TEXAS COTTON PALACE – “CIRCLE A” PLATE
This custom designed plate was commissioned and distributed by Circle A Ginger Ale to commemorate the 1910 reopening of the Texas Cotton Palace in Waco, Texas. The front of the plate showcases the new Texas Cotton Palace’s main building with Circle A advertising while the back focuses on promoting Dr Pepper. Both drinks were produced by the Artesian Manufacturing & Bottling Co. located in Waco.
TEXAS COTTON PALACE
Following the Civil War, the farmland of the Brazos and Bosque valleys around Waco, Texas (100 miles south of Dallas) grew into one of the largest cotton producing areas in the U.S. Waco was the supply and shipping hub for that cotton. In November 1894 Waco opened a fair and exposition center called the Texas Cotton Palace to host an annual three week fair and festival of exhibits, demonstrations, competitions and events, including various social events, after the end of the annual cotton season each fall. Unfortunately, the Cotton Palace was destroyed by a spectacular fire in January 1895.
In November 1910, an elaborate and expanded Texas Cotton Palace complex reopened. This plate was commissioned and distributed by Circle A Ginger Ale during that three week reopening exposition. Robert S. Lazenby of Waco founded Circle A in 1884 and in 1885 became involved with the production and bottling of Dr. Pepper (see Dr Pepper plates). The Artesian Manufacturing & Bottling Works was created in 1891 and produced both drinks. Despite reference to Dr. Pepper on the back of the plate, this plate has only been seen with Circle A advertising on the front.
The reconstructed Texas Cotton Palace operated until 1931 when it became a casualty of the Great Depression. It was eventually demolished and the cornerstone of the main building converted to a monument which is currently located in William Cameron Park in Waco.