If Not Now, When? | The woman with dolls on her dress, ca. 1885
We wonder, why did this sturdy woman hang dolls low on her theatrical dress? We will call it our April's Fool question, for we have no bright answer on this first day of April.
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FOR POSING before the decorative backdrop in Rasmus Rothi's Imperial Studio, why, we wonder, did this sturdy woman hang dolls low on her theatrical dress? We will call it our April's Fool question, for we have no bright answer on this first day of April. What's more, with Jean Sherrard's repeat, we were at first fooled and confused — until he explained.
"Shooting west, I stood with my back to the bus stop near the southwest corner of Third Avenue and Columbia Street. While I was photographing the reflecting face on the Third Avenue side of the elegant Chamber of Commerce Building, a pedestrian crossed in front of me either mumbling to himself, I thought, or grumbling at me. The photograph, however, reveals that while thoughtfully stooping to avoid interrupting my shoot he was talking on his cell. Still, I got the top of his head."
As for that historical picture, we do know a few things about what's behind the scene.
Arriving from San Francisco in 1881, Julius and Louisa Bornstein, with help from sons and brothers, opened the Golden Rule Bazaar in 1882. A year later, the Northern Pacific Railroad reached Tacoma, the first transcontinental to Puget Sound. Both Tacoma and Seattle boomed.
The Bornsteins — who claimed to run the first store on the Pacific Coast with 10-, 15- and 25-cent counters — were among those who prospered. For more than 20 years they sold the essential stuff of home economics — crockery, chambers, spectacles, nutmeg grinders, trunks, lamp chimneys, dollar watches, potato mashers, glassware and toys, including dolls.
Check out Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard's blog at www.pauldorpat.com.