Sunday/ the 1920’s and the electric home

There were no cars in front of The Parkhurst apartment building on 14th Avenue, as I walked by, just before dark.
So I snapped a picture, to check up on its history at home.
Here is what I found.

The Parkhurst apartment building on 14th Ave. It was built in 1929 by builder & developer Gardner J. Gwinn (inset picture). A native from Nova Scotia, Canada, he moved to Seattle in 1909 at the age of 21. At the time the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exhibition (a world’s fair) was underway (on the site now occupied by the University of Washington), and the city was booming.
Gwinn was a prolific home builder, and was selected by the Electric Club of Seattle to promote and market ‘Electric Homes’. In the very beginning, homes were wired with only the basics for electric lighting. ‘Electric homes’ had electric outlets & more extensive wiring for electric appliances in the kitchen and elsewhere in the house. [From the Seattle Times Archives, Sept. 24, 1922].
It’s 97 years later, but both of the homes pictured above in the 1924 Seattle Times, are still standing. This picture of the top one is from Google Streetview.
From the same Seattle Times supplement from 1924, an article that promotes the ‘modern home’ that has electricity. Vacuum cleaner, washing machine, 6-pound flat iron, toaster, percolator, stove, sewing machine .. who could resist? The nationwide electrical grid was still under construction, though. In 1925, only about half of homes in the US had access to electricity at all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.