Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Tag: Dallas TX

Allen & Cochran: Allen Street Drugs, St. Peter’s Academy, St. John Baptist Church — ca. 1946

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Allen Street Drugs at Allen & Cochran… (photo: Dallas Public Library)

by Paula Bosse

Above, a group of men and boys gathered outside Allen St. Drugs — 1920 Allen Street, at the corner of Cochran — posing for famed Dallas photographer Marion Butts. Behind the group is St. Peter’s Church and St. Peter’s Academy, a Catholic church and affiliated school for black children (at 2018 Allen); facing St. Peter’s (but out of frame) is St. John Baptist Church (2019 Allen). This was a busy and well-traveled intersection for the African American neighborhood of “North Dallas.”

St. Peter’s Academy — which was still around into the late 1980s — was built in 1908, largely due to the urging of black entrepreneur Valentine Jordan and his wife Mary Jordan who were impressed with the education provided to the (white) students attending the Catholic Ursuline Academy; they requested that Bishop E. J. Dunne open a similar school for black children, and Bishop Dunne obliged. Before it was named “St. Peter’s Academy,” it was known as The Sisters’ Institute (named for the Sisters of the Holy Ghost). Elementary and high school classes were taught, and boarding options were offered to girls. In the mid 1960s the school had 600 (predominantly Protestant) students.

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Dallas Express, Sept. 6, 1924

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Dallas Express, Aug. 27, 1921

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Dallas Express, Jan. 6, 1923

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Dallas Express, Jan. 13, 1923

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St. Peter’s Academy, circa 1935

The large St. John Baptist Church was a fixture of the community, led for many years by its pastor Ernest C. Estell.

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Dallas, Texas Negro City Directory, 1946-47

Sadly, these buildings are no longer standing. St. Peter the Apostle is located in a new building at Allen and what is now Woodall Rodgers Freeway, and much of their congregation is of Polish ancestry, with services conducted in both Polish and English. The drugstore seen at the top sat on land razed for construction of Woodall Rodgers. The view today can be seen here.

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Allen St., between Munger & Hallsville — 1944-45 Dallas directory

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1952 Mapsco (star indicates location of Allen St. Drugs)

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Sources & Notes

Top photo by Marion Butts, from the Marion Butts: Lens on Dallas Collection, Dallas Public Library. More information on the work of Mr. Butts may be found here.

Most images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2019 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Caterpillars On the Job at Ross and Market — 1922

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Roadwork in the warehouse district…

by Paula Bosse

I’ve loved vintage and historical advertisements since I was a child. Since becoming more focused on Dallas history, I’m always excited to find old ads with photos of recognizable Dallas locations, like the one below for Caterpillar tractors, which was printed in the Saturday Evening Post in 1922. (Click to see a larger image and read the rousing tribute given to these “motorized outfits” by City Engineer George D. Fairtrace.)

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The photo shows a Dallas street maintenance crew grading Ross Avenue at the intersection of N. Market in 1922 (see the current Google Street View here). Every building seen in the photo is still standing in the Historic West End:

  • Southwest General Electric Co., 1701 N. Market (it was later occupied by the Higginbotham-Pearlstone Hardware Co.)
  • Federal Glass & Paint Co., 1709 N. Market
  • Fairbanks, Morse & Co., 1713 N. Market
  • Texas Ice & Cold Storage (partially visible at the right), 701 Ross (until recent years the long-time home of The Palm restaurant; in 1922 it was, I believe, a brand new building)

dec-2016_googleGoogle Street View, 2016

ross-and-market_bing-streetside-view_2015Bing Streetside, 2015

Thank you, Caterpillar ad!

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Sources & Notes

1922 Caterpillar ad found on eBay, here.

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Copyright © 2019 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Republic Bank Branding — 1955

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When the uniforms match the exterior of the building…

by Paula Bosse

Republic National Bank opened its dazzling new building on N. Ervay in December, 1954. It was the tallest building in the city, the interior boasted gold leaf everywhere, and the exterior was covered with thousands of aluminum panels embossed with a distinctive four-pointed “star” shape.

