Author Archives: Allana Novotny

What are they?

Every time I see this image of the Burlington Shops in Nebraska Memories, I wonder what the gray things are piled up in front of the buildings.

Burlington shops, Havelock, Nebr.

Before asking for help identifying the items I had to do my own research. I’ve learned a lot about the Burlington Shops. I still don’t know what those items are but I have some better guesses now. Before I share my guesses and ask for your help, let me tell you what I’ve learned about the Burlington Shops in Havelock.

The book Lincoln: The Capital City and Lancaster County, Nebraska, Volume 1 (1916) provides a nice history of the town and the shops. The town of Havelock was incorporated on May 6, 1893. It was located about four Burlington Shops, Havelock, Neb. miles northeast of downtown Lincoln. Around the same time, Burlington decided to locate a repair and manufacturing shop in Havelock. Work on the first building started in June of 1890. A blacksmith shop, boiler shop and a new shop building were added a few years later. The next large expansion came 1910.

I was surprised by the amount of information I was able to find about the shops and expansion that took place around 1910. I found two journals articles published in 1911 that included detailed information about the Burlington Shops. At first glance, the articles may appear to be identical but they are slightly different. They contain too much information for me to include in this post but below are links to the articles along with few highlights.

Here are a few highlights from these articles.

  • MapBoth articles provide detailed drawings of the property that includes the location and dimensions of every building. I found it fun to compare the map to a current bird’s eye view of the shops. Many of the builds are still being used today.
  • The newly built storehouse is 80 ft. wide, 500 ft. long, and three stories high. It is surrounded on three sides by a 16 ft. wide platform.
  • On the west end of the storehouse, 100 ft. of space on the first and second floors was designed as office space. On the first floor were “quarters of the superintendent of shops and the storekeeper. On the second floor are the stationer, medical examiner with emergency hospital fully equipped, telephone exchange, space for apprentice school and meeting room.”
    Store house, C.B.& Q. shops, Havelock, Nebr.
  • The windows in the storehouse were designed to work with the material cases that would be stored in the building. “The material cases are 5 feet wide at the bottom and are separated by space of the same width. This arrangement gives a case spacing of 10 feet center to center and 7 feet of window between two adjacent cases, the tops of which are three feet wide.”

While both of these journal articles provided me with a ton of information, I still didn’t have any good guess about the objects in the photo. I thought they might be made out of cement because if you look at the bottom of a few of the stacks you can see that a few of them have broken. Burlington shops, Havelock, Nebr.

The article A Modern Concrete Slab and Pile Plant appeared in the 1921 issue of Railway Track and Structures, Volume 17 confirms that there was a concrete plant at the Havelock shops. The article listed some of the items manufactured at the Havelock Shops. “In addition to the concrete slabs and piles, the concrete plant is equipped to manufacture concrete fence posts, platform curbs, hog troughs and some miscellaneous items.” Included with the article was a picture of concrete curb units but they do not match the items in the picture.

Now that you know a bit more about the Burlington Shops at Havelock, what do you think the items are piled in front of the boiler shop? If you haven’t already done so, take a minute and go view the image on the Nebraska Memories website. You can use the zoom function to get a better view.

What do you think they are? As you can see, there are a few different items. I can pick out three different styles for sure.

Burlington shops, Havelock, Nebr.At the far left, you can see three small piles. I think they are flat but they do have slight curve to them.

 

 

 

Burlington shops, Havelock, Nebr.In the middle of the picture are items that have a slight arch to them. If you look at the bottom of the piles, you can see a significant gap between the middle of the items and the ground. As I mentioned before a few of them have broken. Do you think these and the first items are both curbs used on curves?

 

 

Burlington shops, Havelock, Nebr.The items at the far right are much shorter. I think they have a slight arch to them. As I was looking at the picture of the roundhouse, I was wondering if these pieces could be used to line the turntable.

 

 

Burlington yards, Havelock, Nebr. Do you agree with my guesses or am I completely off track? Are these pieces used in assembling a train engine? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think they are.

