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EastEnd Susan

Old Southwestern Bell Yellowpages

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Does anyone remember the old yellow pages from the 50's 60's and 70's? The front covers were all done by the same artist and they were so much fun to look at. They had quite a few characters they would use over and over every year, along with some new ones. There was the cat with the litter of kittens, the alien, the buffalo, the oil derrick, the herd of cattle and tons more. They were all hidden somewhere in the sketch of Houston. I couldn't wait for the yellowpages to come out so I could try to find them all. I tried to find something on the internet about it but came up with nothing. Does anyone remember the artist? Wish I had some of my grandmas old yellowpages.

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last yr there was a nice print version of one of his covers at The Guild. i have his name written here somewhere and ran across is recently but don't remember what it is at the moment. the one i'm talking about is from the early 70's..maybe late 60's

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Does anyone remember the old yellow pages from the 50's 60's and 70's? The front covers were all done by the same artist and they were so much fun to look at. They had quite a few characters they would use over and over every year, along with some new ones. There was the cat with the litter of kittens, the alien, the buffalo, the oil derrick, the herd of cattle and tons more. They were all hidden somewhere in the sketch of Houston. I couldn't wait for the yellowpages to come out so I could try to find them all. I tried to find something on the internet about it but came up with nothing. Does anyone remember the artist? Wish I had some of my grandmas old yellowpages.

i always looked forward to the new books with the artwork too. today's "official" yellow pages doesn't seem much better than the fifty offbrand phone books you get...esp. with all the ads.

i read an article on the drawings a few years back. now if i could remember where it was in. :(

also, seems like there was a website that had one of the drawings and you could zoom over it with a magnifyer to see all the details.

anyone?

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I remember the very first one. It was a normal drawing of downtown, and somewhere in the drawing was a mother cat and her kittens crossing the street. You really had to look hard to find them.

The next year, the cat and kittens were there in a new drawing, and there were a couple of other

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EE susan...like this perhaps? oh and his name is Karl Hoefle

lgh63.jpg

and this.

lgh65.jpg

Edited by musicman

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Actually...his name was Norman Baxter

the one i saw at the Guild said karl hoefle.

the article I found said the following...

In my estimation, the most interesting cover illustrations are the Houston and Dallas yellow page covers drawn by Karl Hoefle for a number of years. They always show huge, minutely detailed views of the city from different angles, in line drawings on a yellow background. Because they're so detailed, the artist scatters whimsical little anomalies throughout.

Edited by musicman

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EE susan...like this perhaps? oh and his name is Karl Hoefle

lgh63.jpg

and this.

lgh65.jpg

Yes!! Oh wow, What memories. Thank you so much. :D

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the one i saw at the Guild said karl hoefle.

the article I found said the following...

In my estimation, the most interesting cover illustrations are the Houston and Dallas yellow page covers drawn by Karl Hoefle for a number of years. They always show huge, minutely detailed views of the city from different angles, in line drawings on a yellow background. Because they're so detailed, the artist scatters whimsical little anomalies throughout.

Yes...you are right...I must have received some bad information.

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Yes!! Oh wow, What memories. Thank you so much. :D

Is that area with all of those trees supposed to be Hermann Park? It's too bad that old phone books aren't kept online. If they were you could look up places you used to go to, where you used to live, what your phone number was, etc.

I remember the very first one. It was a normal drawing of downtown, and somewhere in the drawing was a mother cat and her kittens crossing the street. You really had to look hard to find them.

The next year, the cat and kittens were there in a new drawing, and there were a couple of other "oddities" to be found as well. Each year there would be more and more things to see until it reached the point that the whole drawing was clogged with silly situations.

They took a really nice, cute idea and ran it into the ground.

A couple of years ago there was a picture on the front page of the Houston Chronicle showing cars stopped in the middle of the day on a busy downtown street letting a mother duck and her ducklings cross the street (I assume that a baby duck is called a duckling).

Edited by northbeaumont

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OK, so who is Norman Baxter? His name is very familiar.

When I worked for Gulf Oil in the reproduction department, I got a poster-size copy of a drawing of downtown similar to the style of the old phone book drawings. Although the styles were strikingly similar, I do remember that my drawing was done by a different artist.

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OK, so who is Norman Baxter? His name is very familiar.

When I worked for Gulf Oil in the reproduction department, I got a poster-size copy of a drawing of downtown similar to the style of the old phone book drawings. Although the styles were strikingly similar, I do remember that my drawing was done by a different artist.

Norman Baxter picked up the phone book duties when the other artist stopped:

"In 1983 the University of Houston campus was featured on the cover of the Southwestern Bell Telephone Yellow Pages. Illustrated by artist Norman Baxter, founding partner of Houston advertising firm Baxter & Korge, the cover is a realistic drawing of campus dotted with whimsical vignettes. There

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Norman Baxter was my Grandfather. I have been searching for years to locate these covers. I used to remember sitting on his lap as a young child while he draw these. It was an amazing memory and would like to find these.

