Orville J. Rognon Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Photographs, 1909  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Rognon, Orville J.
Orville J. Rognon Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Photographs
1909 (inclusive)
31 photographic prints (1 box) ; various sizes
Collection Number
Photographs of the airship and the military tourney at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Entire collection can be viewed on the Libraries' Digital Collections website. Permission of Visual Materials curator is required to view originals. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the Friends of the Library.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Orville J. Rognon started as a photographer in Webster & Steven in 1908. In 1911 he partnered with Frank Nowell for a time, to create Nowell & Rognon. In 1913 he moved to Vancouver, B.C. and worked at the Canadian Photo Company until 1914. Between 1918 and 1919 he partnered with Leonard Frank to create the Commercial Photo Company.

Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

The Klondike Gold Rush made Seattle the dominant city in the Pacific Northwest, as the major supplier to Alaska. The goal of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYPE) was to show off the growth and development of the Pacific Northwest, specifically Seattle, and to display the value of commercial trade with the Pacific Rim. When Japan agreed to participate, the AYPE became a truly international, multi-cultural event, which planners of the AYPE hoped would demonstrate cooperation between people from around the world. On a less philosophical level, city officials also hoped that the exposition would encourage people to relocate to the growing metropolis of Seattle.

Officials soon decided on the largely wooded grounds of the University of Washington, situated on Lake Washington, with Mount Rainier visible in the distance. The first $650,000 for the AYPE was raised by proud Seattleites, who bought “shares” of the exposition. Much of the rest was funded by the sale of public lands and by the Washington State legislature, with the understanding that the buildings built for the exposition would become part of the University of Washington at the end of the AYPE. John and Frederick Olmsted, son and stepson of Frederick Law Olmsted, prominent landscape architects in their own right, designed much of the AYPE grounds.

Thanks to two years of planning and the huge sums of money raised, the AYPE grounds and exposition were everything the planners had hoped for. It was a fascinating mix of ethnic diversity and crass commercialism, but it clearly appealed to the people of the United States. Over 80,000 people attended the AYPE on opening day in June 1909, and by closing day (October 16, 1909) 3.7 million people had paid to see attractions such as the Igorrote Village, and the Indian and Eskimo exhibits. They had seen animals built out of fruits and nuts, and rode on the Fairy Gorge Tickler. The AYPE had been a huge success. Seattle officials were pleased to note that the AYPE had drawn 700,000 people more than the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition had attracted in the rival city of Portland, Oregon. "quoted from the AYPE digital site

Rognon was probably hired by the official Alaska-Yukon-Pacific-Exposition Photographer, Frank Nowell, to photograph for him during the AYPE. Some of Rognon's photographs were published with Nowell's AYPE stamp on them, but with Rognon's number.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Photographs of the airship and the military tourney at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, 1909.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from the collection in digital format.

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Visiting officialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/1 1 1909
1/1 2 1909
1/1 3 1909

Military EventsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/2 4 1909
1/2 5 1909
1/2 6 1909
1/2 7 1909
1/2 8 1909
1/2 9 1909
1/2 10 1909
1/3 11 1909
1/3 12
 The champion tug of war team
"Plucky tug of war team from the West"
1/3 13 1909
1/3 14 1909
1/3 15 1909
1/3 16 1909
1/3 17 1909
1/3 18 1909

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Corporate Names :
  • Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (1909 : Seattle, Wash.)--Photographs
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographic prints