A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“I recently bought a bread knife. It’s not as good as stainless steel” (7/19)
“If a cowboy dies and comes back to life, is it called reintarnation?” (7/19)
Entry forthcoming (7/19)
“If the front of your car says ‘DODGE’, do you really need a horn?” (7/19)
“Ants on a log, floating down the river to the waterfall” (proverb) (7/19)
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Entry from December 08, 2006
Big Tex

"Big Tex” is the 52-foot-tall statue of a large Texan that greets visitors to the State Fair. His first appearance was in 1952. The State Fair has trademarked the “Big Tex” name for many uses.


BigTex.com
Big Tex’s History
In the free-wheeling years after the war, merchants in Kerens, Texas, had a problem. Residents of the tiny town were driving to nearby Corsicana or even 75 miles north to Dallas for pre-Christmas shopping sprees. Looking for a gimmick that might encourage people to spend money at local stores, the Kerens Chamber of Commerce built what they claimed was the world’s largest Santa Claus, a 49-foot-tall figure constructed from iron-pipe drill casing and papier mache with 7-foot lengths of unraveled rope for a beard.

The promotion was a big success during the 1949 holidays, but the novelty wore off the following year, and community support waned. In 1951, State Fair president R. L. Thornton purchased Santa’s components for $750 and hired Dallas artist Jack Bridges to create a giant cowboy out of the material.

Big Tex made his debut at the 1952 State Fair of Texas. Wearing size 70 boots and a 75-gallon hat, Tex towered 52’ above wide-eyed visitors. His denim jeans and plaid shirt were donated by the H. D. Lee Company of Shawnee Mission, Kansas. Cosmetic surgery the following year straightened his nose, corrected a lascivious wink and allowed him to talk.

From The Great State Fair of Texas – An Illustrated History, by Nancy Wiley.

Yesterday USA Radio Networks
BIG TEX FACT PAGE
HISTORY
1949 Conceived as a 52 foot tall “Santa Claus” on November 10th, 1949; to bolster the Christmas shopping business of Kerens, Texas in Navarro County.  The “man with the plan” was Howell Brister, the then Secretary of the Kerens Chamber of Commerce. The original Santa was patterned after a Mr. Hardy Mayo, a local grocer with broad shoulders, long hands and arms; who stood 6 foot 2 inches tall and weighed 270 pounds.
1950 After the 1950 Christmas season, the novelty wore off, and the 52 foot giant was transported 60 miles to Dallas, Texas and sold to The State Fair of Texas for $750.00. 
1952 The statue was transformed into a giant Cowboy, his name was changed; and the character BIG TEX was born.  The big guy made his debut in late October of that year; as the official symbol of the Great State Fair of Texas!  Many changes to the face and body were made that first year, and TEX (along with his trade mark western clothing) has continued to evolve over the years.  Dallas artist and stage designer Jack Bridges was hired to update the face of BIG TEX. Mr. Bridges used a photograph of his own face, a photograph of rancher Doc Simmons and a photograph of Will Rogers, to create the new look.
1953 BIG TEX talks for the first time!  Over the years, six (6) different persons have performed the voice, but the most remembered voice was that of Jim Lowe.  Mr. Lowe was a pioneer broadcaster in Dallas, and had the top rated morning radio show on WRR-AM for many years.  BIG TEX says “H-O-W-D-Y” about 60 times a day during the State Fair each year.
1997 The original body was rebuilt and now includes a cage-like skeleton with 4,200 feet of steel rods.
2000 BIG TEX was able to move for the first time, and began to wave to the millions of State Fair visitors who passed by each year on their way to the famous “Million Dollar Midway”.
2001 Visitors spent a record 21.4 million dollars on food and amusement rides at the great State Fair of Texas.
2002 BIG TEX turned 50, got an all new wardrobe and a new voice.  Yesterday USA Radio Founder Bill Bragg was chosen as the seventh (7th) person to perform the voice of BIG TEX!  “While I can’t speak for the State Fair, I will say that I hope to beat Jim Lowe’s record of doing the voice for 30 plus years”.  “Doing TEX is the number one announcing job in Texas and I am deeply honored to have the opportunity”, says Bragg