If you are interested in the Burlington shops, I found two additional historical journals articles that I read but didn’t reference in this post. I thought you might enjoy reading them.

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Dense Fog Leads to Head-on Collision

C.B.&Q. Railroad train wreck at Red Cloud, Nebraska, #3 Sunday morning, November 22, 1908, two trains collided at Red Cloud killing two men. According to the article “Disastrous Wreck at Red Cloud” that appeared in the November 27, 1908 issue of The McCook Tribune, “two Burlington trains collided at the west end of the city stock yards at 6:55, doing great damage and killing two men and injuring one.”

“The trains came together just beyond the yard limits, on a big curve, where there was a heavy fill, and the impact was so great that the engine 1225, pulling the extra from the west, was thrown from the track, as it struck 1182, 63’s engine, and was overturned and C.B.&Q. Railroad train wreck at Red Cloud, Nebraska, #5 fell almost bottom side up, killing the two men as she went over. Train 63 was standing still, and the force of the collision was so great that five cars, the tender and engine were badly wrecked, and three cars and the engine on the stock extra were reduced to kindling wood. The wrecking train was ordered from McCook and reached here about 1:30, and the work of cleaning the track was commenced in earnest, and was finally finished at 5:40 p. m., so that trains could go over the track.”

There are six photos of this deadly wreck in Nebraska Memories taken by L. E. Tait. Basic information is written on the edges of each photo but the newspaper article provides more details.C.B.&Q. Railroad train wreck at Red Cloud, Nebraska, #1 After reading the article, I think I was able to match the photos with the information provided in the newspaper article.

The photo labeled #1 shows the wrecking train, that came from McCook, lifting engine 1225. Engine 1225 was part of the stock train.

C.B.&Q. Railroad train wreck at Red Cloud, Nebraska, #2 The photo labeled #2 shows two engines. I’m assuming the one at the top left of the photo is engine 1182. It was part of train No. 63. Along the right side of the photo is engine 1225. I know it’s somewhat hard to tell that this is an engine just by looking at this photo. If you compare the front end of the engine in photo #1 you can see that it matches the pile of metal on the ground.

Photo #4 shows two men sitting on a pile of wreckage. Laying between them is a large axe. The man on the left is sitting on engine 1225, which is upside down.C.B.&Q. Railroad train wreck at Red Cloud, Nebraska, #4 The paper said it “overturned and fell almost bottom side up, killing the two men as she went over.” The caption of the photo reads “1,2, Where Engine Crew Died”. If you look at the ground to the left and right of the engine, you will see the numbers 1 and 2 written on the picture. Killed in the accident were Engineer John W. Bartholoma and Fireman George Snoke. Short obituaries for both men can be found at the end of the newspaper article.

According to the newspaper article “The excitement was intense and more than 3,000 people visited the wreck, coming from Kansas and Nebraska towns for a radius of 20 miles, and most of them remained all day.” When I reading that line my first thought was that the newspaper article had to be exaggerating, that’s a lot of people. Looking closely at photo #6, I think the newspaper could be correct. Look at the huge groups of people on both sides of the track.

If you to read the complete newspaper article, you may have noticed that there was no reference to the dollar amount of damage caused by this wreck. While I was looking over the newspaper page that contained the article about the train wreck, I noticed the “Railroad News Items” along the left side of the page. Two items in this column relate to the wreck at Red Cloud.

  • “The estimate of the total damages of last Sunday’s wreck is placed at near $20,000.”
  • “The wrecking outfit came back from Red Cloud, Wednesday, and the engines – 1182 and 1225 – were started for Havelock, Thursday. The damage was estimated at over $4,000 on the two engines.”

Below the railroad news, you will find “Card of Thanks” from the Bartholoma and Snoke families.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about the C.B.&Q. (Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company) train wreck at Red Cloud. Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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The Herpolsheimer Company

Herpolsheimer BuildingWith Christmas just days away, many of us have been busy shopping for gifts. In the early days of Lincoln, residents had the choice of two department stores, Miller & Paine and Herpolsheimer’s. While Miller & Paine may be a name Nebraskan’s recognize I’m guessing most people don’t recognize the Herpolsheimer Company.

