“Merry Christmas” From a Century Ago

These ads and illustrations appeared in the Star-Telegram at Christmas 1915.

xmas 15 3 kid sketch

“Ye Christmas games,

Of olden times,

Ye Christmas spirit, too—

All these are here

From year to year

Unchanged, yet ever new.”

xmas 15 cameraRemember film?

Neither do I.

chalmersA 1915 Chalmers under the Christmas tree would set the family Santa back $1,350 ($31,100 today).

xmas 15 photo page 2 12-19“Waiting for Santa Claus.”

christmas spiritThis full page of photos showing “Christmas spirit” was a fine advertisement for Eastman Kodak film.

xmas 15 turner dingeeJoseph K. Turner (1844-1899, born in Indiana) opened his grocery store in Fort Worth in 1878. Arthur Seeley Dingee (1862-1932, born in Canada) joined Turner in 1886. By the 1920s the Turner and Dingee firm had a chain of a dozen stores.

The last store, built in 1925, closed in 1984; its inventory and fixtures sold in 1986. You might remember the store at 800 West 7th at Macon downtown. That building was torn down in 1989 to put up a church parking lot.

interurbanNorthern Texas Traction and Tarrant County Traction urged holiday travelers to ride the interurban to Dallas and to Cleburne. In those electrified days, via connections riders could reach Denison and Waco.

herodThis detailed illustration accompanied text of the second chapter of Matthew.

xmas 15 metropolitanChristmas dinner de luxe at the Metropolitan Café was $5. Five bucks was a lot of money a century ago ($117 today). The café was in the Metropolitan Hotel, which had been built in 1898 by Winfield Scott. The hotel occupied the full block on Main just south of today’s Hotel Texas.

Depictions of Santa varied wildly:

xmas 15 nice santaNice Santa.

santa and familySanta with the all-American family.

monnigsPersonal-appearance Santa for Monnig’s Department Store.

brannDogfaced Santa for Herman Brann’s liquor store.

xmas 15 pox santa“Stand-back-I-got-the-measles!” Santa.

xmas 15 duffyRudolph-isn’t-the-only-one-with-a-red-nose Santa for Duffy’s pure malt whiskey.

xmas 15 scary santa 1Make-the-baby-cry Santa.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”




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