Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “A piano has been installed in the lunch room of the White Elephant Shop,” and, “Mr. Paul Mandell Henry is at present in Montreal where the mercury has gone into winter quarters.” In this new series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”
“You Auto Go to the Auto Show” heralded the Town Crier in the March 8, 1919 edition. The particular issue was filthy with advertisements for cars, including ads for Oldsmobile, Pierce-Arrow, and Paige, “the most beautiful car in America.”
The 1919 auto show took place at the Armory, Western Avenue and Virginia Street. There was concert orchestra music throughout the festivities, conducted by Mr. Guterson, conductor of “the famous Russian orchestra.” There were also plenty of decorations that festooned the great hall. “It is sufficient to say,” the Crier wrote, “that the entire interior of the Armory has been transformed – concealed, if you please – behind scenes from out-of-doors, lattice work, trellises and other features, all illuminated as bright as day on big chandeliers and special lamps of unique design.”
Music, trellises, and, of course, cars! “Arrayed in ordered ranks, yet blending harmoniously with a wonderfully effective decorative scheme, will be three-score picked cars presented by members of the Seattle Motor Car Dealers’ Association.” The cars ranged in price from $950 to $9,000. There were luxuriously finished models, dressed in blue and gold and matter-of-fact passenger touring cars, “boasting more miles per gallon than the average man can conceive.”
United Motors and Hainsworth Motor Company had booths. So did Parker Motor Company and Franklin-Wicks. Great Western Motors had a booth, too, as did Shields Livengood Motor Company.
All in all, it was quite a to-do (Thursday night’s festivities were devoted to the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine!).
The Seattle International Auto Show took place this past November. However, if you want to see really cool cars, including models of cars that were showcased one hundred years ago, head to Tacoma. LeMay – America’s Car Museum, a member of America’s Automotive Trust, is an international destination for auto enthusiasts. The 165,000 square foot facility has 250 automobiles spanning over 100 years of automotive history, plus approximately another 100 vehicles on exhibit loan from private collections.
It boasts more than you can conceive.