It is my honor to be a guest at the Sorrento Hotel for my participation in the annual 24 Hour Comics Day this weekend, October 20 -21, sponsored by Comics Dungeon. Here are some facts about what was going on when the Sorrento Hotel first opened, courtesy of the University of Washington. The biggest event in Seattle in 1909 was its first World’s Fair, the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition.
By 1910 many Seattle homes and factories have electricity. However, electric home appliances won’t become available until 1911.
In 1909 women can’t vote. Washington women got the vote in 1883 but lost it in a State Supreme Court decision in 1890. In 1910 they were again given the vote, 10 years before the US Constitution was amended.
In 1906, there were 763 cars in Seattle. Speeds are limited to 4 mph downhill and 8 mph uphill. Vehicles are first licensed in 1909 although license plates won’t appear until 1915. Shell will bring the first gas station to Seattle in 1912.
The Sorrento Hotel, on Madison in Seattle, opens in 1909 – the first guest was President William Howard Taft.
L.C. Smith, who amassed his fortune from his Smith typewriters, starts plans in 1909 to build the 21-story Smith Tower to hold 600 offices on Second and Yesler in downtown Seattle.
Average US annual salary: $750Hourly wages: 29-45¢Milk: 32¢ gal. Eggs: 29¢ doz.Sugar: 6¢ lb.
Whiskey: $3.50 gal.
Average U.S. House: $2,650
The Nation & the World
Ernest Shackleton’s expedition finds the magnetic South Pole
Robert Perry and Matthew Henson reach the North Pole
National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded
First Federal legislation prohibiting narcotics (opium) passes
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is established
16th Amendment passes to introduce Federal income tax
Karl Landsteiner isolates the poliomyleitis virus
John D. Rockefeller gives $530 million for worldwide medical research
Nobel Prize for Physics is awarded to Guglielmo Marconi and Carl Ferdinand Braun for the wireless telegraphy (radio)
Henry Ford introduces his “universal” car, the Model T in 1909, priced at $850 and “available in any color as long as it was black”
Wall Street Dow Jones Industrial Average closes Dec. 31: 99.05
Shine On, Harvest Moon by Ada Jones and Billy Murray hits #1 in US
Ty Cobb steals home in World Series game
Wright Brothers test and deliver the first military plane to US Army, it seats 2, max speed 40 mph
Panama Canal’s first concrete is poured
Japanese forces begin a 36 year occupation of Korea
Construction of Navy base at Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor begins
Serbia mobilizes against Austria-Hungary
Italian school teacher/physician Maria Montessori, 39, publishes Motodo della pedagogia scientifica