As Ivar’s marks 75 strange and successful years bringing seafood, marketing mania and fishy wordplay to Seattle, we reel in a few delicious bits of trivia (do you know which one isn't quite true?) from the just released Ivar’s Seafood Cookbook: The O-fish-al Guide to Cooking the Northwest Catch (Sasquatch, $29.95).
1. Haglund convinced a heavyweight boxer to wrestle with a giant octopus.
2. After learning the state ferry system was considering launching a fleet of submarines in the 1950s, the inventive ad man concocted an underwater billboard campaign.
3. He organized a dedication ceremony for the company’s first dishwashing machine.
4. In 1960, he created a counterfeit “Keep Clam—Clam Up” 4-cent stamp. A U.S. postal inspector was not amused and burned the contraband in a government furnace.
You know your Ivar’s arcana if you picked no. 2 as false. The underwater billboards never happened; it was an elaborate stunt devised by the company in 2009—a tribute to the founder, who died in 1985.
Take a look back at some zany Ivar's TV spots: