Artifacts: Reliving Almost Live!
On the air with John Keister
Once upon a time, during the halcyon days of network television, a Saturday night staple for many area residents was a Seattle sketch comedy show that aired on KING-5. Taped in front of a live audience, each episode began with the host delivering his opening monologue. As he walked out onstage, an “On Air” sign…
The birth of pre-funk
a look at Seattle’s first real citywide Mardi Gras
According to the online slang compendium Urban Dictionary, the term “pre-funk” is defined as “an informal social gathering that takes place prior to the official ceremony, or social gathering, usually involving intoxicating activities and generally resulting in inebriation.” Further research shows that it’s actually a regional phrase, specific to the Pacific Northwest, and is a…
Seattle Artifacts: The Mystery of Chief Seattle’s Death Mask
Is it real? Where did it come from?
In different parts of the world, and throughout the course of history, death has been memorialized in a variety of different ways. One of the more intriguing was death masks. Typically, a wax or plaster cast was made of a deceased person’s face, which then served as a model for sculptors when creating statues and busts. …
Seattle Artifacts: The Derelict League
An obscure, amateur baseball league grew from Seattle’s hippie culture
Somewhere, deep in the archives of local sports history, sits a curious entry regarding a forgotten baseball league that once dominated Seattle’s playfields and ballparks. You will not find any trading cards for this particular franchise, nor will you find any of its memorabilia on eBay. The top players were never recruited to the major…
Seattle Artifacts: A Man of History, Walt Crowley, Influenced Seattle’s Future and Preserved Its Past
Crowley worked tirelessly to promote civil liberties for people of all backgrounds and wasn’t afraid to reach across the political aisle for solutions
Nestled slightly above the hustle and bustle of Pike Place Market sits the office headquarters for HistoryLink, which has provided Washington state history for online readers since 1998. It predates Wikipedia by more than three years. My first visit there happened after a chance lunch encounter with Marie McCaffrey, the site’s cofounder and executive director. …
Seattle Artifacts: The Spotify of its Day
The Multiphone was Puget Sound’s first streaming music service
Deep in the heart of Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood sits a turn-of-the-century brick building that was originally used as horse stables for a nearby racetrack. Its restored interior now serves as a museum of sorts, with an eclectic mishmash of antique coin-operated machines, vintage signs and old Seattle memorabilia. The curator of this unique collection is…
Seattle Artifacts: Crime, Politics and Pinball
Competing factions resorted to bombs during Seattle’s pinball war
Back in the 1950s, Seattle was rocked by a series of late-night bombings that were connected to regional crime syndicates battling for control over the city’s lucrative pinball market. In this article — my first for “Seattle” magazine — I take a look at how a small trove of brass amusement licenses discovered during a…
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