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Tuesday, October 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Magazine convention features extravagance at Davenport Hotel

The Curtis Publishing Co., publisher of the Saturday Evening Post, held a district convention at the Davenport Hotel, which included many extravagant features, The Spokesman-Review reported on April 6, 1916. (The Spokesman-Review)
The Curtis Publishing Co., publisher of the Saturday Evening Post, held a district convention at the Davenport Hotel, which included many extravagant features, The Spokesman-Review reported on April 6, 1916. (The Spokesman-Review)

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Curtis Publishing Co., publisher of the Saturday Evening Post and other popular magazines, held its district convention in Spokane, and the gala banquet at the Davenport Hotel was described as “among the most elaborate ever given here.”

It certainly had a number of unusual features:

  • The centerpiece of one table consisted of “a huge baked potato, with electric-lighted eyes, which winked wickedly at the banqueters.” This was at the table reserved for officials of the Northern Pacific Railway. The baked potato was, apparently, the signature dish of the Northern Pacific’s dining cars.
  • Another table, full of Curtis company officials, contained three cakes, one decorated with a replica of the most recent Saturday Evening Post cover. The other two had replicas of the covers of two other Curtis magazines, Country Gentleman and Ladies’ Home Journal.
  • A troupe of young women performed a “cover page pantomime,” dressed in Turkish costumes and black-and-white Pierrot costumes.
  • A “bird girl” – Miss Louise Marshall – performed an exhibition of whistling with an orchestra. She was dressed in an imitation of the February Ladies’ Home Journal cover.
  • Miss Gladys Marks dressed up as the famous Letty Lane paper doll – complete with a dress made of tissue paper.
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