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See the 98 Year Old Light Bulb at the Stockyards Museum


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#1 djold1

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 07:16 PM

Sarah Biles at the the Stockyards Museum in the Livestock Exchange Building sent me this Press Release by way of a reminder. She also said that they have added to the memorabilia that relates to the history of old theater and the bulb which burned for all those years back stage at the Palace (and still is burning brightly today). One of the items is an elegant brochure on the 1936 refurbishment of the the Palace Theater. The excellent pen and ink drawings are by the same local artist that did the Frontier Fiesta and Fort Worth Centennial art. Also on display are some of the original Log Books from the 1920's that detail the everyday happenings at the Theater including work schedules, movies shown, etc. And the original black telephone from the projections room has also been salvaged and is on display.

While Thursday is the official birthday complete with balloons and flowers for the sparky old Bulb, the display is always on and always available Monday through Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM in the Musuem. Everyone is welcome to come bask in the glow.

The Museum also is displaying a special 30th anniversary exhibit provided by the Hip Pocket Theater celebrating their years of entertaining Fort Worth. There are some great memories here for local theater goers.

Many Forum members have commented on XTO's total rebuilding of the historic and beautiful Swift & Co. building which will be used as offices for one of their producing groups. If you haven't been out to see the work being done on the Swift building, you're missing a chance to see some really devoted preservation at work.

Incidentally, the Stockyards Musuem has a very large collection of and is a repository for much of the old Swift and Armour local archives as well as the archives for the Fort Worth Stockyards Company. The Museum has recently added and furnished additional space for researchers and historians including a wireless Internet hotspot. This new space may also be used by pre-arrangement for small meetings during Museum hours.

Stockyards Light Bulb Shines Across the Years


Fort Worth, TX (SPECIAL) – Visitors can still say “I saw the light at the Stockyards Museum!”
The famous Palace light bulb, a Fort Worth celebrity, hangs onto its reputation as it prepares to celebrate its 98th birthday on Thursday, September 21, 2006. The Stockyards Museum, operated by the North Fort Worth Historical Society, keeps this gem of a bulb on display inside the Livestock Exchange Building.

As it edges closer to 100, this amazing light bulb gets more and more attention. News services around the world picked up the 96th birthday celebration, giving the bulb a burst of fame that would have made electrician Barry Burke proud. It was his hand that in 1908 installed the little bulb above the backstage door at what became the Palace Theater on Fort Worth’s “theater row” downtown. It helped light the way for big-name movie stars attending premieres at the showplace that was the Palace.

George Dato owned the property where the Palace stood and in 1977, after the marquee lights along the row had dimmed, he wanted to save the bulb that had become a Fort Worth institution. He placed it in the Stockyards Museum in 1991, where it amazes visitors from all over. Experts have speculated that it is a GEM filament bulb (GE Metalized), but no one is willing to unscrew it for closer inspection!

The Stockyards Museum is located at 131 East Exchange Ave., Suite 113, in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 to 5.
For more information, call 817-625-5082.
-30-

Pete Charlton
The Fort Worth Gazette blog
The Lost Antique Maps of Fort Worth on CDROM
Website: Antique Maps of Texas
Large format reproductions of original antique and vintage Texas & southwestern maps
 


#2 DrkLts

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 12:44 AM

Where in the museum is it? I went early this summer and I remember hearing about the bulb and I kept an eye out for it but saw nothing. I was gonna ask someone that worked there but they were busy chatting away to some tourists. Again, no sign or any mention of the bulb anywhere unsure.gif
As I read along time ago its supposedly in a glass display case. It's in the Livestock Exchange building right???

#3 djold1

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 05:55 AM

You're right... For some reason there are no signs at the Museum entry to tell a visitor where the the old Bulb burns in the display space.

As you come in the front door of the Museum takes up the back part of the first floor of the old Livestock Exchange Building, you would turn right into the Gift shop area and look in the display case along the back wall.

You should have asked a volunteer.. That's what they are there for, but sometimes it gets busy. And those tourists are what keeps the Stockyards alive and their donations are the sole support of the Stockyards Museum.

For those of you that admire period architecture, the Livestock Exchange building is a gem. Those who come to the Museum should take time to tour the building. Built in 1902 several years before the Swift & Co headquarters and the Coliseum, the building is a prime example of early 1900's business architecture. With its galleries. it may be the last example of what was a very common style of business building in Fort Worth at one time. Even today it is a fully working commercial building, full of tenants.

The Stockyards Museum is unique in a city filled with world class musuems that work from huge endowments and most often charge admission. As Art Chapman of the Star-Telegram mentioned in a column this past spring, the Stockyards Museum is one of Fort Worth's busiest, but depends entirely on voluntary donations by its visitors, Museum Store sales and a few small grants. It does not have an endowments, a corporate or personal sponsor, receives no monetary support from Fort Worth or Tarrant county and gets absolutely no consideration from the owners of the Livestock Exchange building as far as its space rental is concerned.

