his partner, Glickman, in Dallas.

Newspaper reports suggested that the masked “floggers” were affiliated with a plumbers’ organization whose members were reportedly unhappy with what they thought was shoddy work and low-ball bidding on city projects by Consumers Plumbing. There was huge interest in the ensuing trial of one of the men implicated in the beating, a former FW police detective with ties to the Ku Klux Klan, but the trial ended anti-climactically in a hung jury. In 1990, a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article (“KKK Links Lurk In Tarrant Past” by Hollace Wiener, FWST, Feb. 25, 1990) noted that this incident was precipitated not so much by the fact that Strauss was outselling the competition, but, more importantly, it was because he was Jewish (both Strauss and Glickman were Russian-Jewish immigrants). Not only did the defendant have Klan connections, so did the judge (and probably several members of the jury). Strauss had been granted permission by the city manager to carry a firearm for his protection, and as far as I can tell, there were no further attacks. But the Fort Worth branch of Consumers Plumbing did not make it into the 1930s, and Mr. Strauss appears to have left town.

consumers-plumbing_flogging_detroit-free-press_100127
Detroit Free Press, Oct. 1, 1927

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Samuel G. Glickman (1898-1967) was born in Russia and, as a boy, immigrated with his family to the United States, settling in New Orleans. He initially trained as a telegraph operator but eventually became a plumber and moved to Dallas to set up his own retail/wholesale plumbing company, offering plumbing services and selling supplies and fixtures.

In 1934 or 1935, he moved into a large building in Old East Dallas at 3207-3211 Gaston, next to the 1890s-era Engine Co. No. 3 firehouse (which stood immediately east of Consumers Plumbing, at the corner of Hall, until about 1963). The building had a second floor, where Glickman lived for a time. In fact, he was sleeping there when a huge early-morning 4-alarm fire broke out in the half-block-long building in January, 1949. Despite being right next door to a fire station, the building was gutted. Glickman rebuilt. And the new building (seen at the top) and THAT SIGN were pretty cool. (All images are larger when clicked.)

consumers-plumbing_fire_011349_ad
Jan., 1949

consumers-plumbing_gaston_100249Oct., 1949

consumers-plumbing_gaston_oct-1949Oct., 1949

And because everything — no matter how obscure — seems to end up on the internet — here are a couple of random photos from a 1959 Volkswagen trade publication, showing Consumers workers loading plumbing-related things onto the back of a VW pick-up — some copywriter was no doubt ecstatic to have the opportunity to use “Everything goes in, including the kitchen sink!”

consumers_VW-truck_1959

consumers_vw_1959_thesambadotcom_1via TheSamba.com

At some point the Eveready Supply Co. (another of Glickman’s businesses) joined Consumers in the same block. Glickman died in 1967, and the businesses either moved or closed in the 1970s. The building is, unfortunately, long gone, and that block of Gaston is just one of … EVERY SINGLE BLOCK IN THAT AREA which seems to have been swallowed up by the gargantuan, ravenous, real-estate-gobbling machine known as Baylor Hospital (or whatever it’s called these days).

God, I wish I’d seen that neon faucet sign.

Oh, and the windmill? Aside from being an attention-grabber to passersby, Consumers also sold farm and ranch supplies.

consumers-plumbing_gaston_oct-1947
Oct., 1947

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Sources & Notes

Top color photo is from a postcard found several years ago on a Flickr page of superstar user “Coltera,” here.

I love neon signs, and Dallas used to have them everywhere. I haven’t seen another sign with quite this same water-whooshing-out-of-a-faucet design, but the one seen in this video is similar (but not as good!). Dripping faucets are popular — like this one. A great page featuring eccentric vintage neon signs of plumbing establishments is here.

And only because one of those Volkswagen trucks is featured prominently in a previous Flashback Dallas post, check out the floating VW pick-up bobbing along a flooded 4600-block of Gaston (mere blocks from Consumers Plumbing), here. And — why not? — a Clarence Talley Volkswagen ad from 1961 can be found here.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

John H. Reagan Elementary, Oak Cliff’s “West End School” — 1905

west-end-school_come-to-dallas_degolyer_SMU_ca1905Class picture in front of the new school… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

In 1904 things were getting really crowded in schools in recently-annexed Oak Cliff. The school board agreed that Dallas’ new Ninth Ward needed at least one new school, and they voted to build a four-room primary school — initially referred to as the “West End school” — at 9th and Llewellyn. After a delay in construction because of a shortage of bricks, the two-story schoolhouse opened in February, 1905. (Click photos and clippings to see larger images.)

west-end-school_reagan-elementary_dmn_021805
Dallas Morning News, Feb. 18, 1905

The following month the school was named for a Confederate hero of the Civil War, John H. Reagan.

reagan-school_dmn_031405
DMN, March 14, 1905

As the population of Oak Cliff grew over the years, so did the school, which expanded with additions beyond those original four rooms in order to accommodate the continual growth of the neighborhood. The building had a good run and stood for 76 years — until it was demolished at the end of 1981 (or the beginning of 1982) to make room for a new building at the same  location. The new school retained the Reagan name, which has become a point of controversy in recent years.

reagan-elementary_education-in-dallas

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Sources & Notes

Top photo is from the promotional booklet “Come To Dallas,” from the collection of the DeGolyer Library, SMU Libraries, Southern Methodist University; more here.

Bottom photo is from the book Education In Dallas, 1874-1966, Ninety-Two Years of History by Walter J. E Schiebel.

More on the history of Reagan Elementary and the recent controversy over whether the school should be renamed can be found in the Dec. 27, 2017 Oak Cliff Advocate article “Backstory: One Low-Income School in Oak Cliff Bears the Name of a Confederate Leader” by Rachel Stone.

For more on the then-impending demolition of the original school building, check out the Dallas Morning News archives for the story “Graduates Come to Visit School On Its Deathbed” by Keith Anderson (DMN, Sept. 14, 1981).

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

From the Vault: When Funeral Homes Become McKinney Avenue Hotspots

ad-funeral-home_mckinney-routh_directory-1929-detThe “slumber chamber” is occupied…

by Paula Bosse

As much as I dislike what the unfortunate over-development of “Uptown” has done to the quirky, funky style of the McKinney Avenue of my childhood, it’s always a shock to realize that, somehow, a few surprisingly old buildings still stand. One of them is this once-fabulous building at McKinney and Routh — it was built in 1927 as a funeral home but has been the site of a succession of restaurants for the past couple of decades. Who knew? Read about it in my post from 2015, “Not Dead Yet at McKinney & Routh,” here.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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