The building’s opening was quite the PR extravaganza — so much so that Life magazine sent photographer Joe Scherschel to take photos for the Feb. 28, 1955 article “Dazzler For Dallas.” Scherschel took a ton of photos, but only a handful made it into the article — one that didn’t make it is the one above which shows five young women on a staircase, all of whom are wearing dresses with those Republic Bank “stars” on them! I have to admit, I was a little more excited than I should have been to have noticed what I assume must have been a (fairly stylish) uniform (hostesses? elevator girls?). Kudos to whomever came up with that clever way to celebrate the bank’s home by incorporating one of the most distinctive elements of one of the city’s most distinctive buildings into something as easily overlooked as an employee’s uniform. That is attention to detail!

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Sources & Notes

All photos were taken by Joe Scherschel for Life magazine, ©Time, Inc. A large collection of the photos Scherschel took while on assignment in Dallas for this article can be viewed here.

I wrote about those fantastic embossed aluminum panels in the Flashback Dallas post “The Republic Bank Building and Spain’s ‘Casa de Los Picos,'” here.

All photos are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2019 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Henry Russells Take Possession of Their Rolls Royce Silver Wraith — 1948

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The car, the couple, the driver … Preston Hollow, 1948

by Paula Bosse

People seem to expect stories about painfully wealthy Texans to have larger-than-life outrageous elements. The April 5, 1948 issue of Life magazine devoted several pages to the Southwest’s “New Crop of Super Rich.” The photo showing Col. and Mrs. H. E. Russell at their Preston Hollow home appeared with the following caption:

New Rolls-Royce (price $19,500) was bought by Colonel Henry Russell of Dallas as a birthday present for his wife. She liked it because “it goes with my blue hat.” The Russells claim they are just “camping out” in their house, plan to turn it over to the servants and build a bigger one for themselves as soon as they get around to it.

One can only hope this was just gross exaggeration. Or a misinterpreted joke. Or just amusing fiction. Because if not … yikes. 

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Henry and Alla Russell had not been in Dallas very long when they took possession of their fabulous Rolls Royce — a Silver Wraith. When production of this model was announced in 1946, it was described as “the world’s most expensive automobile.” The Russell’s purchase made local news, with this blurb appearing in The Dallas Morning News on Feb. 12, 1948:

Col. and Mrs. H. E. Russell, 4606 Park Lane, have taken delivery on their new Rolls-Royce. Known as the Silver Wraith model, the silver and blue car features a bar, vanity and other luxuries. The price? $19,274. Dealers S. H. Lynch & Co. said the car was the first Rolls-Royce sold in the Southwest.

That postwar price would be the equivalent in today’s money of about $200,000. In a 1956 Dallas Morning News article, Frank X. Tolbert wrote that Col. Russell “is still driving his ’48 model, and it’s the only one we ever see around town although there may be one or two more” (DMN, “Rolls-Royce Hard To Find in State,” Nov. 15, 1956).

There had been Rolls Royces in Dallas before 1948, but according to S. H. Lynch — the Dallas dealer of imported British vehicles including Jaguars, Bentleys, MGs, Morris Minors, and James motorcycles (as well as other high-ticket British items such as English china) — he had sold only five or six of the prestigious automobiles while he had the dealership, and that only that first one bought by the Russells had stayed in Dallas.

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S. H. Lynch & Co. ad, Feb. 1, 1948 (click for larger image)

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March, 1948

In 1948, S. H. Lynch (located at 2106 Pacific, at Olive) was one of only three Rolls dealerships in the county, the others being in New York and Los Angeles. In postwar Britain, American dollars were in such demand that a Rolls spokesman said that at least 75% of his company’s production was earmarked for the U.S. — American orders would take priority over their U.K. counterparts.

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Even though a Roller’s always going to wow the hoi polloi, it wasn’t always easy to find a trained mechanic, as Roy Lee discovered:

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Abilene, TX Reporter News, July 20, 1946

We all have our bad days, I suppose.

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Sources & Notes

The two photos of the Russells are from the Life magazine article “Southwest Has a New Crop of Super Rich” (the top photo was not published).

Col. Russell, an Army veteran of both world wars, appears to have been retired by the time he got to Dallas. The only clue to the source of what must have been fabulous wealth was the final line in the obituary of Mrs. Russell, which noted that he was the son (or possibly the grandson) of the founder of the Russwin Lock Co. Mrs. Russell died in a massive fire which destroyed the large Park Lane house in January, 1976; the colonel died about 15 years earlier, in New York.