Henry Herpolsheimer

Henry Herpolsheimer

Henry Herpolsheimer first opened a dry goods store with Otto Mohrenstecher on O Street in downtown Lincoln. According to Lincoln historian Jim McKee, Henry built a new, 73,000-square-foot store at the corner of 12th and N Street in 1880. As you can see in the pictures of the building, there were large windows on the north side of the building. The store earned the nickname “The Daylight Store” because of the large windows and electric lights.

A window display of corsets was featured in the 1908 Dry Goods Reporter, Volume 38. According to the caption, the window was decorated by A. G. Sten. As a side note, if you are interested in photography note the article above the photo. It describes the steps you should take to get good photographs of display windows both during the day and at night. The night exposures could take up to thirty minutes.

Corset WindowCapital city courier., January 28, 1893, Page 8, Image 8Herpolsheimer’s sold a wide variety of goods. An ad in the January 28, 1893 issue of the Capital City Courier listed bedspreads, spreads and counterpaines for sale. The prices ranged from seventy-five cents up to $5.00.

1908 Lincoln Nebraska Directory, compiled and published by Jacob North & CompanyThe ad for the H. Herpolsheimer Co. in the 1908 Lincoln Nebraska Directory (Jacob North & Company), lists many items for sale including dry goods, men’s and women’s furnishings, fancy goods, furs, toys and groceries.

Herpolsheimer soda fountain, view 1While I couldn’t find any information or advertisements for the soda fountain in the store, these 1914 photos show that they had one at that time. The signs on wall advertise items such as Dickinson’s Maple Mousse, a Mallow bitter sundae, Coca-Cola, and Vassar chocolates.

The Herpolsheimer Co. closed in 1931. I don’t know exactly when the building was torn down but by early 1939, a Firestone service station stood in its place at the corner of 12th and N. While there is still a Firestone station on that corner today, the original building was torn down and replaced in 1998.D. Eiche Firestone Service

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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“The establishment of the town of Hastings was an afterthought…”

First National Bank

First National Bank – 2nd Street, West from Hastings Ave. As you can see in Google Street view, this building is still standing today.

“The establishment of the town of Hastings was an afterthought with the men who settled upon the three homesteads which formed the original parts of town.” I don’t know if that is true but that is what Henry G. Smith wrote in the Book of Hastings : a sketch of the town with illustrations. This book, published in 1906, is available in Nebraska Memories.

The Book of Hastings tells the history of the area starting in 1869. In 1873, the Hastings Town Company (page 6) was formed to develop the town of Hastings. On April 20, 1874, Hastings was declared an incorporated town.

Browsing this book, I learned a lot about the history of Hastings and the surrounding area. The book does not have a table of contents or an index, so I wanted to highlight some of the information available in this book.

  • A number of railroads had service to or through Hastings over the years including the St. Joe & Grand Island, Burlington & Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley. (page 18)
  • Juniata was selected as the county seat of Adams County in December 1871. Not everyone was happy with this. For years, folks fought to move the county seat to Hastings while others fought to keep it in Juniata.
    Juniata

    Juniata (page 81)

    The group supporting Juniata won the 1875 election but lost the 1877 election. They were not happy with the loss and contested the vote. The issue was finally settled by Judge Gaslin. (page 22)

  • A fire in 1879 destroyed 33 buildings in the Hastings business district. Many of the wooden buildings that burned were replaced with brick buildings. Later that year the Burlington depot was destroyed to cover up a murder. Fires in 1881, 1890, and 1905 also destroyed many businesses in town. (page 28)
  • At the time this book was written, there were 18 church organizations in Hastings. A brief history of each organization is included. (page 40)
  • The Hastings Library opened in January 1888. It was run by the Library Mite Society until it was taken over by the city government. In the spring of 1905 the new Carnegie building was completed. The library contained about 6,000 volumes. Miss Mabel Stone was the librarian. (page 46)
  • Hastings residents started discussing the possibility of building a college in 1873 however, Hastings College did not become a reality until 1882. J. J. H. Hewitt was the first student to graduate in 1887. Dr. W. F. Ringland was the president of the college for the first 15 years. (page 70)
  • Starting on page 81 you can find lists of many of the towns first officials including the mayor and councilmen.
  • Towards the end of the book you will find a list of “Personal Sketches of Early Settlers” (page 95) followed by a list of businesses titled “Among the Business Houses” (page 103).
  • The book is also full of pictures of houses however; most of them are only labeled with the name of the current resident.
Residence of C. Koehler.

