My goodness, has it really been that long since the last post? Thank you to everybody who stopped by to read the Northwest Neon post. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed hunting down neons and researching their origins!
Today is back to business as usual with a postcard. More specifically, a postcard of downtown Renton, Washington, circa the late 1950s or early 1960s.
This card features a look down 3rd Street at the intersection of 3rd and Williams Avenue. Below is what this area looks like now:
The first white settlers came to Renton in the 1850s. Not long after their arrival, coal was discovered and quickly became a major industry for the next 60-plus years. By the time Renton was incorporated in 1901, it was bustling with mills, mines, and factories. Although the coal industry had dwindled by 1920, Renton experienced moderate growth through the Depression.
Boeing arrived in Renton in 1941 and the plant was soon turning out six B-29 bomber planes a day. Its neighbor, the Pacific Car and Foundry, was producing 30 tanks a month. When the war ended, Renton’s economy experienced a bit of a slowdown. The federal government invested millions in the city’s housing, roads, and other infrastructure, and Boeing soon switched from bomber planes to jets.
Perhaps these are reasons the back of this postcard touts Renton as a “modern” city.
It sure seems funny that a postcard calling a city modern chose to feature a block lined with many buildings. But check out all of that great neon!