Knock-offs not new

Posted: Monday, September 25, 2000

In 1954, in Seattle, at the old "Merchandise Building" at Second and Virginia (in the basement), Bob Arwine had a small ceramics factory, willed to him by his mother. He was a manufacturer's representative for Swank and other men's accessories. He served all of Alaska with his "route" and combined this with the ceramic merchandise we made for Alaska, when I worked there as a silk-screener.

I silk-screened ceramic "inks" onto decals, which were then adhered to plates and cups, that had "SOUVENIR OF ALASKA" emblazoned on them. We featured "Sourdough Sam" and the whales, and seals and totem poles, in multi-colored profusion (so to speak).

I bring all this to you, in answer to your recent Seattle Times article. I had to chuckle, because I've known for years the souvenir-hunting "tourists" of Alaska, dutifully took their tours off that "TERRITORY", and would, just as dutifully, buy these "knock-offs" and bring them back to Seattle (and other localities) and stick them on their mantles, thinking they all had souvenirs of Alaska.

My point? What's new?

Gene Buck

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