By Allen Mondell & Cynthia Salzman Mondell
Part One (1866 – 1930’s)
The State Fair of Texas began in 1886 as two separate Fairs because the citizens of Dallas couldn’t agree where to hold it. This resulted in a divided effort with both Fairs losing money so they eventually joined forces to hold a single fair, the one we have today at Fair Park.
Texas relied on agriculture as an economic lynch pin, especially in its early days. The Fair showcased advancements in modern farming equipment such as the barbwire maker and the cotton gin. This exposure helped to play a large role in the progress of Texas agriculture.
The advent of the automobile had a huge impact in the way Texans went about their lives. The State Fair played a crucial role in ushering in the age of this modern machine through its massive auto shows and demonstrations. Automakers were able to connect with the public directly and in large numbers by exhibiting their products at the Fair.