Norman Baxter has a few books published. The most noted is "A Line on Texas". Can find it on Amazon.

If anyone locates these yellow pages, please let me know. My familiy has been searching for years.

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Glad you remembered that Susan!

I had already forgotten about those covers. We used to get bugged eyed trying to figure it out, but that was part of the fun. The kittens I really recall!

This was decades before "Where's Waldo?" deal.

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I don't recall the first drawings, only the second ones. The ones that came out beginning in 1979 were more caricature type drawings, as opposed to the minutely detailed ones shown above. As before, there were little quirks spread throughout the drawing. One of my favorites was the skier going down the slope of Pennzoil.

My dad worked for the phone company during this time. He would bring home poster size reprints of the covers. I saved them for several years, but over the course of a dozen or more moves in the last 25 years, I have probably lost them.

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I don't recall the first drawings, only the second ones. The ones that came out beginning in 1979 were more caricature type drawings, as opposed to the minutely detailed ones shown above. As before, there were little quirks spread throughout the drawing. One of my favorites was the skier going down the slope of Pennzoil.

My dad worked for the phone company during this time. He would bring home poster size reprints of the covers. I saved them for several years, but over the course of a dozen or more moves in the last 25 years, I have probably lost them.

I wonder if in due time the telephone "book" will be a thing of the past? Will it someday be only online? YellowBook.Com has theirs both book and online. It seems like operators are now people of the past. When you call 411, naturally, a recording answers.

In one TV commercial, David Carridine has a laptop computer entering YellowBook.Com to show to his "student." In the other commercial, he throws the book to him.

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I wonder if in due time the telephone "book" will be a thing of the past? Will it someday be only online? YellowBook.Com has theirs both book and online. It seems like operators are now people of the past. When you call 411, naturally, a recording answers.

In one TV commercial, David Carridine has a laptop computer entering YellowBook.Com to show to his "student." In the other commercial, he throws the book to him.

I work for an independent yellow pages publisher, and the thinking is that printed phonebooks will be a thing of the past in 20 years.

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Does anyone remember the old yellow pages from the 50's 60's and 70's? The front covers were all done by the same artist and they were so much fun to look at. They had quite a few characters they would use over and over every year, along with some new ones. There was the cat with the litter of kittens, the alien, the buffalo, the oil derrick, the herd of cattle and tons more. They were all hidden somewhere in the sketch of Houston. I couldn't wait for the yellowpages to come out so I could try to find them all. I tried to find something on the internet about it but came up with nothing. Does anyone remember the artist? Wish I had some of my grandmas old yellowpages.

Great memory Susan....thanks for starting this thread!

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Norman Baxter was my Grandfather. I have been searching for years to locate these covers. I used to remember sitting on his lap as a young child while he draw these. It was an amazing memory and would like to find these.

Norman Baxter has a few books published. The most noted is "A Line on Texas". Can find it on Amazon.

If anyone locates these yellow pages, please let me know. My familiy has been searching for years.

Shannon, I am a nephew of Norman and have been trying to locate your family. I do have one of his original pen and inks, and my brother has several water colors given to my father.

If memory serves me correctly, Norman was the artist who did the "Tiger in your Tank" for Exxon. He also did some water color checks for Deluxe checks at one time. We all have his book a "Line On Texas".

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I loved those yellow pages covers. I distinctly remember one from a bust year with a banner that read "Oh thank heaven for Chapter 11!", back when Houston had 7-11s and before Chapter 11 was reformed.

I haven't used a physical yellow pages in 10 years or more. I don't like how many are delivered to my house. I'm going to mutilate one and post it on a stake near the front door to warn the others.

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Does anyone remember the old yellow pages from the 50's 60's and 70's? The front covers were all done by the same artist and they were so much fun to look at. They had quite a few characters they would use over and over every year, along with some new ones. There was the cat with the litter of kittens, the alien, the buffalo, the oil derrick, the herd of cattle and tons more. They were all hidden somewhere in the sketch of Houston. I couldn't wait for the yellowpages to come out so I could try to find them all. I tried to find something on the internet about it but came up with nothing. Does anyone remember the artist? Wish I had some of my grandmas old yellowpages.

I remember those books, especially the ones with the tiny humorous cartoon drawings...used to do research at the Pasadena main library, they had a nice collection of Houston & Pasadena phone books in their reference section.

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I remember those books, especially the ones with the tiny humorous cartoon drawings...used to do research at the Pasadena main library, they had a nice collection of Houston & Pasadena phone books in their reference section.

That artist really deserves some recognition. :D

Wonder what year it ended?

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Hello -

I'm new to this group forum and have enjoyed reading the Southwestern Bell Yellowpages thread.

