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Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Collection, 1906-1910

Overview of the Collection

Title
Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Collection
Dates
1906-1910 (inclusive)
Quantity
2 linear feet, (2 boxes )
Collection Number
2006.3
Summary
Promotional and souvenir publications, photographs and ephemera from the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle, 1909.
Repository
Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library
Sophie Frye Bass Library
Museum of History & Industry
P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
98108
Telephone: 206-324-1126
Fax: 206-780-1533
library@mohai.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public by appointment.

Languages
English.
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition opened in Seattle on June 1, 1909 with nearly 80,000 visitors. Originally planned for 1907 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush, the Exposition was postponed two years to avoid a conflict with another summer long exhibition in Jamestown, Virginia, marking that town’s tercentenary. In addition to providing time in which to raise additional funds, the delay gave the planners the opportunity to expand the original concept from that of a commemorative Alaska exhibit to a fair encompassing all the Pacific Rim countries and territories. The new scope of the AYPE would not simply commemorate the past, but display the value of commercial trade with the Pacific Rim, celebrate a new era of commercial and industrial expansion and promote Seattle as its center.

Nationally known landscape architects from Boston, brothers John and Frederick Olmstead, designed the fairgrounds. The central portion of the grounds was oriented along axes that exploited the natural beauty of the setting, with views of Mount Rainer, Lake Union and Lake Washington. Built on 250 acres of the largely undeveloped campus of the University of Washington (and partially funded by the state legislature for later use by the University), the AYPE grounds were close to downtown and convenient transportation. Though most of the buildings, designed by John Galen Howard, were too poorly built to survive, the landscaping of the grounds added value to the university by removing wilderness and opening new possibilities for future university installations.

The grounds were centered around the Arctic Circle, with its cascading fountain and reflecting pool, and the surrounding Court of Honor, flanked by two wings of three buildings on either side. Descending from the domed Government Building, these six building were named for Europe, Asia, Alaska, Hawaii and the industries of Manufacturing and Agriculture. Among other notable AYPE buildings was the Forestry Building, a massive structure built entirely of huge logs in their natural state and surviving for several years after the Exposition as the Washington State Museum, until it was damaged by beetles and razed in 1931. California, Utah, Oregon and Idaho each provided buildings, as did the Washington counties of Chehalis, King, Yakima and Spokane. Most of the buildings were constructed cheaply and easily of plaster and were razed immediately after the fair. Brick buildings that survived include Meany Hall, which was used by the University until the 1964 earthquake, and the Fine Arts Building, now the University’s Architecture Hall. The Geyser Basin reflecting pond still survives as the University of Washington's Frosh Pond; the statue of George Washington, one of several patriotic statues built on the fair grounds, also remains as a feature of the University of Washington campus.

Exhibits ranged from the educational to the sensational, including a 30 feet high pineapple made of smaller pineapples, and an elephant made entirely of exotic nuts. The Fine Arts building displayed numerous paintings in its galleries; government exhibits displayed artifacts of American history and highlighted the work of federal agencies of special interest to the west, such as the reclamation service. The Seattle Symphony Orchestra and other local musical organization held concerts. Many exhibits were enhanced by free lectures and special guided study tours for children. Promotional publications and souvenir booklets accompanied some exhibits, depicting each locality as a sort of paradise on earth. Designated “days” for cities, state, peoples and special interest groups were popular. These included parades, contests, speeches, balls--often occasions to dress in traditional costumes, as in a pageant of Norwegian history, featuring a Viking ship and armor-clad warriors.

The amusements of the Pay Streak were a popular stop for many Exposition visitors. The Pay Streak featured attractions like the Alaska Theater of Sensation, the Fairy Gorge Tickler ride, a miniature railway journey and a recreation of the Battle of Gettysburg. The Pay Streak also featured a variety of exotic dancers and, purportedly, the largest ferris wheel in the world The most popular Pay Streak attraction, however, was an exhibit of a mock village of the Igorrote people, natives of the Philippine Islands. Igorrote men, women and children were displayed in a simulated “native” habitat, with typical Igorrote houses; they performed dances and demonstrated traditional crafts in their--sometimes controversial--traditional attire of loincloths.

