PORTLAND, Ore. — A window display at the former Meier & Frank department store, now the Nines Hotel, is giving shoppers a peak into the past.

Every piece of clothing, every accessory in the window display is an authentic vintage item that was, at one time, sold at the store dating back to the 1920s.

The artifacts came from a collection of historic clothing stored under lock and key in a special room on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis.

Some of the clothes in the collection there date back to the 15th century. They are part of the university's apparel design program.

"We have pre-Columbian pieces but the majority, I would say, is 1700s to 2000s," said curator Dawn Figueroa.

She hopes the display will not only inspire people, but also give them a history lesson they can't get in textbooks.

"I think it's a way to learn about history without having to put a lot of mental effort into it," she said. "You can look and see something and learn."

The Nines Hotel is a fitting place for the display.

Oregon State's College of Business started leasing out the second floor of the building this past September, so there's a good chance we'll see more interesting displays in the window in the future.

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A display of vintage clothing in the sidewalk windows of the old Meier & Frank building downtown is made possible by the Oregon State University apparel design program. (KGW)
Rollins, Michael