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Copyright © 2019 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Jane Asher in Dallas — 1967

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by Paula Bosse

English actress Jane Asher — who has acted since the age of 5 — will probably forever be referred to somewhere (like here) as “Paul McCartney’s former girlfriend.” They dated from 1963 to 1968, and Jane always asserted that her acting career was what was important to her, not being a celebrity (or the girlfriend of a celebrity). But if you were dating a Beatle, that was probably an impossible thing to escape.

In 1967, Jane toured the United States for several months as part of the Bristol Old Vic company. One of their longest stays was in Dallas (April 10-15, at the State Fair Music Hall), where the company performed Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet (in which Jane appeared as Juliet). The Dallas performances (“The theatrical event of the season!” “Only Southwestern engagement…”) were co-sponsored by Neiman-Marcus.

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It appears that Jane popped into Dallas early — on April 4 and April 5 — in order to do some publicity, catch a Dallas Theater Center production of Julius Caesar (as the guest of Richard Marcus who, afterwards, hosted a small dinner party), and, the next day, celebrate her 21st birthday at a noon luncheon in Neiman’s Zodiac Room.

Her arrival at Love Field was captured by Channel 8 news cameras (sadly, without sound).

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asher-jane_wfaa_jones-collection_smu_april-1967

asher-jane_ap-wire-photo_040567_dtcAP wire photo, taken in Dallas on April 4, 1967

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AP wire photo, taken in Dallas at Neiman-Marcus on April 5, 1967

After cake at the Zodiac Room on her birthday — April 5, 1967 — she left for Denver, the next stop on the tour. That night her famous boyfriend joined her there for even more cake.

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Denver, April 5, 1967

After the run in Denver, the Bristol Old Vic company came to Dallas for six days (and seven performances). A reviewer complained about the Music Hall’s poor acoustics and thought that the productions of the three plays were a bit “mod” for his taste (“considerable stage movement and fast-paced dialogue caused many of the lines to be lost”), but he thought Jane acquitted herself well as Juliet in a good, if somewhat undistinguished production.

In an interview with Maryln Schwartz of The Dallas Morning News, Jane — probably for the thousandth time — had to steer the conversation back to her acting and away from her famous boyfriend. When Schwartz asked who her favorite “singing group” was she told her it was the Grateful Dead.

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Austin American-Statesman, Jan. 15, 1967 (click to see larger image)

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Sources & Notes

Top photo by Harry Benson, Daily Express, Hulton Archive, Getty Images. The Getty caption has the date as April 25, 1967, which is incorrect — the photo was most likely taken on April 5, 1967 (Jane is wearing the same outfit seen in the Zodiac Room photo, and on April 25th, the theatrical company had been in Illinois for over a week). I have to admit, I love seeing celebrities awkwardly wearing Texas cowboy hats. But Jane looks pretty cute.

The WFAA-Ch. 8 news footage is from the G. William Jones Film Collection at SMU. The short, 49-second clip shows her arriving on a Delta flight at Love Field, met by a no doubt Stanley Marcus-approved be-costumed young man with a trumpet and a woman bearing some sort of official proclamation of “welcome.” The two color photos are my screen captures.

The birthday cake photo is from a blog post teeming with fantastic photos of Jane Asher and her stunning red hair, here.

More on Jane Asher’s career at Wikipedia, here.

More on the Beatles and Dallas can be found in the Flashback Dallas post “The Fab Four in Big D — 1964,” here. (It’s interesting to note that two important people in the orbit of the Beatles celebrated milestone birthdays in Dallas: Jane Asher turned 21 here, and manager Brian Epstein turned 30 while here with “the boys” in 1964.)

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Copyright © 2019 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Make Dallas the City of Mercy — 1919

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by Paula Bosse

This seems to be a nice way to start the new year — by featuring a charitable appeal from a group called The Welfare Council of Dallas, which helped to raise funds annually for organizations in need of monetary assistance from the pubic.

Many are the appeals to our generosity today. Here, however, is our closest and deepest obligation. These represent the charity that begins at home. These are the forces that are driving misery and want from our city — building always a brighter and better future for Dallas.