Residence of C. Koehler. (page 54)

I hope you take a few minutes to learn more about Hastings by looking at the Book of Hastings : a sketch of the town with illustrations.

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Hotel Fontenelle and Hotel Castle

Hotel Fontenelle, Omaha, Neb.The first images the Hotel Fontenelle and Hotel Castle I saw were those included in Nebraska Memories. I didn’t know anything about the hotels and there wasn’t a lot of information about them included in Nebraska Memories. I decided to do a bit of research hoping to find a few interesting tidbits that I could share with you. I found more than just a few tidbits; I found what I consider to be a research jackpot. The Omaha Daily Bee newspaper did multiple page specials on both hotels when they opened. These special supplements are made up of multiple stories that tell about the hotels. Many of the companies that built, furnished and continued to work with the hotels also had advertisements in the supplements highlighting how they were connected to the hotels. These supplements were fun to read. I learned a lot about each hotel but it was also amusing to see what things were important to write about in 1915.

The Hotel Fontenelle opened in February 1915 on the corner of 18th and Douglas streets. It operated as a hotel until 1971 and was razed in 1983. The supplement covering the Hotel Fontenelle in the Omaha Daily Bee was published on February 28, 1915. The supplement is 15 pages long and was published in two sections. Both parts contain photos of the inside of the hotel.

Omaha Daily Bee - February 28, 1915 - second section

Omaha Daily Bee – Section 2

Omaha Daily Bee - February 28, 1915 - first section

Omaha Daily Bee– Section 1

Here are a few things in the article that caught my attention for one reason or another.

  • “There are really sixteen stories in the Fontenelle – above the street. And there are two stories, very busy stories below the street. Total height, eighteen stories.”
  • The architecture is Gothic. The first 10 stories are dark brick, above that is white tile and “the building design is of fretted and gabled French chateau style, with gabled roof painted a pleasing green.”
  • The land cost $215,000.
  • The land and building were owned by the Douglas Hotel Company. The supplement includes a list of officers and directors of the Douglas Hotel Group posing in front of Hotel FontenelleCompany. The Interstate Hotel Company of Nebraska leased the hotel and ran it.
  • William R. Burbank was the director general of the hotel. Abraham Burbank was the managing director.
  • The hotel has 350 guest rooms. The room rates varied depending on if they faced the street and the size and configuration of the room. The cheapest room listed was $2 a day while a corner suite that had a bedroom, bathroom and sitting room was $10 a day.
  • “Sample rooms will rent at $2.50 up, according to size and location.” Traveling salesmen stayed at the hotel and used a sample room to display their products. The Baird Buildingsample rooms were located on the tenth and eleventh floors. The rooms had thick carpeting, telephones and private toilet and bath rooms.
  • All of the rooms in the hotel had a telephone. Telephones were also placed in other locations such as the kitchen, barbershop, lobby and elevator. A very long article explains the 63 miles of telephone wire used and the switchboard could serve a town of about 3,000 people.
  • Every room had “ice water on tap”. The water was “cooled to a temperature of forty degrees by ammonia coils” before being distributed through the building.
  • The L. G. Doup Co. of Omaha provided the box springs and mattresses for the hotel. The mattresses were of the “very best quality — the hair used in the mattresses is long curled horse hair of the quality known as drawings…”
  • Big Electric Signs on top of New Hotel” – A short articles talks about the importance of the electric signs. “It is so built that it harmonizes with the Downtown Omahagable roof of the French chateau style of architecture.”
  • Included in the supplement are the floor plans for the ground floor and the main floor.
  • Hotel on Cow Stable Site” This column talks about the land the hotel was built on and how it was “far remote in the outskirts of a frontier country village fifty year ago; today the location of Omaha’s $1,000,000 modern and palatial hotel…”
  • Hotel Has Its Own Laundry” – I was surprised to read that the laundry was located on the 13th floor. “This is the only original motor driven laundry in Omaha. … big “extractors,” which turn on their vertical axes at a speed of a thousand revolutions a minute. These are for drying the wash. They remove the moisture by centrifugal force instead of by the slow and primitive process of drying.”Banquet at Fontenelle Hotel
  • Thomas R. Kimball was the architect for the hotel. According to the article, he was also the architect for the S. Cecelia’s cathedral, the Burlington station, designed the city library and the Methodist hospital.
  • I’ve never heard of a telautograph but the Fontenelle had one. “A telautograph is an instrument that will reproduce your handwriting perfectly at a distance.”