VITAL STATISTICS
HEIGHT:  52 Feet
WEIGHT:  6,000 Pounds
HAT:  75 Gallon, measuring 5 feet high
SHIRT:  The Williamson-Dickie Company will cover TEX’s 30 foot chest with a shirt that
has a 100 inch neck and 181 inch long sleeves.  This is 600 times larger than the shirts they sell in the stores.  The buttons are 3 and a half inches in diameter and the shirt contains 70 yards of blue denim and 80 yards of awning material.  It took 2 weeks and a team of 8 workers to make the shirt at the Dickies work-ware plant in Fort Worth, Texas.
BELT:  23 feet long, with a 50 pound buckle
PANTS:  Size 284W x 185L.  The rivets are 3 and a half inches in diameter, the inseam is 200 inches, the fly is 56 inches long and his pants weigh a total of 65 pounds.  And, the Dickies’ folks worked a week to sew the new pants.
BOOTS:  Size 70, measuring 7 foot 7 inches high

Texas Twisted
Al Jones, a former disc jockey, was the first man to be chosen as the voice of Big Tex, but would fill the role for only one season. A second deejay, Jim Lowe, took over in 1954 and went on to fill the position for a total of 39 years (1954-1981, 1988-1998). Others have stepped in to provide the tall Texan’s booming voice, but it is with Jim Lowe, who for so long served as Big Tex’s proud alter ego, that they have all been compared. Thousands were saddened to hear of his passing in May 2000, less than two years after his final season.

Although his voice has remained the same for most of his reign, Big Tex has changed quite a bit physically since his early days. The first model had even been considered a bit unattractive. Jack Bridges, the man who created Big Tex’s original papier-mache head (and later, the fiberglass replacement), said in a 1997 interview that he had taken the faces of himself, Will Rogers and a rancher named Doc Simmons, and selected the worst features from all three to form Tex’s initial visage.

After just one year, though, changes were already being made. When Big Tex was given the ability to speak, he had his nose straightened and his eyes refashioned to remove a “lascivious wink.” In 1958, Tex underwent further cosmetic surgery, bringing him closer to the handsome host we know today. The next year, a mechanism was incorporated that allowed his mouth to move automatically to sound.

By this point, Big Tex had become attractive enough even to star alongside Pat Boone and Ann-Margret in a 1962 remake of the musical State Fair. And that same year, fair president R.L. Thornton suggested that Tex should become a permanent statue. Fortunately, perhaps, board members didn’t consider his look really appropriate to solidify him as a monument.

Big Tex’s clothing has changed many times in the last five decades, as well, from a candy-striped shirt for the “Yankeedoodle Dandy” State Fair in 1975, to a U.T.-orange shirt in 1982, to a 15’-by-60’, 300-pound Mexican serape in 1965. His 75-gallon hat was replaced, also, in 1966 with a more contemporary model.

Two of his biggest changes, however, occurred more recently. In 1997, Big Tex was given a complete structural makeover, as well as a new hand that waved to passersby. Three years later, he was bestowed further animatronics that turned his head.

Wikipedia: Big Tex
Big Tex is the 52 foot (16 m) high icon of the annual State Fair of Texas held at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas (USA). He wears size 70 boots, a 75 gallon hat, a size 100 180/181 shirt and 284W/185L XXXXXL pair of Lee jeans. The pants alone require 72 yards (66 m) of denim and weigh in at 65 pounds (29.5 kg).

Big Tex’s humble beginnings were in 1949 as a 49 foot (15 m) tall Santa Claus constructed from iron-pipe drill casing and papier mache in Kerens, Texas to help encourage holiday sales in the town. In 1951, State Fair president R. L. Thornton purchased Santa’s components for $750 and had Dallas artist Jack Bridges transform them into a cowboy, and Big Tex was born. Big Tex currently has fiberglass “skin.”

Big Tex made his grand debut at the 1952 fair. He was altered the following year to straighten his nose, correct a lascivious wink and allow him to talk. Former disc jockey Al Jones was the first voice of Big Tex, but would fill the role for only one season. His most familiar voice is that of radio announcer, Jim Lowe, who boomed Big Tex’s signature “Howdy, folks!” for a total of 39 years. 

