Recyclers, 1943

These guys got it all going on-edgy craft beer long sleeve t shirt, steam punk goggles, bluesy retro fedoras and ironic newsboy caps, a booming, green job creating recycling operation and a good shot at a reality series on the History channel. Only difficulty is that it’s March 1943 and the scrap metal drive they are working on is for higher stakes than just popular culture, like winning world war two. Its three months before D Day, the war in the Pacific is still scary just 15 months after the US fleet was crippled at Pearl Harbor and the Axis is occupying the outermost Aleutian Islands. Hard times indeed despite the cool detached expressions.


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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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