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The following nine groups — all of which aided needy children and families — were the ones chosen in 1919 as organizations which would be part of the city-wide “Welfare Week” appeal (the illustration above and the text below are from a large ad that appeared in Dallas newspapers in October, 1919):

THE UNITED CHARITIES during the last year have ministered to 12,226 individuals; 4,452 visits were made to homes to which their attention had been called; 734 cases for continued relief were opened; 152 such cases from the preceding year were given further aid; 562 destitute wanderers were furnished with homes, food and clothing, and suitable employment found for as many of them as possible; 834 cases of sickness or accident or taking care of, some for periods as long as six months; 116 persons were furnished transportation to their home or to places where their health could be restored ; 85 were aided in gaining admission to State institutions; 55 cases of tuberculosis were given extended relief; 82 wives, deserted by their husbands, and 37 widows with children were given food and shelter until proper arrangements for their care could be made by their relatives.

THE DALLAS GRADUATE NURSES’ BABY CAMP cared for and gave necessary medical and surgical attention to 178 babies during the last year. The mortality was 25, certainly a low figure, considering the uniformly serious nature of the cases treated. The Camp is under the direct charge of three doctors and seven nurses, and no baby is permitted to leave the Camp until permanently cured. The average stay of the little patients is five weeks. Besides the cases treated at the Camp over 100 formulae were furnished to outside cases. The Baby Camp is open to ALL Dallas babies who are in bad health. [Read a history of the Baby Camp here.]

THE DALLAS COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY is the founder and conductor of “Hope Cottage,” a home for illegitimate and deserted babies, where an efficient staff of nurses devote their time to providing these little ones with an opportunity to begin honorable lives. Hope Cottage averages from ten to twenty inmates all the time, as they are kept only until suitable homes for adoption can be found. The placing of orphaned children in private homes is another branch of the work. This agency also investigated 1,390 cases of reported abuses of children; 389 of these investigations were followed by prompt action: 299 homes were visited; 16 children were sent to the Detention Home, and 18 cases of delinquents received attention; 3,246 cases of abuse to dumb animals were investigated. [A similar “shelter for unfortunate women and children” was the Salvation Army’s Neighborhood Home on McKinney Avenue.]

THE DALLAS KINDERGARTEN AND NURSERY ASSOCIATION has conducted four stations during the year – the Clara Chaison Kindergarten at the Neighborhood House on Cedar Springs Road, the South Dallas Kindergarten near Trinity Play Park, the Cora Street Nursery, formerly under the supervision of the City Federation of Women’s Clubs, and the Alamo Nursery at Hickory and Alamo streets. The average enrollment at all stations was 205. In connection with each station a day nursery is maintained where mothers with employment may leave their young children from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. An average of fifty mothers take advantage of these nurseries each day, and a bath, wholesome dinner, nap and play constitute the day’s program. [A similar nursery, specifically for the black community, was the Dallas Day Nursery.]

THE INFANTS’ WELFARE AND MILK ASSOCIATION, striving for better health and cleaner living conditions for children, distributed 81,828 pints of milk; visited 7,885 homes; treated 3,489 children in medical and 469 in dental clinics. The nurses at the stations gave treatment to 1,160 cases. In addition to these, 202 prenatal cases were given attention, 31 obstetrical cases disposed of and 80 bacteriological examinations were made. Twenty babies were sent by the Association to the Baby Camp and 14 to the City Hospital, while co-operation was given to other organizations in 724 cases. [From another ad: “Sick babies of many races and creeds, but all future Dallasites, find new health in [these] clinics.” More on milk stations here.]

THE DALLAS STREET AND NEWSBOYS’ CLUB, “Big Brother Work” Headquarters, is the one bright spot in many a young Dallas urchin’s life. The club rooms, at 1907 Jackson street, half inexpensive, though adequate, equipment for sports and games, reading and like activities. There are dormitory rooms for boys temporarily “on their own,” which accommodations can be paid for according to the boy’s ability to pay. A few steps from the building is the back door at the Y.M.C.A., and three times each week the Club descends upon the swimming pool en masse. The directors of the Club do not confine their work to headquarters, however, but look to the welfare of its members at work, play, school and even in their homes. [The life of a newsboy — often an orphan under the age of 10 — was not an easy one.]

ST. MATTHEW’S HOME FOR CHILDREN, by placing its finances for the coming year in the hands of the Welfare Council, adds a valuable and deserving institution to the list of member agencies. Although the property is owned by the Episcopal Church, the managing board is non-sectarian, the Home is absolutely non–sectarian in its activities and no child is excluded on account of its faith or that of its parents. At present the capacity is limited to forty little ones, and any child between the ages of 4 and 12 years may be admitted.