Business leaders hoped the Exposition would create an interest in real estate and lure capital for development to Seattle. Though the fair brought money to the city, it actually brought few long term benefits. The anticipated influx of people from other parts of the country never did occur, nor was there significant increased development of Alaska or the development of better trade relations with Pacific rim countries. The buildings did not offer much help to the University of Washington. The fair returned a modest profit, however, and paid a 4 % dividend to stockholders. It brought some recognition to Seattle, provided a season of entertainment and rallied the local community. After drawing approximately 3.7 million paying visitors to its gate, the AYPE closed on October 16.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists largely of souvenir and promotional publications; most of these publications are illustrated with photographs. Several promote the advantages and potential of Seattle, of Washington, of Alaska, or of the Northwest. Many document the building and grounds of the exhibit, usually with photographs taken by official AYPE photographer Frank H. Nowell.

Other materials include reports, magazine publicity, and fair guides, programs and catalogs. Photographs depict AYPE buildings, grounds and events; ephemera include tickets and invitations to APYE events.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Alaska-Yukon-Pacific-Exposition Collection, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Publications and papersReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Promotional and souvenir publications
Box
1
2006.3.1 : Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition
Booklet issued by the Department of Publicity describing the plan, scope and aims of the AYPE. Contains photographs of Alaska, Seattle and Washington State.
1907
1
2006.3.2 : Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, 1909 by Henry Martz.
Illustrated book about Alaska published in anticipation of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. Contains a few photographs of AYPE buildings but largely photographs and text about Alaska, its characteristics and its resources, products, possibilities and “scenic beauty.”
1908
1
2006.3.3 : Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition
2 copies
Scrapbook style souvenir album with embossed cover, bound with red cord. Contains photomechanically reproduced photographs attached to heavy brown paper. Photographs depict the building and grounds of the AYPE, with identification printed on image.
circa 1909
1
2006.3.4 : Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition
3 copies
Scrapbook style souvenir album bound with cord. Contains photomechanically reproduced photographs attached to heavy brown paper. Photographs depict the building and grounds of the AYPE, with identification printed on image.
circa 1909
1
2006.3.5 : Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition , official publication
5 copies
Book of captioned colorized black and white photos of AYPE buildings and grounds.
circa 1909
1
2006.3.6 : Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, official publication.
2 copies
Booklet of captioned photographs of buildings and grounds.
circa 1909
1
2006.3.7 : The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Illustrated
3 copies
3 copies
Book of captioned photographs of buildings and grounds.
1909
1
2006.3.8 : The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition and Seattle, the Beautiful Exposition City: Official Photographic Views
Book of photographs of buildings and grounds with detailed captions. Also includes views of downtown Seattle streets, parks, and scenic views, regrade work in Seattle, and other Washington sites such as Snoqulamie Falls, Paradise River, and Deception Pass.
1909
1
2006.3.9 : Bon Marche Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Atlas
Maps of Alaska and the Yukon, the North Pacific Ocean, Washington, California, Orgon, Hawaii, the Philippine Islands, Seattle and Los Angeles.
1
2006.3.10 : The Exposition Beautiful
Book of essays about the AYPE, illustrated with official photographs.
circa 1909
1
2006.3.11 : The 57 Exposition Number: Devoted to the interests of domestic science and the furtherance of the Pure Food movement
Published by the H.J. Heinz Co. AYPE booklet largely about artificial preservatives in food and other essays related to the Heinz company.
circa 1909
1
2006.3.12 : Glimpses of Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition: Seattle and Beautiful Puget Sound
2 copies
Captioned photographs of the AYPE, of Seattle and of the Pacific Northwest.
1909
1
2006.3.13 : Greater Seattle Illustrated: A Glance at Her History. A Review of Her Commerce. A Description of Her Business Enterprises, with Illustration of Her Public and Commercial Buildings, Her Beautiful Residences and Hotels, Residence and Business Streets, Parks and Points of Interest in and about the City
Includes essays on over 200 Seattle businesses, with a back of book index to articles. 239 pages.
1909
1
2006.3.14 : King County-State of Washington-1909: Its History, Resources, Development, Present conditions and opportunities.
Booklet published for free distribution at the AYPE
circa 1909
1
2006.3.15 : Meet Me in Seattle 1909: Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition-- a General History, Fully Illustrated
3 copies
From accession no. 2000.26
Complimentary book of photographs and essays given out by local businesses (Smith Cannery Co. and Vulcan Iron Works). Includes photographs and biographies of AYPE officials, short historical essays and an essay on plan and scope of the AYPE, including descriptions of buildings and exhibits. Photographs include views of downtown Seattle streets and buildings, official photographs of AYPE grounds and buildings under construction, scenic shots of Seattle and other Western Washington locations. Includes a section about the City of Seattle and its facilities, resources, and opportunities.
