Nels and Fair Taylor Ekroth photograph collection, 1946-1952

Overview of the Collection

Ekroth, Nels S.
Nels and Fair Taylor Ekroth photograph collection
1946-1952 (inclusive)
13 photographic prints (1 folder, 1 oversize folder)
Collection Number
Photographs of prominent Progressive Party members, including Henry Wallace, Vincent Hallinan, Charlotta Bass, and W.E.B. Dubois, and political rallies and protests in the 1940s and 1950s.
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2065431929
Fax: 2065431931
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.

Additional Reference Guides

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

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Nels Ekroth and his wife, Fair Taylor Ekroth (1910-1990), were civil rights activists and supported various labor movements, political rallies, and protests during the 1940s and 1950s. Fair Taylor Ekroth was an officer of the Progressive Party in 1948 and the two met in Seattle in 1949, when both were working for the Progressive Party. Nels was investigated by the Committee for Un-American Activities and lost his job on Seattle's waterfront as a result.

Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

Following World War II, U.S. relations with the Soviets had deteriorated and by 1949 the Chinese Communist revolution was underway. In response, the Truman presidency developed an international policy of "containment" towards Communism. Part of this policy involved the Marshall Plan, implemented to spur the economic recovery of Europe following the war. This policy, as well as domestic labor policy, was not popular with the newly formed leftist Progressive Party, endorsed by both the Communist Party and American Labor Party of New York. Henry Wallace was a prominent member of the Progressive Party. He served as vice president of the United States under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1940 to 1944, but in 1946, while serving as secretary of commerce, he was dismissed by President Truman for his empathetic position towards Russia. In 1948 he was the presidential candidate for the Progressive Party, campaigning against the Marshall Plan. Scant voter support led Wallace to leave the party in 1950. In 1952, Vincent Hallinan was the Progressive Party candidate for president of the United States; his vice-presidential running-mate was Charlotta Bass. After a weak voter response, the party disappeared. Hallinan also gained notoriety for time spent in McNeil Island prison in 1952 for tax evasion.

A political ally of the Progressive Party, Hewlett Johnson was the Dean of Canterbury from 1931-1963 and was known as the "Red Dean" because of his outspoken liberal and radical views. Famed writer W.E.B. Dubois shared views with Johnson and with the Progressive Party. In his essay, The Nation , he argues that the strong bipartisan support in the United States makes it impossible for a third political party to rise.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection contains photographs of political figures, as well as social and labor union protests. Included are portraits of the Progressive Party's 1952 presidential candidate, Vincent Hallinan, and his vice-presidential running mate, Charlotta Bass. The collection also includes images of the Progressive Party's 1948 presidential candidate, Henry Wallace, and Hewlett Johnson, who was the dean of Canterbury from 1931-1963.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View the digital version of the collection

Restrictions on Use

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

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Source: Nels and Fair Taylor Ekroth, Seattle, Wash., 1967, 1973, 1979, 1990.

Processing Note

Processed by Julie Stranton and Jocelyn Spicer, 2003. Revised by Sarah Nelson, 2004. Revised by Kate Norgon, 2019.

The oversized photograph was relocated from the Nels S. Ekroth Papers (Accession no. 689-1), Aug., 1989. The rest of the collection was probably relocated from the Ekroth Papers near that time (Accession nos. 689-1 through 689-5), but the record is unclear.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Political FiguresReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
1 1 1952
1 2
Vincent Hallinan
Jo Banks, Chicago, Illinois (photographer)
1 3 1952
1 4 1952
1 5 1952
1 6 1948
1 7
Hewlett Johnson, Dean of Canterbury, at reception in his honor, New York
Julius Lazarus (photographer)
Olin Downes, W.E.B. DuBois, Rabbi Louis I. Newman, Rev. Donald J. Campbell.
November 14, 1948
1 8
Henry Wallace and Jerry J. O'Connell
Fred Carter, Seattle, Washington (photographer)

Protests, Rallies, and Labor DisputesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
1 9
Office and Professional Workers Protest, CIO, Seattle Wash.
Fred Carter, Seattle, Washington (photographer)
1 10 1946
1 11
Rally for Hugh De Lacy for Congress
Al Smith, Seattle, Washington (photographer)
September 1946
1 12 May 20, 1948
M273 13 July 23-25, 1948

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Community activists--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Demonstrations--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Korean War, 1950-1953--Protest movements--Photographs
  • Pacifists--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Political activists--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Political candidates--United States--Photographs
  • Progressivism (United States politics)
  • Public meetings--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)

Personal Names

  • Baldwin, Calvin Benham, 1902-1975--Photographs
  • Bass, Charlotta A., 1880-1969--Photographs
  • Campbell, Donald James--Photographs
  • Downes, Olin, 1886-1955--Photographs
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963--Photographs
  • Ekroth, Fair Taylor--Archives
  • Ekroth, Nels S.--Archives
  • Hallinan, Vincent--Photographs
  • Johnson, Hewlett, 1874-1966--Photographs
  • Newman, Louis I. (Louis Israel), 1893-1972--Photographs
  • O'Connell, Jerry Joseph, 1909-1956--Photographs
  • Taft, Robert A. (Robert Alphonso), 1889-1953--Photographs
  • Wallace, Henry A. (Henry Agard), 1888-1965--Photographs

Corporate Names

  • Progressive Party (U.S. : 1948)
  • Progressive Party (U.S. : 1948)--Photographs

Geographical Names

  • Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government--20th century
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government--20th century--Photographs

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Carter, Fred (photographer)
    • Ekroth, Fair Taylor (creator)