THE DALLAS COUNCIL OF BOY SCOUTS is the other new member agency. The work done by this organization and developing manhood in boys of all classes of society entitles it to our fullest support. Its influence extends into every home, school, factory and business office in the city. Its nominal dues for membership permit any boy, no matter how poor, to join and take a full share in the activities and benefits of the organization.

THE EMPTY STOCKING CRUSADE is an organization whose year’s activities culminate in providing Christmas cheer – warm clothing, fruit, toys and other tokens of happiness for little ones. It carries cheer into homes of the city to whose children the season of universal good will would otherwise bring nothing, and into the orphanages. Last Christmas 6,902 children were provided for.

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Sources & Notes

More on Dallas’ early charitable movements can be found in the article “The Forgotten Frontier: Dallas Women and Social Caring, 1895-1920” by Elizabeth York Enstam (Legacies, Spring, 1989), here.

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Copyright © 2019 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Year-End List: Most Popular Posts of 2018

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Coming soon: Munger Place… (photo circa 1905)

by Paula Bosse

Another “best of” list. Today is the final post of 2018 and time to compile the most popular (new) posts of the year, according to readers who have clicked over to read them. And to all you readers who have clicked over to check out the latest look into the history of Dallas: thank you! There is more ahead in 2019!

Here are the most popular Flashback Dallas posts of 2018, starting with the most popular. (To see each full post, click on the title; to see larger images, click on the picture.)

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munger-place_worleys-1909-directory1. “MUNGER PLACE, THE EARLY DAYS: 1905-1909”  (March)

This was far and away the most popular post of the year, thanks primarily to a nice shout-out from the hugely popular Facebook page Traces of Texas. Check out all the photos of a very, very early Munger Place, with several showing construction workers alongside their horses and wagons.

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2. “THE RAY HUBBARD ESTATE, LAKEWOOD”  (March)

This Lakewood Boulevard estate appeared in a 1948 ad for Evervess Sparkling Water. I’m still not sure why it was in the ad, but it was, and because I happened to see that ad, I now know who Ray Hubbard was, what his beautiful house looked like, and what the connection is to Lake Ray Hubbard.

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3. “A DRIVE THROUGH DOWNTOWN — 1970”  (September)

This was basically just my piggy-backing on the work of Jeremy Spracklen at SMU’s Jones Film Collection. He alerted me to the wonderful newly-digitized 35mm color film footage in the Dallas Theater Center collection, and I contributed some screen-captures. Click over to watch the footage of everyday life in downtown Dallas in 1970.

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4. “THE LAST TRACES OF VICKERY PARK ARE NOW DEFINITELY GONE”  (June)

One day I was driving up Greenville when I noticed that what had been the rickety remnants of what had once been one of Dallas’ most popular amusement areas and swimming pools was lying in fresh piles of rubble. I stopped and took photos, feeling a little sad for what I had never actually seen photos of when it was in its prime. When I got home, I found photos and even some film footage and felt a twinge of nostalgia for a place I had never known but missed nonetheless.

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5. “DALLAS IN ‘THE WESTERN ARCHITECT,’ 1914: PARK CITIES RESIDENCES”  (August)

This post features eight Park Cities houses built before 1914, representing various levels of grandiosity — almost all have been replaced by new, larger homes. My favorite is the very odd concrete house which once stood at Preston and University, a fortress made from local pit-run gravel and cement. At the other end of Preston was the unbelievable H. L. Edwards estate (seen in the thumbnail), which was unnecessarily bulldozed in 2017.

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6. “THE ‘BLUE HOUSE’ LIVES”  (April) blue-house_google_july-2016

The continuing saga of one of the last remaining 19th-century houses in The Cedars appears to have ended happily (at least so far): the house was disassembled and moved a few blocks away to its new home. I haven’t seen any photos of the house at its new location — either still in pieces or wholly or partially reassembled — but last I heard, the project seemed to be in good hands. This was a follow-up to my original Jan., 2016 post.

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7. “CASA MAGNETICA”  (April) six-flags_casa-magnetica_postcard_flickr

People love posts on Six Flags Over Texas, but people really love posts on Casa Magnetica — the childhood attraction that blew our minds! This one was a lot of fun to write.

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8. “THE BIRD’S-EYE VIEW OF DALLAS BY HERMAN BROSIUS — 1872”  (January)

This wonderful map — with each building apparently rendered accurately — is just fantastic.

