As we’ve mentioned before, the Max Campbell Building dates to 1927. During that time, literally thousands of stories have unfolded within its walls.
Walls can’t speak, but sometimes the people who inhabit them leave souvenirs behind to whisper hints of unknowable secrets. Look at these artifacts long enough, and all sorts of narratives – from vignettes to full-length novels – start to take shape in your imagination.
Although the Campbell has been repurposed several times during its 85-year history, it saved a few pieces of its own past to share with co-owner Aaron Meek and his crew as they gently peeled back layers of time and neglect in the process of restoring the building. We thought we’d share a few with you. As you look at these pictures, let your mind wander down Route 66 to an earlier Tulsa. What characters populate your imagination when you see these tidbits of the past? What stories do they conjure up?
A local insurance company handed out these souvenir periscopes to spectators at the 1958 USGA National Open golf tournament at Southern Hills Country Club.
Side view of the periscope. Love the suggested uses: "Watching your secretary (without her knowing it!)" and "All 'Peeping Tom' activities." Can you imagine the liability if a company encouraged this sort of behavior today? My, how workplace standards have changed!
Judging from the young ladies' hairstyles, we'd guess these eye-catching playing cards date to the 1940s. Below them are two packages of prophylactics: Tetratex ("for the prevention of disease," the matchbook-style packaging explains) and the still-familiar Trojans, packaged in the type of tin now more commonly associated with mints.
Tulsarama! -- the 1957 celebration held in conjunction with Tulsa's centennial, in which a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere was sealed in a time capsule and buried for 50 years -- evidently celebrated history with period costumes and a good-natured beard mandate. Notice the "shaving permit" button at right. We'll tell you all about the Belvedere and the excitement surrounding its burial and later excavation in a future post.
Another tin of Trojans. Notice the design -- very serious and straightforward, as befits the packaging for a medical device meant to keep the purchaser's health intact.
Ready for a closer encounter with Tulsa’s history? Call us at (918) 744-5500 or visit www.thecampbellhotel.com to reserve one of our 26 unique theme rooms and spend a night on historic Route 66, communing with the past.