circa 1909
1
2006.3.16 : One Hundred and Fifty Latest Views of the A.Y.P. Exposition and the Puget Sound Country
Book of captioned photographs.
1909
1
2006.3.17 : Souvenir Book of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Expostion: Official Photographic Views
Book of captioned photographs.
circa 1909
1
2006.3.18 : Book about Seattle
Cover missing. Includes historical information about Seattle, photographs of Seattle buildings, parks and waterfront, and other Washington State locations, such as Port Blakely on Bainbridge Island.
circa 1909
1
2006.3.19 : Century Vase booklet
Booklet abut the sterling silver “Century Vase” made by the Gorham Company and exhibited at the AYPE by Albert Hansen, Jewler and Silversmith, first and Cherry, Seattle
circa 1909
1
2006.3.20 : Canadian Pacific Railway, 1909
AYPE souvenir booklet shaped like a sheaf of wheat with description and photographs of sites a visitor might see travelling by train across the Canadian West
circa 1909
1
2006.3.21 : 1910 calendar
Six page souvenir calendar illustrated with 4x5 photographs of AYPE buildings. Photographs and calendar mounted on brown paper pages.
circa 1909
1
2006.3.22 : Seattle Today
2 copies
From title page: “Many illustrations of street scenes and picturesque scenery with accompanying text concerning the commercial importance, attractive surrounding and continuous expansion of the city.” Includes photographs of University of Washington buildings, downtown Seattle streets and buildings, Seattle waterfront and parks, scenic Washington State photographs and photos of the fishing and logging industries.
1910
Reports
Box
1
2006.3.23: U.S. Government Participation in the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition
Inscribed “To: Vivian Carkeek, with compliments of Thomas W. Prosch, March 22nd, 1912.”
Published by the Government Printing Office. President Taft’s transmission to Congress of the report of the United State Government board of managers on the Government participation in the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. Also contains photographs of the Exhibit of the Philippine Islands and various Government Exhibits.
1911
2
2006.3.24: Report of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Commission of the State of Washington
2 copies
Each verso shows a photograph depicting a building or exhibit concerning the State of Washington.
circa 1909
Magazines
Box
2
2006.3.25 : Book of the Royal Blue, volume XII, no. 9
Magazine published by the Passenger Department of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Issue includes article on the AYPE.
1909 June
2
2006.3.26 : The Coast magazine , volume 18, no. 3
3 copies
Special issue about Seattle, including an article about the AYPE.
1909 September
2
2006.3.27 : Pacific Northwest Commerce magazine (official publication of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce)
1909 October
box:oversize
H4
2011.99: Scientific American magazine
AYPE photos on cover; article about the AYPE illustrated with photographs.
1909 April 17
H4
2016.3.14: Harper's Weekly magazine
AYPE emblem on cover, includes articles about the AYPE and "The Wonderful Northwest."
1909 April 3
Exposition guides, programs and catalogs
Guides and maps
Box
2
2006.3.28 : Official Guide to the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition
Includes statement of Exposition mission, suggestions for touring the Exposition, information on surrounding points of interests, photographs and information about Exposition buildings and exhibits, and a program of special days and events.
1909
2
2006.3.29 : The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific-Exposition; Illustrated articles
Guide containing maps, photographs, guides to buildings and exhibits, information for tourists about staying in and touring Seattle and a list of special events.
1909
2
2006.3.30 : Souvenir guide of the AYPE
Issued by the Seattle Electric Company Department of Publicity. Includes maps, directions, places to see in Seattle, information on hotel accommodations, and an index to “Special Days and Events” at the AYPE
circa 1909
2
2006.3.31.1-5: Official ground plans and maps
5 items
circa 1909
Programs
Box
2
2006.3.32.1-16 : Official daily programs
16 programs
Includes Souvenir Opening Day Program
1909 June 1-October 12
2
2006.3.33 : Program of the Seventh Annual Convention of the National Lumber Manufacturers’ Association at the AYPE, July 12-15, 1909
Booklet with wood cover and six wood pages bound with leather ties
5 copies
1909
2
2006.3.34.1 : Souvenir Program for “Festival Performance of Americana” on Innes Day
Frederick Neil Innes was the AYPE Director of Music
1909 July 10
2
2006.3.34.2 : Souvenir Taft Day Official Program
1909 September 30
2
2006.3.34.3 : Souvenir Program of the Alaska-Yukon Pacific Eisteddfod at the Auditorium
1909 August 27-28
2
2006.3.34.4 : Souvenir Seattle Day Official Program
1909 September 6
2
2006.3.34.5: Lumbermen’s Day program (printed on wood)
1909 October 21
Official catalogs
Box
2
2006.3.35 : Catalogue of Fine Art Gallery and Exhibit of Arts and Crafts in California Building
1909
2
2006.3.36 : Official Catalogue of the Department of Fine Arts
3 copies
1909
Papers
Box
2, OS 2
2006.3.37 : AYPE Stock certificates
1906
OS 2
2006.3.54a-h: AYPE "Diplomas"
8 "diplomas" awarded to exhibit prizewinners and for "valuable services rendered."
1909
2
2006.3.38.1 : Description of symbolism in AYPE official emblem designed by Adelaide Hanscom
circa 1907
2
2006.3.38.2 : “A.Y.P. Flower to Deck Seattle”
Seattle Post-Intelligencer article about use of the cactus dahlia as the official flowr of the AYPE
1908 November 22
2
2006.3.39 : Letter describing need for additional funds to complete the AYPE and offering subscription for gold bonds to potential investors
1908 September 30
2
2006.3.40.1 : “Memories"
Illustrated booklet of AYPE reminiscences by Helen Chasse Keliehor and Sherry Raatz
circa 1980s
2
2006.3.40.2 : Letter of reminiscences written in response to a Seattle Post-Intelligencer article on the AYPE.
1981 August 24