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cabana-motor-hotel_portal_postmarked-19679. “THE CABANA MOTOR HOTEL OF DALLAS”  (January)

This once-hip hotel was co-owned by Doris Day’s husband and was, most famously, where the Beatles stayed when they came to town in 1964. The place never quite lived up to its investors’ hopes and has been sold and resold several times. Currently there are plans to revive the faded structure and breathe new life into it.

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10. “SAM VENTURA’S ITALIAN VILLAGE, OAK LAWN”  (July)

This place was an Oak Lawn fixture for over 45 years. It reinvented itself several times over the years, and was variously (and sometimes simultaneously) an Italian restaurant (which operated as a private club in order to sell alcohol), a cocktail lounge, a piano bar, a disco and live rock-music venue, a nightclub, a steakhouse, a seafood restaurant, and a Christian dinner-theater — all owned by the Ventura family.

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Below are the top 3 all-time most popular Flashback Dallas posts:

  1. “HOW TO ACCESS THE HISTORICAL DALLAS MORNING NEWS ARCHIVE” (July, 2015) In addition to its being the all-time most popular Flashback Dallas post, it was actually also the second most popular post of 2018.
  2. “THE WORLD’S LARGEST SANTA & THE CHRISTMAS TRAGEDY — 1953” (Dec. 2014)
  3. “CARHOPS AS SEX SYMBOLS — 1940” (Feb. 2015)

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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.

Thanks again for reading, and let’s all have a happy 2019!

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Year-End List: My Favorite Posts of 2018

dante_wfaa_SMU_2“Dr. Dante” — do not look directly into his eyes…

by Paula Bosse

Another year has zipped by, which means it’s time to foist “best of” lists upon the public. Today, in the second of three “Best of Flashback Dallas, 2018” posts, I choose my personal favorite posts of the year — the things I most enjoyed researching, writing about, and, yes, even reading! I’ve listed them in chronological order, except for the first two, which are my favorite favorites. (Click titles to see original post.)

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1.  “‘DR. DANTE’ DODGES BULLETS IN DALLAS — 1970”  (May)

I think this was destined to be my favorite post of the year from the instant I began  watching the old Ch. 8 news footage, part of the ongoing digitization work being done by the G. William Jones Film & Video Collection at Southern Methodist University (the Dallas-history gift that keeps on giving). The only thing SMU knew about the clip was the date it was filmed. Who WAS this strange man telling an outrageous story of being shot at near the Mrs. Baird’s plant in the wee small hours of the night (on orders from Frank Sinatra)? It took some digging, but it was worth it — learning about the notorious hypnotist-slash-fraudster-slash-seventh-husband-of-Lana-Turner was one of the high points of 2018 for me. I absolutely LOVED writing this one.

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2.  “GHOST RAILS OF THE BELMONT STREETCAR LINE”  (April)

I wrote about the old interurban and streetcar rails which once ran up and down Matilda in the Lower Greenville neighborhood I grew up in. I feel like I read about this rail line for days and days and days, and I enjoyed all of it. I wish I had known what the interurban was as a child so I could have appreciated how close I lived to an important historical thoroughfare. This post resulted in the arrival of photos sent in by a family friend, showing city crews working on the paving of Matilda; I loved those photos and put them in what I consider the “part 2” of the post linked above: “PAVING MATILDA — 1971.”

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3.  “‘ALL THE BEER YOU CAN DRINK IN AN HOUR FOR 60 CENTS’ — 1935”  (January)

I can’t remember if I saw the newsreel footage first or the photograph, but both are great, and it’s always kind of thrilling to see Dallas pop up in old newsreels. I don’t want to say Dallas drinkers in 1935 were lightweights, but only one imbiber came out ahead on the challenge — and he was in Fort Worth.

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4.  “THE ECCENTRIC MEDFORD COMPOUND ON THE OLD EAGLE FORD ROAD: 1945-1950”  (March)

This photo sent me off on a wild research path: the person who was responsible for this ramshackle collection of buildings (in what is now hipster-haven Trinity Groves) is just the sort of unconventional person you’d hope he’d be.