 

Hotel Castle and other buildingsThe Hotel Castle was located on corner of 16th and Jones Street and opened in March 1915. The main building was six stories high. The hotel had 150 rooms. All of the rooms had a toilet and running hot and cold water. One hundred of them also had private baths. Rooms rented for $1.25-$2 a day. Attached to the hotel is a two-story building referred to as the annex. The 50×80 feet convention hall or ballroom is located on the second floor of the annex.

c

Omaha daily bee

The special supplement about the Hotel Castle was published on March 21, 1915 in the Omaha Daily Bee. Here are some of things I found interesting about the Hotel Castle.

  • “The Hotel Castle is absolutely fireproof. From basement to proof [sic] there is hardly a splinter in the construction that can be consumed by fire. The doors of the rooms are about the only inflamable things, the rest being concrete and marble.” Multiple times in the article, fireproofing is mentioned. This may seem odd at first but keep in mind that in 1913 a fire destroyed the Dewey Hotel killing around 20 people. If you would like to read about this fire there is an article about it in the Mach 1, 1913 issue of the Omaha Daily Bee.
  • “even the smallest rooms have three lights,…and a third at the head of the bed so that guests can enjoy the luxury of reading in bed.”
  • Miss Clara Fry was proprietor of the cigar stand. Miss Fry also owned a cigar stand in the Plains Hotel in Cheyenne Wyo.Yourex silverware
  • “Vinegar, pickles, olives, sauerkraut, ketchup and the like will be supplied to the new Castle by Haarmann Vinegar and Pickle Company…”
  • The supplement contains a picture of a guest room and a bathroom and other rooms in the hotel.
  • Yourex silverware was used at the hotel.Eckman Chemical Company
  • “The Eckman Chemical Company was the first outside concern to rent one of the store buildings facing Sixteenth Street on the ground floor of the Castle.” According to their ad “If you have sick hogs, try Eckman’s special treatment for sick hogs.”
  • If you need a laugh, I’d suggest reading the article “Some Guests to be Barred – Messrs. Rat, Mouse, and Bug and Their Families to Find No Homes Here.” It is a rather long article that tells the story of how Mr. Rat and his family were not able to find a place to live in the new Castle Hotel.

I hope you enjoyed learning about the Hotel Fontenelle and Hotel Castle.

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Sometimes it is more than just a Nebraska Memories Blog Post

This week I had planned to write a short blog post highlighting some of the photos in Nebraska Memories taken 100 years ago in 1916. While I hadn’t actually typed a single character, mentally I had a great start on the post. That was until I did a quick web search on Spirella. That search started a chain of events that led to a bit of work and me deciding to revise the post I’d been mentally composing.

Here is the picture from 1916 that started my search. As you can see this image shows a room full of women sewing what looks like wide strips of fabric.

Spirella Company

Spirella Company

Deputy 11th Street BuildingThe Spirella Company was located at 211-215 S. 11th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska. The Library Commission’s office is located between 12th and 13th streets so this building would have been located about a block west. Unfortunately, the building was torn down but we do have a picture of the outside of the building taken in 1918.

