The Year Was 1948: Fords, Fats, and Flying Wings

The year was 1948—the third year of the postwar world. President Truman signed the Marshall Plan to aid Europe. The Soviet Union began its blockade of the sector of Berlin under Allied control. Babe Ruth died at the age of fifty-three. Alice Cooper was born. And readers of the Fort Worth Press read these ads and articles:

frank kent fordFord Motor Company was touting its “radical” 1949 model, sold at Frank Kent and Texas Motors. The redesigned flathead V-8 engine developed one hundred horsepower. Ford would keep this body design for three years. Price: $1,500 ($14,000 today).

sycamore baseballIn 1948 Fort Worth high schools competed in the American Legion-Ford Motor League, and the five ballfields of Sycamore Park (still there today) were the East Side’s baseball center. Dan Campbell’s brother Pete coached at William James Junior High.

flying wingThe Army’s experimental flying wing crashed on June 5. Two of the five airmen killed—Major Daniel Forbes and Captain Glen Edwards—would have Air Force bases named after them. The YB-49 did not go into production; instead the Air Force chose Consolidated’s Fort Worth-built B-36. (Photo from Wikipedia.)

fats saved-used-fatsDuring the war the American Fat Salvage Committee had urged Americans to turn in used fat, which was used to make glycerin, which was used to make explosives.

fatsEven three years after the war the committee urged Americans to reuse and sell fat.

everybodysEverybody’s Department Store, a Leonard brothers store that had opened in 1931 and expanded in 1948, sold ladies’ white polo shirts for eighty-eight cents.

theaters 2Even in 1948, as Fort Worth’s area grew and its population neared 270,000, not all advertisers felt a need to include address and phone number. The original Isis Theater was built on North Main Street in 1914. It was remodeled and enlarged in 1936 and reopened as the “New Isis Theater.” It closed in 1988. Resurrection of the theater has been the dream of several entrepreneurs over the years, and now new owner Jeffrey Smith hopes to reopen the theater as the “Downtown Cowtown at the Isis.”

The Ideal Theater was located at 1408 Main Street.

theater berryThe White Theater on Hemphill Street became the Berry Theater.

theater morgan theaterThe Morgan Theater building on Sylvania Avenue now houses a church.

Posts related to the movies:

A Century of Cinema: From Edison to Evita (Part 1)
Cowtown Yoostabes, Double-Feature Edition: Movie Theaters
Once Upon a Passion Pit: The Ghosts of Drive-Ins Past
The Great Escape: When Harry Met Amon
The Palace Theater (Part 1): From Verdi to Bogie
Worth Hotel and Theater: 300 Rooms, 2,284 Seats, 1 Mighty Wurlitzer
Cowtown Goes Hollywood: “Fort Worth’s Newest Movie Cathedral”
Triple Feature: When 7th Street Was Show Row
“Lights! Camera! Obscurity!”: The Lost All-Fort Worth Movie
Now Showing: Knickers, Flickers, and Applesauce 
3801 Arundel Avenue: At the Corner of Cowtown and Tinseltown
Elston Brooks: The Passing Showman
The Jazzman and the Iron Horse: Home, Home (Run) on the Range
Punkins Parker: From the Poly ’Hood to Hollywood
“Deep Within My Heart . . .” (Part 1): From Turkey to Tulsa
“Beloved No. 1 Comedian” (Part 1): “Just Homefolks”
Connections: From Horizons to Hitchcock (Part 1)
Connections: Of Raccoons and Rabbits (Really Tall Rabbits)
Fort Worth in the Footlights: Ready for Your Close-Up, Cowtown?

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2 Responses to The Year Was 1948: Fords, Fats, and Flying Wings

  1. Paul Davis says:

    You’ve made an amazing collection of history. Thank you so much.

    • hometown says:

      Thank you, Paul. If you had told me eight years ago that my little hometown has so much history, I would have laughed.

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