The photo above was taken by Fred Leipold in June 1924, when he was a teenager in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
To view the original, click here .
For a more recent look at the history of petting parties, click here .
Petting parties in Seattle date from the late 19th century onwards, and they were common to Washington, Oregon and California. When the popularity of the “charm” took hold in the 1920s, petting parties became a popular form of entertainment that the public attended.
Washington state petting party pictures: 1926
The 1920s was a boom time period for Seattle’s entertainment industry; all the major movie stars, novelists, and cartoonists (along with famous professional sports coaches) came to town to act as star attractions during the “Golden Age of Seattle.” Petting parties were a popular venue because of the large number of people there.
Petting parties for young women were particularly popular because women had to take off more than one pair of trousers (the first and second pair of “pants” were never removed) throughout the day. By the early 20th century, there was an annual petting and dancing convention held in the University District. The Washington State Petting and Dancing Convention, Inc. was organized in 1915. This convention was one of the largest (and most lavish) gatherings of “petting and dancing” ever held outside of cities.
Petting parties with Seattleites of all ages in the 1930s and early 1940s in the photo below were held at the Rainier Beach Hotel.
Petting parties with Seattleites of all ages in the 1940s were held at the Rainier Beach Hotel.
At the Rainier Beach Hotel in the 1940s, petting parties were held every fourth Friday evening.
Petting parties with Seattleites of all ages in the 1950s and 1960s were held at the Rainier Beach Hotel and included a “petted bar-room party.” The parties were hosted at the hotel each year from 1949 through 1960.
Petting parties with Seattleites of a specific age in the late 20s and early 1970s were held at the Pacific Club Hotel in the Pacific District.
Petting parties with Seattleites of all ages in the early 1970s were held at the PNW Club Hotel in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood.
Petting parties hosted in the 1980s were held each year at the Washington Hotel and Suites, also in
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