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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • WE CAN DO IT! BUT FIRST, COFFEE

Urban Cowboys: 1942

Urban Cowboys: 1942

January 1942. "Fort Worth, Texas. View of Main Street and Tarrant County Courthouse." Last glimpsed here. Photo by Arthur Rothstein for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

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Photographic illusion

Although Doug Floor Plan’s street view is taken from a vantage point closer to the courthouse than in Rothstein’s photo, the courthouse appears larger in the photo taken farther away. Isn’t the magic of photography wonderful?

A lower profile has its benefits

In both 1942 photographs you're looking north on Main Street. Here is a Street View from Main and 9th Street, a block or two closer to the Tarrant County Courthouse than Arthur Rothstein was standing. Everything in the foreground of his photos has been replaced by the Fort Worth Convention Center (look behind you on Street View). The tall building on the left is still there, at Main and 7th Street. The building on the right with arched windows along the top floor is still at Main and 8th.

Darting through traffic for a bus

Fortunately, it appears to be Red Cross Week.

Stoplight thoughts

Even in a black and white photo, we can clearly deduce the color of the crosses on those flags. It's 1942, after all. The question is, what is the driver of the 1937 Ford pickup thinking? He's evidently stopped at a light, and therefore has time to gather his thoughts. If he's thinking about getting a Richelieu whiskey, it's because he can read backwards in the rearview mirror (I can).

The slow(cow)poke's way to town

Quite a sightseeing trip from Dallas -- huh?? -- but looks like we've made it.
Items of note: the brick paving and Monnig's on the right (it was one of Fort Worth's main department stores - and it's the only thing from the first eight blocks in this picture that's still extant - but this wasn't the main location.) There was a nifty Twin Coach™ bus in the earlier shot, but it isn't in this one.

If you're like me, you spent much of your life thinking of Fort Worth as one of those cities that are appended to another -- Minneapolis-St Paul, Tampa-St Petersburg, or, most particularly, Dallas-Fort Worth -- but unlike the first, the the pairing doesn't match the map ... it should really be the Fort Worth-Dallas.

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