Seattle 1978

Seattle 1978

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


C. W. Post, the founder of Post Cereals (which was originally Postum Cereal Company), created Postum as a coffee alternative in 1895.  They had a long string of success but the beverage was discontinued in 2007.  However, Eliza's Quest Food purchased the trademark this year and Postum is now available by mail with hopes of getting it back in stores.

I can't recall if I've ever actually had Postum but I do try to limit my caffeine intake and browsing old ads like I do has piqued my curiosity so I am very interested in ordering.

"It's lovely . . . I'll pin it on while you finish your Postum!"

January 1957 Life Magazine

"More Postum, Mom . . . we've got five new names to think up!"

February 1957 Life Magazine

"How about refueling with Postum?"

March 1957 Life Magazine

"Get under the veil, princess . . . I'll hold your Postum"

March 18, 1957 Life Magazine

"Let's have another cup of Postum . . .it's an hour show!"

April 15, 1957 Life Magazine

"So grown-up! Let Miss Easter have some Postum!"

April 22, 1957 Life Magazine

"Mind now . . . don't jiggle . . . let me enjoy my Postum!"

May 13, 1957 Life Magazine

Trade you a hamburger for a cup of Postum!"

May 27, 1957 Life Magazine

"Over-coffeed? Drink POSTUM  . . . it's 100% coffee-free!"

January 11, 1960 Life Magazine

Thursday, July 26, 2012


It's swimming and vacation season. According to family lore my great grandmother Olga Espelien Andrew tried to help her son, Orville Andrew keep up with the times in the 1920s but not having the money to purchase anything fashionable took it upon herself to repurpose the wool yarn unraveled from an old, orange sweater and knit her son a bathing suit of the latest style. He was even pleased with the results and proudly wore it to swim with the other teenagers at nearby Fraser River. Imagine his horror when the yarn after becoming wet, stretched awkwardly long down to his ankles. At that point, Great Grandmother Olga then squirreled away enough money to purchase a store bought suit.

In 1910 the Portland Knitting Company went in to business. The name changed in 1918 to Jantzen Knitting Mills. The bathing suits were knit from 100% wool and matching stockings and stocking caps completed their swim ensembles. You might enjoy further history from Jantzen's timeline. In addition to swimming suits, they eventually added vacation wear to their line. 

I'm actually quite fond of many of their mid-century styles:

"More fun than Money!"

May 9, 1955 Life Magazine


May 23, 1955 Life Magazine

"'It' as in Italy"

June 20, 1955 Life Magazine

"Jantzen for men of action!"

June 27, 1955 Life Magazine

"The next time you see Paris! this is what you'll see"

June 4, 1956 Life Magazine

"Flip yourself into a Jantzen Reversible!"

June 18, 1956 Life Magazine

"Italian stripes"

June 25, 1956 Life Magazine

"Any port in the sun Jantzen sunclothes"

May 13, 1957 Life Magazine

"Nobody stays home anymore thanks to Jantzen sunclothes"

May 20, 1957 Life Magazine

"All girls are gorgeous in Janzten swim suits"

May 27, 1957 Life Magazine

"The Acapulco High Divers by Jantzen"

June 10, 1957 Life Magazine

"The look a man likes"

June 17, 1957 Life Magazine

"Jantzen top fashion knitted blazers fitted pants"

May 12, 1958 Life Magazine

"Jantzen family plan . . . no age limit"

May 26, 1958 Life Magazine

"top fashion: the soft touch"

June 9, 1958 Life Magazine

"top fashion portofino stripes"

June 16, 1958 Life Magazine

"if you care how you look while you play"

May 25, 1959 Life Magazine

"Just wear a smile and a Jantzen"

May 23, 1960 Life Magazine

June 6, 1960 Life Magazine

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Seattle World's Fair and my Grandparents

I've mentioned my Grandfather whose career was in the hospitality industry before - Howard Johnson worked in hotels since he was a child starting as a page boy at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC.  My Grandmother, Lucy (Andrew) Johnson was in the hospitality industry as well and waitressed all her life (when I called her at age 16 to tell her I got my first job waitressing at Pizza Haven she advised me to always bring a second pair of shoes to switch into during the middle of long shifts because the different feel would make aching feet feel better - she also told me not to waitress my whole life). They moved from British Columbia to Seattle in 1951 and by 1962 they were working hard welcoming Century 21 Seattle World's Fairgoers.

My beautiful Grandmother waitressing in the Space Needle's revolving restaurant:

Thank you to Dean Syltebo for restoring this photo!!
We think this photo is 1963 - many of the waitresses suffered from motion sickness but my Grandmother was unaffected so she stuck around and worked there even after The Fair closed.

Processed July 1962

My Grandfather worked at several different hotels in 1962 - my Mother told me The Edgewater Inn hired him to work on the MS Dominion Monarch which was docked in Seattle to host guests as a hotel since the Edgewater Inn wasn't finished in time for the start of the World's Fair
Dominion Monarch Maru & Smith Tower, July 1962

But before that he worked at Century House Motor Hotel and he wrote me my all-time very favorite letter when I was four months old on stationery from there.  My Dad was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas so we lived in Killeen, Texas and I don't think he had met me, yet.

