The Flashback

RM Parish, a contributor to PRP, recently began remodeling an upstairs room in his house. Underneath the well-worn floorboards were dozens of amazingly well preserved issues of THE OREGONIAN, published in the summer of 1940. What we found provides an extraordinarily intimate snapshot of life in PDX before most of us were born.

Here are some images from his discovery along with other photographs from our personal collections of PDX history. The Flashback is updated every Thursday.

Send Us Your Flashback Photos

We’re wondering if you possess any hidden Portland-related historical treasures you’d like to share with PRP’s website visitors? We know you have access to the Internet because you’re here. We’re guessing you have a smartphone with a camera? Maybe even a scanner?

We’d love to see whatever stills you think are interesting in .jpg format. We’re especially interested in visuals that showcase the historical mojo of the Portland area. If you want to write something to share along with the image, we’ll give you credit, but may edit for content.

If the response is what we’re hoping for, it’s quite possible we’ll create some special audio for our LIVE STREAM. Or, if it’s really good, we’ll may send one of our video crews your way. We look forward to hearing from you. Send us your flashback photos.

Three Portland sisters (Natalie, Allison and Meegan) known as THE BAND JOSEPH, who made their first appearance on PRP.FM in November 2013, are, as people often say these days, “Blowing Up.”

JOSEPH’S first interview with PRP.

JOSEPH with Inessa … Continue Reading

They were Heart. They were Hot.

Founded in the early 1970’s by Pacific Northwest sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, Heart was all over American airwaves and arenas after two tracks from their debut album Dreamboat Annie, blew minds Continue Reading


We love reading (and dissecting) vintage (or would they be antique?) ads from our collection of 1940 Oregonian newspapers.

“See this utterly amazing new, exclusive Philco development! A Radio that you can strap on your shoulder, just like a candid

Continue Reading

Martha Garkey, identified in a 1940 Oregonian caption as a “star outfielder for the Lind-Pomeroy girls’ softball team who is rated one of the outstanding feminine stars in the northwest.”

Along with “hitting any pitch,” Miss Garkey (no “Ms.” In … Continue Reading

Perhaps because it’s the “Summer of the Super Moon,” a small ad from RM Parish’s attic floor Oregonian archives rose up from the dark side earlier this week.

According to the paid newspaper announcement, there was a children’s radio program … Continue Reading

Soap Box Derby

Despite the fact that laundry soap doesn’t come in large wooden boxes anymore, the Soap Box Derby (now featuring the words “All American” in its title) rolls on every summer.

Soap Box 2

When the Sunday Oregonian devoted most of its July 24, … Continue Reading

Once Portland’s Million-Dollar Playground; Now a Lower-to-Middle Class Parking Lot

Our President Teddy time capsule Flashback last week prompted an unprecedented outpouring of shock and disbelief.

Not really.

However (here comes the truth), during our research about that compelling historical story, we discovered that Pioneer Courthouse Square, Inc. is … Continue Reading

Washington Park

On Friday, May 30, 2014, representatives from The Oregon Historical Society and The City of Portland pulled up more than 55 remnants from Portland past.

You may have read the 1985 PDX time capsule story in Willamette Week.

Or, you … Continue Reading

1940 was a banner year for American technological innovation.

One small box of homegrown ingenuity changed home entertainment forever.


Another, many would argue, helped our country win World War II.


And then there was this.

Bathers 11

The two inventions that totally … Continue Reading

What’s more disturbing in this 1940 Safeway ad?

The headline: “Now really fresh mayonnaise?”

Or, the scary talking head of lettuce (guessing about the lettuce head; could be the verbose vegetable is a large Brussels sprout) who announces to potential … Continue Reading

The attic archives Oregonian collection of RM Parish continues to provide us with a slightly warped (literally and figuratively) view of 1940. For those into numbers, the information we’re about to share was published nearly 75 years ago.

As you’ve … Continue Reading

sliver fleet

Flying in 1940 was cheap! Of course, compared to, as they used to say back then, “nowadays,” it took nearly forever to get to your destination.

Or did it?

The airliner pictured in this 1940 Northwest Airlines’ Oregonian ad was … Continue Reading

The 1940 Chevrolet was, by any standard, a spectacularly ugly automobile. Perhaps it was “The Royal Clipper Styling,” the “Alligator” hood, or the “Knee-Action Chassis?” (Where did these descriptions come from, and what do they mean exactly?).

But, around Portland … Continue Reading

Reporter's Notebook

I’m not old enough (thankfully) to have worked with Edward R. Murrow. My career in broadcasting began nearly 10 years after his untimely, yet understandable death from lung cancer (he smoked unfiltered Camels on and off the air!). Murrow was … Continue Reading

Portland's Best Pilsner

Portland’s Best Pilsners According to the Ghost of a Dead Beer Sommelier

Hitting 70 degrees last week for the first time since late last summer, Portland’s population doubled overnight as hordes of jort-sportin’, mayonnaise-skin-flaunting, locals filled all available outside seats … Continue Reading

Rebecca at the Well in Portland

As most of you know, Portland Radio Project has a Rebecca (News Director, Rebecca Webb) on staff. However, you may not be aware that Portland, the City Of has a Rebecca at well.

Yes, AT well.

Rebecca at the … Continue Reading

Making Life Easier for Expectant Fathers

On the first day of spring, officially the happiest day of the year, thanks UN and Pharrell, my partner and I celebrated our daughter’s first birthday.

The night before, after staying up late watching an Oscar-worthy, iPhoto-produced, slideshow of … Continue Reading

Read the News Today

Slim Figure, Better Looks, Wins ManGloria Steinem turns 80. Our greatest president ever, #39 Jimmy C, releases another amazingly insightful book, “A CALL TO ACTION: WOMEN, RELIGION, VIOLENCE AND POWER,” calling the subjugation of women the greatest human rights issue ever, and … Continue Reading

Vintage Real Estate Ads

Your very own Irvington Doll House for less than you spent at New Seasons last month. (tweet this)

For your one really smart friend who likes to get red-faced over Portland’s finest sours and display their political gravitas … Continue Reading