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The Golden Potlatch of Seattle...
by Arthur H. Groten M.D.

Named for the gift-giving festival of the Pacific Northwest Coast tribes, the Seattle Potlatch events were held from 1911-1914 and 1934-1941. The "golden" reference celebrates the 1897 arrival in Seattle of the first gold-bearing ship, the Portland , from the Klondike River mines. The festival was an attempt to keep up the promotional momentum that followed the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909. The events included naval displays, aviation meets and auto races as well as parades, concerts and exhibits, all designed to show how forward-thinking Seattle was.

The following images show some of the poster stamps and ephemera related to these events, the first of which occurred in 1911

1911
Figure 1
1911
Figure 2

Above, the purple handstamp seems to be from 1911 although the dates don't match precisely. But that image appeared only in 1911. Below, a 1911 "97" postcard for "Seattle's First Annual Carnival."

Figure 3

1912 was the first appearance of the Haida iconography. The black one seems to be a contemporary proof of some kind. The use on postcard is dated Seattle Feb. 23, 1912.

Click on smaller stamps to view enlargements

Figure 4 Figure 6
Figure 5

Businesses often had the Potlatch symbol imprinted on their stationery. Of interest is the very early use of the 1915 P.P.I.E. machine cancel, first used on May 7, 1912.

Figure 7

To the right is a large gummed label. It also may be found as a window decal. The date is unclear but it is from the 1930s.

Below are the 1934 and 1935 stams and the 1934 used on a contemporary postcard.

Click on smaller stamps to view enlargements

Figure 10
Figure 8
Figure 9
Figure 11

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