In spite of that, their collections and archives are growing and daily they field a number of calls and visits from those who are researching history, needing old photographs or information. The Stockyards Musuem was used as a prime source for the documentation that is helping in the restoration of the Swift building and is a source for providing information about the old Armour plant buildings and land that is now for sale after Bunge moved out. Most of the many books both fiction and non-fiction that have been written about Fort Worth over the years have relied heavily on documentation supplied from the archives of the Stockyards Museum.

While the name Stockyards Musuem may imply that the emphasis is soley on North Fort Worth, the exact opposite is true. While other museums have changed focus and have broadened their scope, the Stockyards Musuem has evolved into something else. The old Bulb was placed there in the 1990's because the Stockyards Museum is really the only place that houses and displays the true memories of all Fort Worth. Not just the stockyards or Niles City or North Fort Worth, but much of what has been saved of the culture of old Fort Worth and Tarrant county is there.

The Stockyards Musuem is truly the Museum of Fort Worth...

Pete Charlton
The Fort Worth Gazette blog
The Lost Antique Maps of Fort Worth on CDROM
Website: Antique Maps of Texas
Large format reproductions of original antique and vintage Texas & southwestern maps
 


#4 mbdalton1

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 01:31 PM

Funny that you mention this light bulb, as I was at the Exchange Building on the light bulb's birthday and I didn't even realize it!

I had stopped by Books, Etc. located in the Exchange Building to purchase their last copy of Cowtown Moderne when I decided to pop my head into the Museum, as I had never been there before, only heard about it. I only had a few moments to quickly browse when they told me I just missed the television news crews who had just left before I got there. The tv crews were doing stories on the 'birthday bulb'. So, I was able to catch a quick glimpse of this historic bulb. You would miss it entirely if you weren't careful.

They even had some colorful helium ballons posted near the bulb for the birthday!

Very neat museum! I'll have to go back when I have more time to check it all out. Some lovely vintage photos!

smile.gif mary bess

#5 Fort Worthology

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 04:01 PM

QUOTE(mbdalton1 @ Sep 29 2006, 02:31 PM) View Post

I had stopped by Books, Etc. located in the Exchange Building to purchase their last copy of Cowtown Moderne


There was a purchasable copy of "Cowtown Moderne" around and nobody told me? Drat!

#6 hipolyte

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 09:24 AM

There are two used copies of Cowtown Moderne listed on Amazon...one for $260 and another for $350, if you really want one. smile.gif

#7 DrkLts

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 04:30 PM

^^^ Dang! That much for a book???

#8 John T Roberts

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 08:57 PM

Drklts, if you saw the book, you would understand the price. It is one of the best Art Deco books that I've seen and it was written by a Fort Worth Resident. It has been out of print for several years and keeps getting harder and harder to find.

#9 Fort Worthology

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 09:36 PM

QUOTE(John T Roberts @ Sep 30 2006, 09:57 PM) View Post

Drklts, if you saw the book, you would understand the price. It is one of the best Art Deco books that I've seen and it was written by a Fort Worth Resident. It has been out of print for several years and keeps getting harder and harder to find.


I agree - it's a fantastic book. I check it out from the library often, and would love to have a copy of my own.

#10 mbdalton1

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 11:17 AM

Be sure to check out Books, Etc. located in the historic Exchange Building in the Stockyards for hard to find books! Ask for Bob, he runs the joint. He brings items in all the time.

Along with my copy of Cowtown Moderne, he sold me on a wonderful book on photos of Fort Worth. I don't have the name in front of me but he said it was a good one and it is!

He is currently running a special of 25% off the price on Ty Cashion's new book through the middle of October. I had already purchased my copy at Barnes & Noble prior to this visit.

Mary Bess

#11 mbdalton1

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 10:11 AM

QUOTE(John T Roberts @ Sep 30 2006, 09:57 PM) View Post

Drklts, if you saw the book, you would understand the price. It is one of the best Art Deco books that I've seen and it was written by a Fort Worth Resident. It has been out of print for several years and keeps getting harder and harder to find.


Would you believe the author came through our office yesterday and I didn't realize who she was?? Oh my gosh!

If she comes back I will have to introduce myself. Maybe she will even autograph my copy of Cowtown Moderne for me! That would be fabulous!

smile.gif Mary Bess


#12 fragile

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 10:58 AM

QUOTE(mbdalton1 @ Oct 5 2006, 11:11 AM) View Post

QUOTE(John T Roberts @ Sep 30 2006, 09:57 PM) View Post

Drklts, if you saw the book, you would understand the price. It is one of the best Art Deco books that I've seen and it was written by a Fort Worth Resident. It has been out of print for several years and keeps getting harder and harder to find.


Would you believe the author came through our office yesterday and I didn't realize who she was?? Oh my gosh!

If she comes back I will have to introduce myself. Maybe she will even autograph my copy of Cowtown Moderne for me! That would be fabulous!

smile.gif Mary Bess


Wow! The autograph would be a plus! But, could you please tell her for the unfortunate among us that do not own this wonder of printed treasures that a re-print would be a godsend. Perhaps a twentieth-anniversary re-print? smile.gif





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