There’s a lot more going on here on this August 1st Saturday in 1925 than a bunch of kids getting frosty sodas for free. Behind them are one of the oldest and certainly the newest building in the down town; the 1889 Bostwick Building that was built in territorial days and the glamorous new Winthop Hotel that had just opened in May. The bottled pop being promoted, Orange Kist Soda, was the newest product by the Columbia Brewing Company which like many beer makers was keeping afloat by bottling soft drinks and quietly selling some harder beverages through an arrangement with City Hall. The little girls in the back are hanging on a sign advertising a new movie at the Rialto and just down the alley from the theater were a number of signless, unadvertised businesses where Columbia Brewery products of a more familiar nature could be enjoyed. Columbia would survive prohibition and rebuild itself into Tacoma’s largest brewery using the Heidelberg label from the 1930’s into the 1980’s. But in 1925 there was no better cover for breaking the rules of prohibition than giving away 500 cases of ice cold pop at 9th and Broadway during the hottest week of the summer. Cool!
Tacoma Public Library Boland-813057 Unique 37358
Image and story from the Recaptured City project with Andy Cox