April 2/62
Dearest Jana:
This is just a note honey to say hello and to say how nice it was to hear your voice on the telephone. Your mother kept interrupting and it was a little difficult to understand you but I think I got the message. Parents are such a problem these days but try to understand them. Ask you Mother about it because I too was a problem parent.
Now that your Mother is caught up in this mad dizzy social whirl, cooking, dusting pamlum, diapers, feeding, ironing, washing and her golf and tennis guess she doesn't have time to write. I know you must be busy with your dates and school work but tell your Mother the enclosed stamps are just in case she gets a moment. If your Mother and Dad can't get away in June you come anyhow it will be a good chance for you and I to see the Fair.
Tell your Mother that we went to Dave Schwatz's wedding Saturday nite and both the bride and he looked fine.
Seattle is just busting out all over now only nineteen days to opening and everyone holding their breath. Biggest thing to hit Seattle. Lots of old buildings being torn down and everybody painting and getting ready. This place where I am working is putting in a new restaurant and cocktail bar. Carpenters, painters, plumbers, noise, dust and confusion trying to get ready for the Fair.
Grandmaw and I are going down tomorrow to ride on the monorail and see the Wax Works. The Observation Tower on the Space Needle and the Monorail are doing a rushing business already.
On Thursday we are going up to Vancouver to see your Great Grandmother. Has your Dad been teaching you to drive yet? I don't think Father's make the best teachers ask your Mother. Do all you homework and don't play the Hi-Fi too much. Be a good girl and say hello to your Mother and Dad. A big hug and kiss for you and tell your mother I didn't have to wipe my chin.
All My Love
P.S. It will be okay to let your Mother read this letter.

Is that an awesome letter or what?! Family history, humor, Seattle World's Fair tidbits all on one page!

The front and back of the envelope it came in:

By the end of 1962, The Edgewater Inn was completed and Howard worked there for several years.

The Edgewater 2011:

Seattle.Gov's Historic Preservation Program tells me that The Edgewater is Category 4
"These buildings have been identified as ones that have been so altered that they would not qualify as Seattle landmarks."

I can't really blame The Edgewater for altering the hotel to stay competitive in the industry but I'll always consider it a Seattle landmark.

My Grandfather died forty two years ago today on July 25, 1970 when I was eight years old.  He was only 58.  I don't have many memories of him but I will always treasure the letter he wrote me when I was an infant.  Thinking about you, Grandpaw!!

(taken at the Mayflower Hotel - probably late 1950s)

Grandma and Grandpa and me November 1963

Grandma, Grandpa and me about 1964

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lake Michigan to Puget Sound by Rail

I was delighted to find this at my parent's house yesterday!  In a brief internet search it appears to have been published about 1924 (it's not dated anywhere on the inside).  The colorized photos are so beautiful, I had to share.
"Lake Michigan to Puget Sound - Electrically Operated through the Rocky, Bitter Root and Cascade Mountains. Along the Chicago Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway to Puget Sound - Electrified"
From Lake Michigan to Puget Sound
Mount Rainier and Reflection lake, Rainier National Park, Wash.

A Scenic Guide Book. Price $1.25

"A Trans-Continental Journey is an event. However much or however little one may have traveled, it is impossible to think of it otherwise . . ."

". . . . Upward again, through ragged mountain scenes the "King of the Rails" ascends the east slope of the Cascades, winding around Lake Keechelus - and here, for the first time, the eastern traveler sees something of the mighty forests of the Cascades. Dark and still and full of nameless peace stand the great trees. Trackless are these forests, except where the long, narrow aisle of the railway opens a way through: or where a rippling brook rushes down the unknown heights. Ever increasing in number and grandeur the mountains crowd about, seeming to bar the way. The railway pierces this range through Snoqualmie Tunnel, which is 12,000 feet in length. From here the route is down grade through magnificent forests and along the rims of deep canyon carved into solid rock and carpeted with mountain shrubbery or threaded by rushing mountain streams, fed by eternal snows. Magnificent beyond compare are teh Cascades, on east and west and at the western base the Cedar River glides into the level and ripples along beside the tracks - both river and railway on their way to Seattle, the first to supply the city with the purest water on the continent, the other to serve the western metropolis with its incomparable facilities and magnificent trains . . ."

Map of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway

New Chicago Union Passenger Station

Steamboat in the jaws of the Dells of the Wisconsin River.

The Olympian on Short Line Bridge, Between St. Paul and Minneapolis

Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis, Minn.

Missouri River Bridge at Mobridge, S. Dak.

"King of the Rails".

One of the Many Graceful Curves, Montana Canyon.

Eagle Nest Tunnel.

Crossing the Missouri River, Lombard, Mont.

Source of the Missouri River, Three Forks, Mont.

Magnificent Gallatin Gateway Inn, Montana

The Olympian on the Summit of the Rocky Mountains.

Crossing the Divide, Bitter Root Mountains, Idaho

Crossing the Spokane River. Spokane, Wash.

Bridge over Columbia River, Beverly, Wash.

Kittitas Valley, Wash.

The Olympian leaving Tunnel on the Yakima River

The Olympian in the Cascades.

Snoqualmie Falls, Cascade Mountains, Wash.

The Olympian on West Slope of the Cascade Mountains, Wash.

Paradise Inn, Mt. Rainier National Park, Wash.

continued from slide 4:
" . . .From Seattle to Tacoma the line lies among the berry fields of the famous Puyallup and White River Valleys, with hills and forests closing in the horizon. Away in the southeast towers the great white cone of Mount Rainier the crowing attraction of the sound cities, is situated a half day's ride from either Seattle or Tacoma. Having an altitude of 14,480 feet, or nearly three miles, Mount Rainier is easily the king of all mountains of this vicinity. This majestic peak is the most titanic extinct volcano in America outside of Alaska. . . . and from Tacoma this railroad carries you to the very granite foundation of the old fire peak. Mount Rainier National Park encloses the mountain, and the train takes you to Ashford, where automobile stages carry you up through the park entrance and along the most beautiful woodland road in the world to The Inn, at Longmire Springs or Paradise Inn at Paradise Park. . . ."

You might enjoy viewing these images as a slideshow here .