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Treasures of the Archives: China Day Parade

China Day Parade, Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Seattle, Photographs, State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives.

China Day Parade, Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Seattle, Photographs, State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Theatrical Mechanics Association Day, National Funeral Directors Association Day, Washington Rural Letter Carriers’ Day, even Cactus Day. These were just a few of the commemorative days at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition held in Seattle from June through October, 1909. The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (or AYP) was the 1909 World’s Fair, highlighting Seattle as the gateway to Alaska, Canada, and the Pacific Rim. Washington’s first World’s Fair, the AYP was held on the University of Washington’s campus in Seattle. The famous Olmsted Brothers designed the fairgrounds that attracted 3.7 million people from across the country and the world. Many of the buildings were built to be temporary but there is still evidence of the fair on the University’s campus. The Geyser Basin, now known as Drumheller Fountain is a survivor of the 1909 fair.

Treasures of the Archives: Gasoline at 41c a gallon?

“UTOCO Gas Station,” A.M. Kendrick Photographic Collection, ca. 1890-1976, Photographs, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives.

“UTOCO Gas Station,” A.M. Kendrick Photographic Collection, ca. 1890-1976, Photographs, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

America’s love affair with the automobile has often been tempered by the cost of gasoline – the fluctuating prices driven by politics as much as production. In this photograph of a gas service station in Ritzville, a proud attendant stands next to his pump. A closer look reveals the cost for three gallons of gasoline was just $1.23 – that’s about 40c per gallon. In the background you’ll also see Coca-Cola sold for just 10c a bottle in one of the dispensing machines patented by the Coke Company.

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