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Newly digitized photos give glimpse of Seattle life over 100 years ago

Photos are believed to be taken by Walter F. Piper. According to the 1910 City directory, Piper lived at 1504 18th Ave with his mother Wilhemina and sisters, Matilda and Lilian. The woman in back seat without a hat appears to be Wilhemina Piper based on comparisons to other photos where she is listed as "Mother." Other individuals unknown. (Photo via Seattle Public Library Early Glass Plate Negative Collection)

SEATTLE -- A new collection of dozens of old photographs is giving us a unique glimpse into life in Seattle more than 100 years ago.

The Seattle Public Library has scanned and digitized 184 glass plate negatives from what appear to be the work of two photographers during 1909-1913. All the images are housed on fragile glass plates which required careful handling to be scanned, the library said.

"We believe at least one of the photographers was Walter F. Piper, son of A.W. Piper, an early Seattle pioneer," writes Jade D'Addario with Seattle Public Libraries. "The photos taken by Piper offer a rare detailed views of his home, family, friends, and business."

D'Addario says Piper's home at 1504 18th Avenue still stands today (see photo). His photos feature the work of his business where he was vice president of Piper & Taft, Inc. - a sporting good store that provided baseball uniforms and fishing supplies from their spot on 2nd Avenue and Spring Street.

D'Addario says their researchers believe Piper got a photo if the first Dugdale Park at 12th and Yesler.

The Seattle Times says Piper died in 1914 shortly after the photos were taken.

You can see much of the collection in our photo gallery above.

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