Friday, July 31, 2015

Classified System

501 N. Akard   -   Phone 2-3978
Distributors of Mohawk Tires

Classified System was in business as early as 1933. I suppose the beginning of Dallas' current automobile problem was beginning to be felt and somebody needed to put all those cars somewhere during the day. While Classified was in the business of parking cars, it seems you could also purchase tires and gasoline from them. About this time gas stations who could provide similar services were popping up on every corner and probably were the reason that by the 1940s this business became Classified Parking Systems.

This building is long gone, replaced by skyscrapers, but I like to imagine what the interesting facade portrayed on this matchbook looked like in real life. It reminds me of the old Polar Bear across from Lake Cliff Park, with its white stucco finish.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

E.M. Kahn & Co.

Main and Elm at Lamar, Dallas

Founder Emanuel Meyer Kahn, a Jewish immigrant from Alsace-Lorraine, France, founded the E.M. Kahn Company in Dallas in 1872. E.M. Kahn's was a retailer of classy (i.e. expensive) menswear, and thrived for 92 years as a family owned business. It was the oldest retail store in Dallas, as well as the first air-conditioned one. In 1969 the business was sold to Eagle Clothes, who through poor management and bad business practices eventually caused E.M. Kahn to declare bankruptcy. Eagle fell, too, soon after. For more on E.M. Kahn's demise see this post (a few paragraphs up from the bottom of the page).

Here's a photo from "Lost Dallas" of the E.M. Kahn store in the 1960s at the southeast corner of Elm and Lamar, across the street from where El Centro College is today (scroll down a bit to see).

The whole thread about E.M. Kahn at the Dallas History Phorum is pretty interesting.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


2607 N. Haskell Ave.  -  Phone TAylor 3-0730
. . . for Delicious Italian Style Dinners

Jardee's seems to have begun life in a brand new building in 1947. It was run by John, Joe and Joe D. Trizza, and Arthur R DaMommio. DaMommio was probably related to Frank DaMommio, another Dallas restaurateur of the same era who ran Pop's Spaghetti House and then DaMommio's Resataurant. Advertised specials at Jardee's included Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Chicken Ravioli with a bottle of Chablis. The restaurant lasted until at least 1969 at the same location.

2607 N. Haskell is now a parking lot for Cityplace.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

1960s Skyline

The skyline I grew up with.

Monday, July 27, 2015

J's Cafeterias

It pays to eat at J's  -  Finest Food Anywhere

The first J's Cafeteria opened Dec. 14, 1959 at 2600 W. Jefferson in the Jeff Davis Shopping Center.  It was the brainchild of "Mr. J", aka J.W. Cunningham Jr., a former SMU student who quit school after three years of engineering studies to start a career in the cafeteria business. Mr J, with partners E.R. Hinson Jr. and Wilton H. Hasty opened a second J's in August 1962 at the Park Cities Village at Mockingbird Lane and North Central Expressway, and a third J's at 5025 Lemmon in Nov 1963. Another J's opened in 1967 at the newly built North Town Mall at Webb Chapel and Forest Lane. This was the mall that contained a Montgomery Ward's and Dallas' first Woolco Department Store. 

In 1969 the cafeteria at North Town was purchased by Furr's Cafeterias. I could find no further developments on the other three locations. Probably all were long gone by the time the 1970s rolled in.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

James Hall

The swashbuckling James Hall, given name James E. Brown was born in Dallas on October 22, 1900 according to his press, 1898 if you check the census. I suppose then as now, it paid to appear younger than you were. Hall's first role was in the silent film "The Man Alone" in 1923 when he was about 25. It was followed by more than a dozen other silent films including "Four Sons", directed by John Ford. His first sound film came in 1929, "The Canary Murder Case" with William Powell and Louise Brooks. He co-starred in Howard Hughes' film "Hell's Angels" but by 1940 he had fallen into obscurity and was eking out a living performing in small nightclubs and cabarets in New York and New Jersey. Hall died in Jersey City, New Jersey of cirrhosis. (thanks to Wikipedia for most of this info)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Emmett's Restaurant

3187 Lemmon at Oak Lawn

Opened May 26,1950 with accomodations for 200, Emmett's was located about where the Pizza Hut on Lemmon now stands. It was owned by Emmett McConathy, who also ran the Pulley Bone in downtown Dallas. Emmett's featured chicken, barbecued or fried, served in a skillet.

In June 1959 a news item announced the opening of a new sidewalk cafe at the old Emmett's, but three months later, another news item announced that "Mr & Mrs Emmett are back, and again serving the best charcoal broiled steaks." An ad for Emmett's featuring charcoal broiled steaks ran almost weekly for about nine months until June 24, 1960, when it abruptly ceased, and I found no more mention of the place.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The City of the Hour

Back in 1910 the Dallas Chamber of Commerce held a competition looking for a new slogan to be used by the city. Over 600 people submitted slogans and the winner was "The City of the Hour". It was submitted by Samuel Rizzotto of Dallas, and he received $25 as the first prize.

A year later in 1911 city officials were pleased as punch when a New York City trade magazine called "Dry Goods" ran an article featuring "Dallas -- The City of the Hour", and on the first five pages, no less. J.R. Babcock, the city Secretary at the time, and author of the article, said, "This article appearing in such prominence is the kind of publicity we want to get before the Easterners. We want them to know that we have something besides sagebrush and cactus here."

This postcard probably dates from after 1916, when the Sydney Smith Memorial pictured was installed at Fair Park. The city sure got a lot of mileage from its $25 investment: "The City of the Hour" slogan was in use in varying degrees at least until the 1950s.