The Year Was 1948: Fakes, Bakes, and Shakes

Harry Truman was president. America was between wars. Cleveland Indians shortstop/manager Lou Boudreau was the overwhelming choice for American League MVP. Gentleman’s Agreement won an Oscar for best picture. Stevie Nicks was born. Among Billboard magazine’s number 1 songs was “Twelfth Street Rag” by Fort Worth’s Euday Bowman.

And in 1948 readers of the Fort Worth Press were reading these ads:

fakesFakes Furniture Store was the original occupant of the lower part of the Fort Worth Club Building (Sanguinet and Staats, 1926). Fakes sold the Thor brand of washing machines.

The Fakes company had been selling furniture and coffins downtown since at least 1876. Fakes also offered an undertaking service, competing with George Gause. In 1881 Louis P. Robertson bought the Fakes undertaking service and established L. P. Robertson Undertaker. That company evolved into today’s Robertson Harper Mueller funeral home. (Fakes ad at bottom from 1878 city directory.)

fort worth club cox ad 48 fwpIn 1946 R. E. Cox moved into the lower part of the Fort Worth Club Building and stayed until 1955.

bourlandsIf you didn’t like the Thor brand, Vergal Bourland’s home appliance store on the West Side sold Bendix washers and ironers. Vergal Bourland later was manager of Colonial Country Club. (Did Johnnie Roventini, the Philip Morris bellboy, moonlight for Bourland’s?)

bairds 1948 fwpBy 1948 Ninnie Baird and family had moved their bakery to Summit Avenue from West Terrell Avenue.

rocket ad 1948 fwpAt the Rocket Club on Jacksboro Highway you could hear Denny Beckner and His Mad Cap Merrymakers, who recorded for Savoy Records. And you could see Trudine the quiver queen—a mover and shaker in the world of burlesque.

everybodys grand 1everybodys grand 2Everybody’s Department Store, opened in 1931 by the Leonard brothers, expanded in 1948 to a city block just as adjacent Leonard’s Department Store also was expanding.

pinwheel leonard's ad 1948 fwpIn the boys’ department in Leonards’s you could buy an atomic twirler. Science fiction author and cartoonist Ray Nelson claimed to have invented the propeller beanie while still in high shool in the 1940s. The headgear was also called a “helicopter hat.” The ad promises: “You look and feel like you’re about to ‘take off.’” Boys could probably get the same feeling by watching Trudine at the Rocket Club.

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4 Responses to The Year Was 1948: Fakes, Bakes, and Shakes

  1. Anne says:

    It’s funny how every time I google-research my family I get directed to your blog.

    • hometown says:

      LOL! It’s funny how every time I research Fort Worth history I get directed to your family.

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