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5.  “‘THE CEDARS’ MATERNITY SANITARIUM, OAK CLIFF — ca. 1923-1944”  (April)

This Oak Cliff home for unwed mothers/”unfortunate women” was just one of the many private hospitals in residential settings where women could live in comfortable seclusion while awaiting the birth of a child. Following the birth, the child would probably be put up for adoption by mothers who felt they had no other socially acceptable option.

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6.  “NO NECKING ALONG COUNTRY ROADS UNTIL BONNIE & CLYDE ARE KILLED OR CAPTURED — 1934”  (June)

Dallas school superintendent Norman Crozier issued a warning to high school students to refrain from pursuing amorous activities in cars parked along deserted country roads — at least while the Barrow Gang was at large — for fear they might run the risk of being caught in deadly crossfire. The “teen angle” on the well-worn Bonnie and Clyde saga.

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7.  “SAM VENTURA’S ITALIAN VILLAGE, OAK LAWN”  (July)

I spent a crazy amount of time researching this place — which I had never heard of until I came across the piece of ephemera seen below, which was collecting dust, packed away in a relative’s belongings. In fact, I spent so much time reading about the Italian Village (and its later incarnations) that I now feel as if the extended Ventura family and I should be spending holidays together.

italian-village_photo-holder_PEB

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8.  “‘DALLAS IS A MAJOR TARGET AREA!’ — KNOW WHERE YOUR NEAREST FALLOUT SHELTER IS”  (July)

I’m glad I missed this panicky era, but I have to say, it was pretty interesting to learn about … from a distance.

passport-to-survival_nov-1958_art

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9.  “SANTOS RODRIGUEZ, 1960-1973”  and  “SANTOS RODRIGUEZ: THE MARCH OF JUSTICE — 1973”  (July)

It was only in recent years that I heard the name “Santos Rodriguez,” and even then I wasn’t entirely sure what had happened. The story of a handcuffed 12-year-old boy shot in the head by a Russian-roulette-playing police officer in Dallas’ Little Mexico neighborhood is both tragic and infuriating; it was also the impetus that spurred political activism and a demand for social justice within the Hispanic community. Everyone should know this story. I spread my telling of it over two posts, both of which contain as-the-aftermath-was-unfolding news footage, which helps to make the 45-year-old event feel immediate and “real,” especially to those of us who did not experience it first-hand. I owe a lot to Jeremy Spracklen of SMU’s Jones Film Collection for providing me with amazing film footage of this shocking moment in Dallas’ history.

david-and-santos-rodriguez_austin-american-statesman

santos-rodriguez_march_contact-sheet-12_andy-hanson_degolyer_SMU

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10.  “DALLAS IN ‘THE WESTERN ARCHITECT,’ 1914” (7 separate posts) (August)

This series of posts just about killed me. I had no idea when I started that I would end up writing mini-histories of over 50 buildings and houses, and that what I originally thought might be three posts (which would have been a lot) ended up spreading over seven. *I* was getting tired of the whole thing, and I worried that readers themselves would, quite reasonably, grow weary of it as well — but people seemed to like it. The photos were really great, and once I started, I couldn’t stop until I got through the whole thing. Even though it was fairly exhausting, I probably learned more about Dallas’ important early-20th-century buildings and houses by dragging myself through this slog than by approaching the subject in a more easily-digestible manner. Immersion learning! The two greatest take-away words I have from this laborious experience which capture this period of Dallas’ astronomical growth more than any others: “Lang” and “Witchell.”

ymca-bldg_western-architect_july-1914

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11.  “OAK CLIFF: ‘A CITY WITHIN A CITY’ — 1929”  (September)

This look at a gem of a little promotional booklet touting the wonders of Oak Cliff’s business climate was packed with really, really great photos I’d never seen.

cliff-queen-theater_OC-city-within-a-city_ca-1929_SMU

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12.  “A DRIVE THROUGH DOWNTOWN — 1970”  (September)

Basically all this post consists of are screen-captures from spectacularly clean 35mm color film footage shot around downtown Dallas under the auspices of the Dallas Theater Center in 1970 and recently digitized by SMU. (I keep meaning to get around to writing about this DTC project but 1.) I’m a huge procrastinator, and 2.) I keep hoping the ever-fabulous Jeremy Spracklen will continue to find more and more footage. I will write about this one day, though!) But really, it’s all about the film, which captures downtown in a delightful little color time-capsule — and that film is embedded in this very popular post.