(Trademark)
Word Mark BIG TEX
Goods and Services IC 021. US 002 013 023 029 030 033 040 050. G & S: Articles made of plastic, namely, souvenirs and novelties relating to the State Fair of Texas and the State of Texas, namely, souvenir mugs. FIRST USE: 19521000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19521000
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Design Search Code
Serial Number 76354011
Filing Date December 28, 2001
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition May 20, 2003
Registration Number 2749493
Registration Date August 12, 2003
Owner (REGISTRANT) STATE FAIR OF TEXAS, INC. DBA STATE FAIR OF TEXAS CORPORATION TEXAS 3921 Martin Luther King Boulevard Dallas TEXAS 75210
Attorney of Record Dennis T. Griggs
Prior Registrations 1551364;2624868
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

(Trademark)
Word Mark BIG TEX
Goods and Services IC 035. US 100 101 102. G & S: promoting sports, recreational, cultural and entertainment events of others, namely promoting music festivals featuring popular music performers, intercollegiate football games, fireworks displays, laser light shows, live stock and western heritage shows, broadway stage shows, fashion shows, food contest and demonstrations, touring exhibitions featuring photographs, artifacts and memorabilia relating to famous persons and historical events, and touring exhibitions featuring the cultural heritage of ethnic groups, namely photographs, art works, cinema, music, dance, costumes and cuisine related to an ethnic group. FIRST USE: 19521000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19521000
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Design Search Code
Serial Number 76371114
Filing Date February 14, 2002
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition May 6, 2003
Registration Number 2741195
Registration Date July 29, 2003
Owner (REGISTRANT) STATE FAIR OF TEXAS, INC. DBA STATE FAIR OF TEXAS CORPORATION TEXAS 3921 Martin Luther King Boulevard Dallas TEXAS 75210
Attorney of Record DENNIS T GRIGGS
Prior Registrations 1551364
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

(Trademark)
Word Mark BIG TEX
Goods and Services IC 021. US 002 013 023 029 030 033 040 050. G & S: food and beverage containers, namely paper and plastic cups. FIRST USE: 19521000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19521000
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Design Search Code
Serial Number 76353772
Filing Date December 28, 2001
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition July 2, 2002
Registration Number 2624868
Registration Date September 24, 2002
Owner (REGISTRANT) STATE FAIR OF TEXAS, INC. CORPORATION TEXAS 3921 Martin Luther King Boulevard Dallas TEXAS 75210
Attorney of Record Dennis T. Griggs
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

(Trademark)
Word Mark BIG TEX
Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: entertainment services, in the nature of fireworks displays and laser light shows. FIRST USE: 19591000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19591000
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Design Search Code
Serial Number 76504258
Filing Date April 7, 2003
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Owner (APPLICANT) STATE FAIR OF TEXAS CORPORATION TEXAS 3921 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard Fair Park Dallas TEXAS 75210
Attorney of Record DENNIS T. GRIGGS
Prior Registrations 1551364;2624868;2728060;2741195;2774662;AND OTHERS
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Abandonment Date January 13, 2006

(Trademark)
Word Mark BIG TEX
Goods and Services IC 041. US 107. G & S: ARRANGING AND CONDUCTING STATE FAIR ACTIVITIES, NAMELY COMPETITIVE EXHIBITS FEATURING HOME, FARM, BUSINESS AND INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS; ARRANGING AND CONDUCTING ENTERTAINMENT AND AMUSEMENT SERVICES, NAMELY SIDESHOWS, RIDES AND GAMES; AND, ARRANGING AND CONDUCTING EDUCATIONAL SERVICES IN THE NATURE OF PUBLIC EXHIBITS AND PRESENTATIONS FEATURING ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE ARTS AND SCIENCES. FIRST USE: 19881007. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19881007
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Design Search Code
Serial Number 73766745
Filing Date December 1, 1988
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition May 16, 1989
Registration Number 1551364
Registration Date August 8, 1989
Owner (REGISTRANT) STATE FAIR OF TEXAS CORPORATION TEXAS FAIR PARK, P.O. BOX 26010 DALLAS TEXAS 75226
Attorney of Record DENNIS T. GRIGGS
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

(Trademark)
Word Mark BIG TEX
Goods and Services IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: clothing, namely T-shirts, jackets and hats. FIRST USE: 20020927. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20020927
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Design Search Code
Serial Number 76370789
Filing Date February 14, 2002
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition October 8, 2002
Registration Number 2728060
Registration Date June 17, 2003
Owner (REGISTRANT) STATE FAIR OF TEXAS, INC. DBA STATE FAIR OF TEXAS CORPORATION TEXAS 3921 Martin Luther King Boulevard Dallas TEXAS 75210
Attorney of Record Dennis Griggs
Prior Registrations 1551364
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Friday, December 08, 2006 • Permalink