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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: The 1921 theme for a benefit to help the city’s struggling families? Vaudeville

UPDATED: Fri., Feb. 19, 2021

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives )
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives )

The Spokane Central Labor Council organized a huge vaudeville benefit show to raise money for the families of Spokane’s many unemployed men.

Some of the performers were professionals on the Pantages and Hippodrome circuits, including a comedian who played a “cycling tramp,” and a violin-accordion duo.

Others were local performers, including “Bert Brown, Irish comedian, and Harold Davidson, female impersonation.” The Spokane Musicians Union donated the services of an orchestra. Most of the other performers were donating their services, too.

This show was scheduled at the Auditorium Theater, Spokane’s grandest venue. An afternoon show, consisting of comedy movies, was also planned.

From the accident beat: A garage mechanic, 24, discovered the hard way that carbon monoxide fumes were dangerous.

He was working beneath a running auto, near the exhaust pipe, when he began to feel sick.

“I got up and went into the office, and I guess I passed out then, for I don’t remember anything after that,” he said.

Fortunately, a Spokane police officer went into the garage that morning and found the mechanic on the office floor.

The whole place was filled with fumes.

The officer got the mechanic out and rushed him to the emergency hospital. The attending physicians were able to revive the man. They said the result might have been fatal if the officer had not arrived when he did.

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