BatgirlsThe popular Batman movies are of course based on Bob Kane’s comic book character which was in turn based on the 1926 mystery movie “The Bat” (which is in turn based on the 1920 Broadway play by the same name written by Mary Rinehart). Helen Morley, second from the right, thought it would be a great idea for her usherettes to swoop around in the dark Rialto Theatre bearing some resemblance to the dark star of the picture. Here they are in September daylight before a 35 cent matinee in 1926 with Helen, the chief usherette, the only one apparently smiling. Either she was the only one who thought the batgirl cowls were a good idea or she was the only one not in touch with her inner goth. Enjoy the movie!

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This site is about the way history, in this case of a city and it's surrounds, is remembered or recorded in stories and small bits of memory. It's also about the way images and stories go together, how they inform and enrich each other and how we as thinking people fill in the content between a narrative and a visual document. So here is my city in time past, the way it looked and the people and events that create its character. For more than 20 years I have taught a 5 credit course on the History of Tacoma at the University of Washington Tacoma. With an average of 30 or 40 students a year, each doing a research paper as their primary focus for the course, I have benefited from many paths of inquiry and many researched and assembled stories. Here are some of them in the retelling along with the treasures of photographs and images in the collections of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma Public Library, University of Washington Digital Archives, Washington State Archives at the Office of the Secretary of State, Library of Congress, Washington State University, Alaska State Library, and many other archives, libraries and private collections.

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