Fire at Texans Inc., 1971

On May 30, 1971 lightning struck the Texans Incorporated manufacturing facility in Bangs, just as the new Del Rio plant was beginning operation. The fire, inflicting damage that totaled over 1 million dollars, leveled the pottery and resulted in a total loss of equipment, inventory and records. This wasn't the first time that the plant had suffered from such a disaster, as $200,000 in damages were incurred in a 1965 blaze. Construction of a new, larger Bangs plant began almost immediately, and they were back in full production within two years. These images, digitized from slides that are in the collection of Pete and Evangeline Eads, capture the fire in progress as well as showing the aftermath.

Film footage has been found that shows the 1971 Texans fire in progress. Merely one minute long and a little worse for wear, the clip is nonetheless a unique and important document. Originally filmed by Billy Gamblin in 8mm, it was transferred to VHS and later to DVD. Presented here in Flash format, you must have Flash Player installed to view. Download Adobe Flash Player.

That's David Cole, renowned Texans Inc. historian, in the foreground.

The main entrance to Texans Inc.

Volunteer firefighters combat the blaze.

Model K338 table lamps, and ceramic table pedestals, piled in the burning rubble.

Not much left, but it still burns.

Molds stacked amidst the smoldering ruins.