Photographs and postcards Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Photographs
Snapshot size (4” x 5” and smaller) vintage and modern prints of AYPE buildings and grounds, except as noted for larger prints.
box:oversize
L2
2006.3.41a: Reproduction of photograph of delegates to the National Lumber Manufactures’ Association Annual Convention in front of the Forestry Building
1909 July
L2
2006.3.41b : Reproduction of photograph of Meeting of Loggers of the Pacific Coast in front of the Forestry Building
1909
Box
2
2006.3.42.1-9 : Night views of AYPE buildings outlined in lights
1909
2
2006.3.42.10 : Geyser Basin and Court of Honor
1909
2
2006.3.42.11 : Agriculture building and garden
1909
2
2006.3.42.12 : Entrance gate at night
1909
2
2006.3.42.13 : Court of honor, Cascades and Geyser Basin
1909
2
2006.3.42.14 : Cascades, Alaska Monument and Government buildings
1909
2
2006.3.42.15 : Forestry building
1909
2
2006.3.42.16 : Paystreak
1909
2
2006.3.42.17 : Paystreak with Battle of Gettysburg
1909
2
2006.3.42.18 : Steps to Forestry building
1909
2
2006.3.42.19 : Couple on steps to Forestry building
1909
2
2006.3.42.20 : Cascades, Hawaii and Oriental buildings
1909
2
2006.3.42.21-22 : Crowd seated in Amphitheater
1909
2
2006.3.42.23 : Stage in Amphitheater
1909
2
2006.3.42.24 : Pay Streak
1909
2
2006.3.42.25 : Machinery building
3 copies
1909
2
2006.3.42.26 : California building
1909
2
2006.3.42.27 : Forestry building
1909
2
2006.3.42.28 : Spokane building
1909
2
2006.3.42.29 : Chehelis County building
1909
2
2006.3.42.30 : Manufactures building
1909
2
2006.3.42.31 : Building near beach
1909
2
2006.3.42.32 : Geyser and Manufactures building
1909
2
2006.3.42.33 : Oriental building
1909
2
2006.3.42.34 : Entrance gate
1909
2
2006.3.42.35 : Building
1909
2
2006.3.42.36 : Modern copy prints
1909
2
2006.3.42.37 : Hawaii building
1909
2
2006.3.42.38 : Parade
1909
2
2006.3.42.39 : Crowd seated in Amphitheater
1909
2
2006.3.42.40 : People in Eskimo Village on “North Pole Express Train”
1909
2
2006.3.42.41 : Parade with Forestry building in background
1909
2
2006.3.42.42 : Crowd on walkway, sign reading “Queremos Taft”
1909
box:oversize
L2
2006.3.42.52: AYPE officials, including AYPE President J.E. Chilberg and AYPE Director General Ira E. Nadeau (Nowell number x580)
Frank H. Nowell (photographer)
8" x 10"
From Accession No. 1980.6987
1909
L2
2006.3.42.53-54: Forestry Building
2 oversize photographs 12" x 20"
1908-1909
Box
2
2006.3.42.57: Yakima County building
hand-colored
1909
Photographic postcards
From accession no. 5174
Box
2
2006.3.42.43 : Geyser basin
1909
2
2006.3.42.44 : Manufactures building
1909
2
2006.3.42.45 : James J. Hill monument
1909
2
2006.3.42.46-47 : Scenic Railway on Pay Streak
1909
2
2006.3.42.48 : Agriculture building
1909
2
2006.3.42.49 : Oriental building
1909
2
2006.3.42.50 : Pay Streak showing Streets of Cairo
1909
2
2006.3.42.51 : Manufactures building from Oriental building
1909
Souvenir postcards
Box
2
2006.3.43 : “Postal Souvenirs”
35 page album with 68 postcards depicting scenes from the AYPE. Postcards consist of black and white photographic postcards and printed postcards using colorized versions of official photographs.
1909
2
2006.3.44 : “Souvenir Folding Card”
2 copies
Official Publication of the AYPE. Reproduction of 24 color postcards of exposition buildings and grounds with foldout of illustrated mailing envelope
1909
2
2006.3.45a : “Seattle-the Homeport of Monster Ships”
From accession no. 1994.29
Postcard with fold out panorama of 10 miles of Seattle waterfront, and east and west sides of 1st and 2nd Avenues.
1907
2
2006.3.45b: Souvenir folder of postcard size colored photographic reporductions
From accession no. 2007.57
1907
Box
2
2006.3.53: Album
18 photographs and 6 photographic postcards
Photographs of Exposition buildings and grounds, Pay Streak and President Taft's visit.Album also includes 3 photographic postcards of the Great White Fleet visit to Seattle and the Naval Parade.
From Accession No. 1960.2092
1908-1909

