|Title||Elise and Roy Olmstead, Seattle, 1925 |
|Caption||During Seattle's prohibition years in the 1920's, Roy Olmstead became one of the largest and most successful bootleggers in King County. Learning how the trade operated from involvement in raids and arrests while serving as a Seattle Police Lieutenant, Olmstead noted the lack of organization of many bootleggers and began his own operation. His operation eventually grew to include many vessels, trucks, warehouses, and employees importing liquor from Canada. In 1924 Olmstead married his second wife, Elise, from England and they established the American Radio Telephone Company which they operated from their Mount Baker home. It was suspected that the children's bedtime hour was used to relay coded messages to the various rumrunners employed.|
Suspicious of the activities, federal agents employed surveillance techniques and wiretapping to arrest Olmstead, his wife, and nine other men in 1924. After a Federal Grand Jury indictment in 1925, he appealed in a landmark case on the grounds that wiretapping was unconstitutional based on the 4th and 5th Amendments. Elise was acquitted, however, Olmstead was convicted, served four years time at McNeil Island Penitentiary and was released in 1931.
Having converted to the Christian Science faith in prison, and now believing that alcohol was destructive, Olmstead spent his remaining years counseling and teaching from the Bible, providing rehabilitative services to Puget Sound inmates, and operating a ministry from the Times Square Building. Elise divorced him in 1943 claiming desertion. He continued his community service activities until his death in 1966.
|Notes||Handwritten on image: Olmstead Roy.|
Caption information source: HistoryLink.org; OYEZ - US Supreme Court Multimedia.
Date photograph was filed at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (date of photograph and file date may differ by a month or more): February 3, 1925.
|Subjects||Couples--Washington (State)--Seattle; Automobiles--Washington (State)--Seattle; Prohibition--Washington (State)--Seattle |
|Personal Names||Olmstead, Roy|
|Places||United States--Washington (State)--Seattle |
|Digital Collection||Museum of History & Industry Photograph Collection |
|Image Number||1986.5G.2261.1 |
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|Credit Line||Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle; All Rights Reserved |
|Repository||Museum of History & Industry, Seattle (MOHAI) |
|Repository Collection||Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection |
|Physical Description||1 glass negative: b&w; 4 x 5 in. |
|Digital Reproduction Information||Scanned from original negative as a 3000 pixel TIFF image in 8-bit grayscale, resized to 600 pixels in the longest dimension and compressed into JPEG format using Photoshop 6.0 and its JPEG quality measurement 3. |