10 thoughts on “City Hall, circa 1948

  1. Looking at the Christmas decorations and seeing the hanging ‘tinsel rain” we used to hang from the trees back in the 50’s. I swear it had to have some Lead in it because it was easy to ball up and throw. We were naughty then. I think it must have been banned. Happy Holidays to all.

  2. The performers standing behind the tree, waiting to walk on, are both wearing dark colors in sharp contrast to the folks in view. I’d like to know what that poster sellotaped to the column was all about.

    Tinsel: Originally tinsel was made from silver but, it tarnished quickly. In the 20th Century manufactures switched to lead. In August 1971, the FDA deemed tinsel an “unnecessary risk to children with symptoms of lead poisoning”; by Christmas 1972 is off the shelves.

  3. This photo shows that the performance is taking place on the 4th floor which I think is where the Mayors office is located, and I think the man in the dark suit behind the guitarist is Mayor Earl Riley. From the Saturday December 25, 1948 Oregonian (page 24) there are two photos with headline “Sweet harmony reigns at Portland city hall”.

    The caption under one photo is “Politics were temporarily forgotten at Portland’s city hall Friday and all was harmony as Johnny Carpenter, KOIN special events director, lead Commissioners Dorthy McCullough Lee, William A. Bowes and Mayor Earl Riley in singing “Silent Night Holy Night” at Christmas party staged by department of public works for employees.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all Vintage Portland fans.

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