We Built This City on Logs and Dope

laudanum_aywsmvnj5i8g4cgww4k4404sc_cfgi4gyt1wgggc04kksk0kgog_thSeattle’s origins and early rise to economic power was the lumber industry. The entire city centered around lumber and its booming demand, however much of the architectural improvements the city and it’s people were starved for went to the wayside, playing second fiddle to the lucrative natural resources that kept the pockets of city fathers constantly replenished, and hard-working hands busy, then later preoccupied by vices—binges of whisky, women, and, of lesser known prominence, laudanum.

​Originally formed in 1907, the American Messenger Service (now the U.P.S), was more or less a laudanum delivery business. As laudanum bears a connectivity to medicine, it raises the question of where in the hell this stuff was being delivered to; how many doctor’s offices could there have been in Seattle 1907? Truth be told, laudanum is simply opium in its purest form, and the boys with the messenger bags (still popular today in Seattle by the by) were busy as bees refilling the wants and needs of the saloons and brothels of skid row Seattle, creating internal revenue from addiction.

​Today, Seattle is not the logging capital it once was, but addiction continues to flourish. The popular ‘grunge’ scene of the 1990s was driven by a culture of misfits with creativity and low self-esteem—prime Gen-X candidates for drug addiction. It is needless to name names, as many of them have become iconic. On the streets today you can still see it, breathe it, and hear it in the voices of curbside musicians, vagrants, and strung-out teens (even the back and forth chatter of hipsters in sport jackets and skinny jeans); the voice of the past still gurgling with undertones craving the next fix.

About Hudson Saffell (36 Articles)
Freelance Writer / Editor
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