Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, 1905

The Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition’s Fire Department, 1905. Chief David Campbell is seated on the chairs in the middle front. Exposition Chief Benjamin Franklin Dowell is seated on the right front of the middle apparatus.


City of Portland (OR) Archives, Fire Department of the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, A2001-083, 1905.


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17 thoughts on “Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, 1905

  1. Who told those women to wear the huge & ugly hats! “High Society” & popular fashion is really a laugh. And it just got worse….

  2. An enlarged view of the left side reminds me of “We’re [Sgt] Chief [Pepper’s] Cambell’s lonely hearts club band…album cover.
    Mustaches, dangling watch chains, swanky three-piece suits, hats, and polished shoes were the mark of a well-dressed man in those days.
    Women’s clothing was horrendous, bulky, ugly hats (at least in black and white) and small handbags.
    The infants and children are a nice feature of this photo; especially the one being held up at the rear.
    The tall guy on the right with the flat cap (aka bunnet, Dal cap, paddy cap, cheese-cutter) with the fine-looking mutton chops is certainly a standout in this crowd.
    I bet the people aren’t smiling much because of the photographer, taking too long to get situated; or perhaps people just felt a bit uncomfortable in their fancy clothes.

  3. My grandpa emigrated from Lauenburg,Germany to Portland in 1901 at 26 years old and started working for the Portland Traction Company. He looked a lot like those men in the picture “bushy mustache and Bowler hat”

  4. debrald: No one was smiling due to several logistical and cultural factors, not the least of which was long exposure times for most photographs in the years leading up to this photo, a residual Edwardian and Victorian sense of decorum, and the relative rareness of having your picture taken.

  5. Grinning for no reason was the mark of idiocy. As for fashion, take picture of a group of people in Portland today and tell me who looks better. Look at the hats that women wear on Kentucky Derby Day. I think these people have style. They have respect for their neighbors enough to make a major effort to look presentable.

  6. warren: did your grandpa happen to live in the Albina district in the early 1900’s? It’s my understanding that many Germans lived there at that time.
    The 1905 Exposition was a big deal back then. Getting your picture taken was too. These people too a lot of pride in what they decided to wear that day to be photographed. I think they look great.

  7. Great picture. Don’t knock the women’s hats, they were stylish for the period and far more attractive than what is worn today. Did all the women at that time have such ugly legs they had to be covered to the ground ?

  8. Some of those folk look a bit but out to have to be there. Some are squinting in the sun. It’s like they were pulled away from their picnic lunches and told to look like sturdy pioneers, and look to the left. Many seem to be thinking “Just take the picture already,” or whatever that would have been in 1905.

  9. Chief Campbell was later killed fighting a fire in Portland. There is a memorial for chief Campbell on West Burnside at about 20th.

    Sent from my iPhone


  10. Ron Dietz — about women’s legs — it was considered immodest to show one’s legs. Even as recently as 1963, when I was in 7th grade, girls in my school in Walla Walla, Washington were required to have our skirts cover our knees. If we didn’t, we were given demerits!

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