Don’t worry if you don’t recognize the name Spirella. Before starting this blog post, all I knew was that the Spirella Company made corsets and that in 1918 Ira B. Saunders was the General Manager of the plant.

A quick web search led me to the article in Wikipedia about Spirella. It provided me with a lot more information about Spirella and the twisted and flattened coils of wire used in the corsets. The Wikipedia article however was missing what I considered to be an important piece of information. There was no reference of the factory in Lincoln. How could that be, I was just looking at a picture of the factory.

Spirella Plant in LincolnThis is where the extra bit of work started. I knew I had to add the Lincoln location to the article but before I did, I wanted to do a bit of research to see if I could find any more information. The first thing I found that clearly confirmed that Spirella had a location in Lincoln was a one-page ad in the March 1917 issue of The Ladies’ Home Journal. The ad contained an image of the plant and stated, “At Lincoln, Nebraska, a plant was located to care for our clients west of the Mississippi.” The full ad is available online but I have included the image of the Lincoln building that was used in the ad. Did you notice that the top decorative triangle is missing? The curvy line to the top and left of the building is an image of the springs used in the corsets.

The American FederationistIn the 1917 issue of The American Federationist another ad mentions the Lincoln location. In the add it states “Spirella Corsets Are Made in Spirella’s Daylight Factories under Safe, Sanitary, Convenient, Working Conditions by well paid, contented, skilled works who find joy in their work.”

While I had more than enough information to update the Wikipedia article I was still curious, so I did a quick search across the historic collection of newspapers available on the Library of Congresses’ Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers website. While I didn’t find any information about the factory itself, I did learn a bit more about the corsets and the local corsetiere.

Click to enlarge.Mrs. Magnolia Duke was a corsetiere in the North Platte area. There were numerous ads for her services in The North Platte semi-weekly tribune along with articles that mention her work. To the right is an example of one of those ads. This is from The North Platte semi-weekly tribune. (North Platte, Neb.) May 23, 1911, Image 8

In August of 1911, Magnolia traveled to Pennsylvania to attend the National Training School of Spirella Corsetieres. You can read about her trip in the article titled Home from Training School that appeared in the Sept. 1 edition of The North Platte semi-weekly tribune. (The article is at the top of the page, just to the right of the owls.)

"Try the new Spirella Corset."Another corsetiere in the state was Mrs. J. R. McCleary of Falls City. Here is her ad for corsets that appeared in the June 28, 1907 issue of The Falls City Tribune.

After gathering this information, I was able to update the Wikipedia article to include the factory in Lincoln. I also passed the information on to my colleague who added additional information to the photo in Nebraska Memories. As you can see, what I thought was going to be a simple blog post turned out to be a chance for me to correct wrong information and provided additional information to enhance our metadata in Nebraska Memories.

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Dogs Rule and Cats Drool

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post titled “Cats Rule and Dogs Drool” that highlighted the cat photos in Nebraska Memories. I don’t want to offend dog lovers, so today’s post has gone to the dogs.Seefus Tavern and confectionary store

While I don’t know if any of the cats were drooling in the photos, I do know when comparing the number of cat pictures to dog pictures in Nebraska Memories that dogs definitely rule. There are only 11 photos of cats in the collection compared to 70+ photos that contain at least one dog. To be fair in a number of the photos the dog is not the center of attention and is just part of the crowd. This is true in this 1927? photo of a group of men and a dog standing in front of the Seefus Tavern and confectionary store in Valley, NE. In the description of the photo, you will find the names of all of the men, but the dog will forever be nameless.

Fred Schumacher familyYou can also find dogs included in People and dogs in front of sod housemany of the family photos that were taken in front of the house. The Fred Schumacher family had at least two dogs that were included in their picture. Looking at the picture, I wonder if that white spot over by the chickens is a cat. The family in this photo, entitled People and dogs in front of sod house, included two large dogs in their photo. I wonder if the chicken was included on purpose or if it just wandered into the shot.

