Noted hat designer Mme. Lilly Daché visited Seattle’s Frederick & Nelson in January 1938 to promote her millinery creations. This photo, taken during her visit to the department store, shows Mme. Daché modeling one of her hats. We have nine of her hats in our collection.
This is a detail from a 1895 dress donated by members of the Denny Family. The fabric is black with shiny woven black stripes and a printed pink pattern. The pink pattern looks a bit like pixels, so the dress has a sort of futuristic “digital” look even though it is from the 19th century.
Gold Open Toe Sandals, c. 1940s
Label: “Jerauld’s // 505 PINE ST // SEATTLE”
Grey felt hat with net veil, 1940s
Label: “Model by Elizabeth, New York // Exclusive with The Bon Marche, Seattle”
There is a lot that is mysterious about this hat: The donor was anonymous and our Costume & Textiles Specialist hasn’t been able to find out anything about the hat designer “Elizabeth,” but the Bon Marche part gives it a clear Seattle provenance. The style and shape is reminiscent of an 18th century tricorne—but of course with four sides instead of three.
Here is one of our volunteers, Christine Palmer, happily sorting through the skirt layers on a Norman Norell gown from the 1950s. The same gown is in the Met’s collection here.
Vaudeville Costume, c. 1923. It was worn by Esther Van Veley who was born in Everett and was a dancer on the Vaudeville circuit in the 1920s. She worked with a partner, Ray Lawrence, on an act with the stage name “Van and Valey”. He did recitations and she danced. They performed throughout the West, in Montana, Utah, and California. Their act was usually called “The Act Beautiful” and was notable for its elaborate lace backdrop. One of the dances she performed was “The Novelty Peacock Dance.” This costume was mostly likely for that dance.
The research for this object was done by one of our wonderful volunteers, Dina Moreno.
Matt Damon, is that you?? This is a painting in our collection of Walter Horace Henry. He was the son of Horace Chapin Henry who established the Henry Art Gallery as well as the Firland Tuberculosis Hospital in what is now Richmond Highlands in the Shoreline area.
For many years, Seattle’s industries closed on Labor Day, and trade union members marched in the annual Labor Day parade. In 1918, the United States’ armed forces were still fighting in Europe. Union members serving at forts and naval stations in the Seattle area marched in the parade in uniform. The Seattle Times reported that 40,000 union members were expected to take part in the day’s activities .
This photo shows Seattle’s annual Labor Day parade in 1918 as it passes the County-City Building. A group of sailors marches beside a Red Cross float.
This poem is by Collin LeBeau who was a participant in our Teen Poetry Program held in partnership with the Seattle Public Libraries! In this program, we explored captivating images from our archives and created poems using vintage typewriters. This poem was inspired by a photo from the 1950s depicting the night sky over downtown Seattle.
To celebrate the 1st week of school, we’re throwing back to the classroom of yesteryear. This ca. 1905 photo shows the classroom at Yesler School, which was located near the intersection of 36th Avenue NE & NE 47th Street.