The year was 1930. Gandhi led a march of two hundred miles to the Arabian Sea with seventy-eight disciples to protest England’s monopoly on salt in colonial India. Hostess Twinkies were invented. The Motion Picture Production Code (Hays Code) began its imposition of guidelines on the depiction of sex, violence, crime, and religion in movies for the next forty years. Warner Bros. released its first cartoon series, Looney Tunes, which ran until 1969. Sean Connery was born; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died. And readers of Fort Worth newspapers read these ads and articles:
Just forty-five cents down would get you this $4.95 ($68 today) table lamp at Poindexter Furniture and Carpet on Throckmorton at 5th Street downtown.
But there is history in this ad.
The building that housed Poindexter’s in 1930 was built in 1914 as the Chamber of Commerce auditorium.
The chamber of commerce built the building to host conventions, musical and theatrical productions, and other public events. In 1921 a national KKK official addressed an audience there. On December 28, 1913 the Star-Telegram announced that pianist Ignacy Paderewski, violinist Maud Powell, and opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini would perform.
On January 22, 1914 the Star-Telegram printed a full page on the new building and the people who made it possible. The building was designed by Sanguinet and Staats.
Clip is from the January 22, 1914 Star-Telegram.
The building opened on January 23, 1914. Clip is from the Star-Telegram.
The next day, after J. Frank Norris was acquitted of arson, a victory rally was held in the new auditorium.
The building was featured in B. B. Paddock‘s 1922 History of Texas. In the left background can be seen the dome of First Methodist Episcopal (South) Church at the corner of West 7th and Taylor streets. That lot is now the Oil and Gas Building.
In later years the chamber building was modified for commercial use and lost its auditorium and elevated three-arch entrance. In the 1950s the building housed Phoenix Furniture Store. In the 1960s it housed the Lord’s Supper display. In the 1970s Fort Worth National Bank replaced this magnificent building with magnificent parking lot.
Next door the home of First Christian Church, Fort Worth’s oldest congregation (1855), survives.
The current First Christian Church building (opened 1916) replaced this one depicted in Greater Fort Worth, 1907.
The Tivoli on Magnolia Avenue had Clara Bow in “a merry mixup of matrimonial errors”; the Majestic had sixty talented Fort Worth youngsters; the Worth had Kay Francis, “the screen’s best dressed woman.”
In 1930 a console radio was a piece of furniture. Atwater Kent advertised two models for $109 and $121 (less tubes). That’s $1,500-$1,650 today.
In 1930 Fort Worth had seventeen Helpy-Selfy stores offering “free Yellow cab service Saturday.”
Jack Long had begun the chain of stores in the 1920s and sold franchises. A few of the Helpy-Selfy buildings survive. Clip is from the September 15, 1929 Dallas Morning News.
A Cities Service gas station opened April 19 on Park Hill Drive (not Park Place Boulevard) at Lubbock Avenue. Cities Service became Citgo.
The building today houses Parkhill’s Jewelry & Gifts.
Prominent Chicago businessman Alphonse Capone was named treasurer as a merger was announced among competitors in the South Side adult beverage industry.
The Hay’s Code didn’t take full effect until 1934. 1933 produced a plethora of raunchy movies: Mae West movies, “Golddiggers of 1933,” “Red Headed Woman,” “Baby Face,” and many more.