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(sēăt`əl), city (1990 pop. 516,259), seat of King co., W Wash., built on seven hills, between Elliott Bay of Puget Sound and Lake Washington; inc. 1869. Seattle, the largest city in the Pacific Northwest, is the region's commercial, financial, transportation, and industrial hub and a major port of entry, important in both East Asian and Alaskan trade. A center of aircraft manufacturing and shipbuilding since World War II, the city is a major center for the Boeing Company, which employs a significant number of residents, as does the Microsoft Corp. in nearby RedmondRedmond,
city (1990 pop. 35,800), King co., W Wash., a suburb of Seattle, on Lake Sammamish; inc. 1912. Its economy centers around computer software (Microsoft Corp. is located there); research and development industries; and diverse manufacturing, including computers,
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. There are also major electronics, banking, insurance, biomedical, food-processing, and lumber industries. Steel, textiles, clothing, metal and glass products, and beer are among the products manufactured in the city, which has an international airport.

Settled in 1851–52, Seattle remained a small lumber town until the coming of the Great Northern Railway in 1893. Despite strikes, anti-Chinese riots, and a fire in 1889, growth was rapid. The city became a boomtown with the 1897 Alaska gold rush and developed into the nation's chief link with Alaska. It grew further with the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (1909), the opening of the Panama Canal (1914), and the completion (1917) of a canal and locks making the city both a saltwater and a freshwater port. Aiding its industrial growth was the presence of coal in the area and the development of hydroelectric power. Long a center of radical labor movements, Seattle was the scene of a major general strike (1919) led by the Industrial Workers of the World. During the 1960s, Seattle's port expanded enormously; it now has numerous major terminals, a 600-boat commercial fishing terminal, and a huge marina for private boats. In 2001 an earthquake did significant damage to the city, mainly in the historic Pioneer Square area.

Situated between the majestic Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, with Mt. Rainier to the southeast and Mt. Baker to the northeast, Seattle is not far from many national and state parks and recreation areas. The city is a cultural center with numerous museums and art galleries, including a Frank Gehry–designed rock music museum; the Museum of History & Industry ("Mohai," 2012) located in an imaginatively revamped 1942 armory; a variety of theater and musical organizations; and an arboretum, a zoo, and the Central Library (2004, by Rem Koolhaas). Its symphony orchestra performs in Benaroya Hall (1998) and its opera and ballet in McCaw Hall (2003). The city's professional sports teams include the Mariners (American League baseball) and Seahawks (National Football League). It is the seat of the Univ. of Washington, Seattle Univ., and Seattle Pacific Univ. Seattle was the site of the 1962 world's fair. That fair's symbol—the 600-ft (183-m) Space Needle—is a skyline landmark. Also remaining from the fair are the Pacific Science Center and a cultural and recreational park; the first publicly operated U.S. monorail connects the park with the downtown.


See R. Sale, Seattle, Past to Present (1976); M. C. Morgan, Skid Road: An Informal Portrait of Seattle (rev. ed. 1982).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in the western USA, on Puget Sound in the state of Washington. Population, 500,000 (1974; 1.4 million including suburbs).

Seattle is the chief economic and transportation center of the northern Pacific coast region of the USA, a region sometimes referred to as the Pacific Northwest. The city is a terminus of several transcontinental railroad lines and highways. Most traffic to and from Alaska passes through it. Industry employed 120,000 persons in Seattle in 1973. The aircraft and missile industry is the most developed. Plants of the Boeing Company are located in Seattle and the suburbs of Renton, Everett, and Kent; they produce passenger planes, military planes, and missiles, including strategic missiles. The city also has lumber, wood-products, and pulp-and-paper industries. Fish, fruits, and vegetables are canned. Other important industries include shipbuilding, ship repairing, and metalworking. The city has several automotive assembly plants. A large fishing fleet is based at Seattle.

Two universities are located in Seattle: the University of Washington and Seattle University. The first settlement in the area was made in 1851.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a port in W Washington, on the isthmus between Lake Washington and Puget Sound: the largest city in the state and chief commercial centre of the Northwest; two universities. Pop.: 569 101 (2003 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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