I have some first hand information on Dallas artist Karl Hoefle which was obtained from his mother "May Hoefle" my friend and neighbor in the 1980's.

Additionally, I'm the proud owner of these original scratchboard plates that I've enjoyed since 1983. The art has a way of pulling you in to search for what I've often called moments of humor.

Houston 1957, Houston Harbor 1958, Dallas 1963, Chief Quanta Parker *in the spirit, Graham Texas Forest Scene 1963, *Janet Hoefle had painted a forest scene and Karl then created the scratchboard.

May Hoefle was in her mid to late 80's during the time of our friendship and some of this information was written down during our conversations or I happened across it later during research.

If anyone has information that is different from what I'm sharing I hope you will post it here.

"May" did her best to describe the process in which her son would use to create what she called "scratchboard lithography". She told me he would cover the large, thick, white scratchboard with india black ink and then a very thin clay or puddy. He would then start to create the negative by scratching the puddy away. The india ink would come up with the puddy. The art was created by a negative process. May use to tell me all the time, "He didn't draw the line.... he scratched the excess ink away from the line."

His mother often said, "Karl didn't invent this process but he was a pioneer that perfected it."

The first humor was 15 hours of time on the Houston clock.

A radio station in Houston first started the annual contests where people would call in to say how many funny things they had found. The radio contests spread to Dallas and elsewhere every year.

The cats were named; "Pitens the Cat", "Enee", "Mene", "Mine" but there was no "Mo".

First phone book cover was either 1955 or 1956.

Karl Hoefle was awarded the "Texas Southwestern Bell Yellowpages" contract between 1957 - 1974.

Artist Barry Moore continued the tradition for a few years after Karl's death.

Original poster art (from the scratchboard plates) was sold for around $500.00. There are at least 2 that hang in Dallas City Hall.

Karl Hoefle's phone book work is fun, detailed and one of the most incredible regional historical documentations of pop culture I've ever experienced. I would be happy to loan the works I have if a museum or organization was doing a show. The Graham Texas Forest Scene 1963 is an amazing detailed work that the world should have a chance to see! It was obviously a work of love from husband back to wife.

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I LOVED that artwork! Spend untold hours circling all funny stuff on there.

Does anyone remember the SWB advertisement "WMBTOPCITBWTNTALI" that was on the inside of the back cover?

(We may be the only phone company in town, but we try not to act like it)

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We had a phone in the mid 50's but I have absolutely no memory of those earliest covers. Maybe I just didn't notice things like that then, I certainly had no reason to use the yellow pages either.

But, as to the Norman Baxter covers, I do remember those and there is another more recent thread around here about his artwork. I posted to that thread and I'll also post here that recently I attended a function in a community called High Hill which is near Schulenburg TX. The shindig was held at the church hall next door to the beautiful St. Mary's Catholic Church which is one of the Painted Churches of Fayette County.

Anyway, as I was standing in line to use the "facilities", right there on the wall next to me was a huge black and white (pen and ink?) drawing. It was about 48" tall and 36" wide and looked as if it was done with a black marker, the lines were that broad. There was no date that I could find but it was signed Norm Baxter in the lower right corner. In the lower left corner was written, or printed, "Salt Grass Trail" (or something like that). Then under that was "Addicks Camp". It was clearly a cowboy camp with horses, campfires and everything. I thought perhaps it was done in connection with the Houston Livestock Show.

The big question I had was, how in the world did it get to this small Catholic Community? The other items on the walls are mostly historic photos of past priests, the original church, etc.

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Does anyone remember the old yellow pages from the 50's 60's and 70's? The front covers were all done by the same artist and they were so much fun to look at. They had quite a few characters they would use over and over every year, along with some new ones. There was the cat with the litter of kittens, the alien, the buffalo, the oil derrick, the herd of cattle and tons more. They were all hidden somewhere in the sketch of Houston. I couldn't wait for the yellowpages to come out so I could try to find them all. I tried to find something on the internet about it but came up with nothing. Does anyone remember the artist? Wish I had some of my grandmas old yellowpages.

Susan, as time permits may I suggest you search out the local chapter of Telephone Pioneers of America. Perhaps many of the retired folk might still retain the original printed versions or the local chapter may have a historical archive some where in the Houston/Harris Cnty area.

As an aside, the (still operational) historical SWBT Bldg. @ the corner of Capitol/San Jac, is where my sister (now 72yo) took her training and worked the nite shift sum 5 decades ago.

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either my parents only had old yellow pages, or these things were still around in the 80s, cause I remember looking as well.

Here's one I found in a GIS.

wish it were bigger :(

hou70yp.jpg

to the person looking, you can always try the library of congress, don't they make it a point to have a copy of everything?

Edited by samagon

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I really wish I could find a set from 1979-1984 or so. Even older ones would be cool! They're impossible to find.

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