Ephemera Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Invitations
Box
2
2006.3.46.1 : Invitation to initiation of President William H. Taft to the Arctic Brotherhood on September 13, 1909.
1909
2
2006.3.46.2 : Invitation from the City of Seattle to visit the AYPE
Inscribed to Mrs. T.B. Hanna, signed by Mayor John F. Miller.
1909
2
2006.3.46.3 : Invitation to reception for French Ambassador Jusserand at the New York State building on June 14
1909
2
2006.3.46.4 : Invitation to Opening Ceremonies on June 1
1909
2
2006.3.47.1 : Invitation from the New England Club to assembly for “visiting and dancing” at the Washington State Building, September 11
Inscribed to “Esquire Grant”
1909 July
2
2006.3.47.2.1-3 : Invitations to ground breaking ceremony on June 1, 1907
1907
2
2006.3.47.3.1-2 : Invitations to lunch at New York State Building on opening day, June 1, 1909
1909
Other ephemera
Box
2
2006.3.48 : Blank stationary stamped with AYPE emblem
undated
2
2006.3.49 : Promotional flyer
Illustration of the Agriculture Building with essay on verso about State and Federal appropriations and progress of construction of the AYPE buildings and grounds.
circa 1909
2
2006.3.50 : Tickets
Coupon Ticket Books inscribed with bearer’s name and photograph of bearer attached inside front cover, embossed with signature of A.D. Bannall, Chief of Bureau of Admissions. Also souvenir tickets to Seattle Day (September 6) and Hawaii Day (August 25)
circa 1909
2
2006.3.51 : “A-Y-P Addition”
Real estate brochure from Joseph E. Thomas & Company, advertising lots for sale on Ravenna Boulevard in the “A-Y-P Addition.”
undated
2
2006.3.52 : Commemorative envelope of the 25th Anniversary of the opening day of the AYPE, postmarked June 1, 1934
From accession no. 6362
1934 June 1
2
2006.3.55 : Photographer's permit
Printed on permit: Permit for camera not exceeding in size 4 x 5 inches. A.D. Barrall, Chief of Admissions
From accession no. 2009.49
1909
2
2006.3.56: Clippings
1908-1909, 1934
2
2006.3.57: Scrapbook
From accession no. 1958.1519.
Scrapbook of newspaper clippings and ephemera from the AYPE, including a season pass in the name of S.D. McKinstry.
1909