Inland Northwest History Moment

KPBX: Monday 9am-9:05am, Sunday 7:35am-8:00am
Nancy Roth

Inland Northwest History Moment is a collaboration of Spokane Public Radio and the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (MAC), in celebration of 100 Stories, the museum’s centennial exhibition. Click a title to find the podcast, an image and the written story, along with resources for further exploration.

July 28, 2014
4:41 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

INHM: Small Town Survival and Fonk's Variety Stores

Fonk’s Neon Sign, 1939-2001, now hanging at the MAC
Credit Museum Collection 4081.1 / MAC

Colville, Washington welcomed the opening of a Fonk’s store 1939. Its neon sign hung on their Main Street until 2001 when it re-appeared in an opening exhibit at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane.

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July 21, 2014
9:00 am
Mon July 21, 2014

INHM: Second Wave of Feminism

Marion Moos, Spokesman-Review “YOU” Magazine Cover, March 25, 1979.
Museum Collection Ms203.1.1.1.

Spirits ran high at the 1977 Washington State Conference for Women. Feminists and conservatives converged on Ellensburg by the thousands to develop a timetable for removing state barriers to equality and to elect delegates to Houston’s International Women’s Year Conference.

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July 14, 2014
9:00 am
Mon July 14, 2014

INHM: Kaiser Aluminum's Pot Lines

"First, I bought a pair of safety boots at the company store and, like most, paid a potline cobbler to add a layer of leather to the uppers and used tire tread to the soles for insulation from the heat." - Michael Cain

Michael Cain's slag-crusted work boots are a relic of two summers in the brutal heat of the pot lines at Kaiser’s Mead aluminum reduction mill - built in 1942 to support war effort.

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July 7, 2014
9:00 am
Mon July 7, 2014

INHM: Petland

Mamie Rand lined old kitchen strainers with flannel to serve as nests for tiny songbirds’ eggs. Baby Bird Bassinet, 1995-1997 by Kathryn Glowen.
Museum Collection 4151.2 MAC

Artist Kathryn Glowen paid tender tribute to her friend Mamie Rand in a series of artworks that explore memory and time -- and celebrate Mamie Rand’s 101-year life of simplicity in Spokane, as a pet store owner, amateur musician and accountant. Mamie Rand nurtured all types of living creatures, from goats to cats to lizards. She even lined old kitchen strainers with flannel to serve as nests for tiny songbirds’ eggs.

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June 30, 2014
9:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

INHM: New Deal for Art

Palouse Farm, c. 1948 by Jane Baldwin. Museum Collection 3454.7
Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Art was essential to sustaining America’s spirit during the hard economic times of the 1930s, and Jane Baldwin (1908-1991) worked tirelessly – fundraising and giving lectures - to successfully help Spokane land an art center funded by President Roosevelt’s New Deal. Between 1938 and 1942, the Spokane Art Center was a dynamic force in the community, as thousands of adults and children enrolled in free classes in lithography, painting and other disciplines taught by artists such as Robert Engard and Vanessa Helder.

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June 23, 2014
9:00 am
Mon June 23, 2014

INHM: Extraordinary Inventor Royal Riblet

Ski-Tow-Ter Model, c. 1945. Museum Collection 3734.6
Credit Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Royal Newton Riblet (1871-1960) - bicycle-racing champion, inventor and entrepreneur - personified the American spirit of invention. He applied for more than 20 patents - many of them tramways to lift skiers up the slopes or to carry mine ore out of the earth. Even his family participated, ferrying by tram to Eagle’s Nest, their fully electrified home high on a cliff above the Spokane River - now a National Historic Landmark.

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June 16, 2014
9:00 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Comfort King Combine Cabs

Comfort King Combine in Operation
Credit Museum Collection 4262.10

Mike Johnson built his first combine cab as “a matter of survival” - he suffered from extreme allergies. “Hillside” wheat harvest combines used in his rolling Palouse region offered drivers no protection from sun, dirt and chaff.  Some farmers were improvising shelters, but Johnson went a step further.  He formed the Comfort King Cab Company in an old Colfax garage in 1968, gradually improving his models to include air conditioning and tinted and tempered windows.

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June 9, 2014
9:00 am
Mon June 9, 2014

INHM: African American Mayor James E. Chase

The tradition of posting a yard sign supporting a specific candidate has not changed since James Chase won the Spokane mayoral race in 1981.
Credit James Chase Campaign Sign, 1981-1982, Museum Collection 3762.1

Twenty-year-old James Chase rode the rails to Spokane from Texas in 1934 - looking for new opportunities. His formal education had ended when his all-black high school closed during the depths of the Great Depression. In Spokane he first shined shoes at a local barbershop, then in 1939 joined partner Elmo Dalbert to open a successful body-and-fender shop – and to do repair work for Spokane’s Army air base during World War II.

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