DTC_main-st-paul_SMU

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13.  “LIFE ON HALL STREET — 1947”  (October)

One of the things that frustrates me most in writing this blog is the difficulty in finding historical photos of everyday life in Dallas’ black and Hispanic neighborhoods. (If anyone reading this has access to great photos of these neighborhoods, please contact me!) I’ve always loved vintage advertisements, because not only do they feature styles and fashions and products of the past which are inherently interesting, they also often allow us a window into social and cultural history. When I come across old ads targeted specifically to, say, Dallas’ African-American community — especially those with photographs — I get pretty excited. Several such ads are in this post, and they’re great.

adolphus-bar-b-q_dallas-negro-directory_1947-48_dining-room

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14.  “THE STATE FAIR OF TEXAS OVER THE DECADES”  (October)

The task: find an image from each decade of the SFOT’s history from the 1880s to the 1980s. Not a problem! That well will never run dry.

fair-park_mcafee_degolyer_SMU_ca-1920s

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15.  “BRUCE CHANNEL, DELBERT McCLINTON, AND THE BEATLES — 1962”  (November)

I really loved writing this.

beatles_delbert_bruce_062162_mike-mccartney

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BONUS FAVE:  “FLASHBACK DALLAS IN D MAGAZINE: ‘THE TRINITY BRIDGE-JUMPERS'”  (February)

I was pretty thrilled to be invited to write a Dallas-history article for D Magazine’s “Lost Dallas” issue this past February (I wrote a short piece for the print-edition of the magazine, and a longer version which appeared on the magazine’s website). I wrote about a competition involving diving/jumping from a bridge into the Trinity River in 1897. It was a pretty big deal at the time, attracting thousands of spectators. The very idea for the event was unusual — especially if you’ve seen what the Trinity looks like unless it’s at flood-stage — but what drew me to the story was the wonderful, very funny color-commentary written by an un-bylined reporter for The Dallas Morning News. I loved writing about this and trying to imagine what such an odd event must have been like back in 1897, when one’s entertainment options were somewhat limited. The piece I wrote for D Magazine is here, and an accompanying post I wrote with additional historical background (including the original line drawings of the participants which appeared in The News, as well as photos and a map) is in the post linked above.

d-mag_lost-dallas-cover_mar-2018

trinity-bridge-jumper_wilson_drawing

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I never get tired of researching and writing about all aspects of Dallas’ history — both well-known and forgotten, important and trivial, serious and ridiculous. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these posts as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.

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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.

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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brosius_1872-det

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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palace-theatre_1969_color_portal

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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flooding-levee-district-from-forest-ave_lloyd-long_052035_ebay

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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webers_root-beer_traces-of-texas

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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titches_unvisited-dallas_jeppson

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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elm-and-akard_george-mcafee_degolyer_SMU

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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elm-stone_woolworths_mcafee_degolyer_SMU_ca-1920_cropped

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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stemmons-tower_night_squire-haskins_041963_UTA

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.

state-fair-of-tx_midway_kodachrome_1961_ebay

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.”

h-l-hunt_state-fair_1971

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sfot_rain_1967_wbap_unt_fair-park_texas-carthage

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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state-fair-of-texas_1932_gimarc

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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ABS_charlie-drum_dick-bosse_andy-hanson_degolyer-library_SMU

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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xmas_bud-biggs_shamrock-mag_1959_texas-tech

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.”

hall-of-state_night_121918_paula-bosse

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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!

primrose-petroleum_aug-1921
Aug., 1921

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pure-liquors_no-strychnine_dallas-herald_1858
Dallas Herald, 1858

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

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

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croquet_dal-her_040874
Dallas Herald, April 8, 1874

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

croquet_dallas-herald_042673
Dallas Herald, April 26, 1873

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

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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”!!

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

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

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DMN, Feb. 14, 1889

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DMN, March 14, 1889

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

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

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

deep-ellum_dmn_013012
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.

hearse_dmn_061017
DMN, June 10, 1917

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

fields-beauty-school_tichnorBoston Public Library

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

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

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

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

skillerns_july-1949
July, 1949

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

skyline_ad_1956_det
1956

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

kilarney_hoofprint_march-1953_degolyer_smu
DeGolyer Library, SMU

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

David Hemmings And New Mate
Oct., 1967

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

orange-julius_smu-campus_092068
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.”


smu_pogo-stick_doing-it_student-handbk_1974
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.

 

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