Fire Department, 1910-1911, Crawford, NebraskaIn other photos, dogs can be spotted front and center. Football team 1906ThGerman prisoners of war at Camp Atlantae man in the front row of this photo of the Crawford fire department is holding a dog sitting in the front row with him. The German prisoners of war at Camp Atlanta and the 1906 Nebraska State Normal School at Kearney football team also chose to include dogs in their group photos.

Man on horse with dogsAs you can see, some dogs were put to work. This man on a horse has a group of five dogs with him.

Have you ever seen a Dog walking on a tight rope? That was one well-trained dog.

Dog walking on tight rope

Denver Chop House Restaurant doggieI don’t know what to say about this poor dog who was dressed up to advertise the Denver Chop House Restaurant in Omaha. To me the banner looks like it was designed for the dog to wear so he/she might have be used to that. Was the dog also trained to stand still wearing the wig, hat, and glasses? Do you think the dog actually had the cigarette in his mouth, or was it “photoshopped” in later? I asked a coworker this question, and she assumed it was really in the dog’s mouth because she didn’t realize people have been manipulating images since the 1800’s. You can see a few examples of manipulated photos in the, “What did it really look like?” blog post.

I’ve saved the cutest photos until the end. The Butler County Gallery collection in Nebraska Memories contains photos taken by the professional photographer Harvey Boston. As you can see, many people had pictures taken with their dog.

Edwin Lyndon Ned May Jr

Edwin Lyndon “Ned” May, Jr.

Unknown child and dog

Unknown child and dog

Boy and dog

Boy and dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minnie Liebrecht and dog

Minnie Liebrecht and dog

Agnes Birkel

Agnes Birkel

Louis Fuller and dog

Louis Fuller and dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Cats Rule and Dogs Drool

Henrietta Nelson holding a catEda Nelson holding a catAccording to my coworker, cats rule and dogs drool. I’m not sure I agree with him but don’t tell him that. He is one of many cat lovers who work at the Library Commission. If you work with a cat lover, are friends with a cat lover or are a cat lover yourself you probably see or are sent cute cat pictures and videos on a regular basis. The internet is full of cat related pictures and videos and social media has made it easy for folks to share their favorites.

Alice Nelson and Mildred Nelson outside with two kittensPeople taking pictures of their cats is nothing new. In Nebraska Memories, I found 11 photos that included at least one cat. Photographer John Nelson took pictures of his nieces Alice, Mildred, Eda and Henrietta all holding cats or kittens. You can’t go wrong with pictures of kids with cats.

Interior of hardware storeJohn Nelson also took a picture of a cat in a hardware store. I find it amusing to see the cat sitting on top of the glass display case. I’m not sure if he intended for the cat to be the focus of the picture but the cat is more visible then the humans in the picture.

Cat on the kitchen table at the Wallace residenceThe other photos in Nebraska Memories that included cats were taken by William Wallace. William Wallace served as a vice president for the Omaha National Bank for many years, and it appears he was also an avid photographer.

Cats on a bed at Wallace residenceIt’s obvious that William meant for the cats to be the focus of his pictures. I’m guessing that the cats might have ruled the house. The cat looks content lying on the family’s kitchen table. Because the photos are black and white, it’s hard to tell if the cat on the table is also one of the cats sleeping on the bed. Do you think the cat on the bed Cat on a banister at the Wallace residencewith the white fur on his face and neck is the same cat playing on the banister? Are they the same cats that are providing entertainment in these three pictures taken in the Wallace’s library?Cats and a woman in the library at the Wallace residence

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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It’s High School State Basketball Time

The Nebraska High School State Basketball tournaments are well under way in Lincoln. Last week the girl’s teams were in town for the championship games and this week the boy’s teams are here. Last night, as I watched the news coverage of the games, I wondered if there were any historical photos of high school basketball teams in Nebraska Memories. I was happy to find a few photos of basketball teams although I’m not sure they were all high school teams.Basketball team Nebraska School for the Deaf

Two of the photos I located are of girls’ basketball teams. The first photo is of the 1909 Nebraska School for the Deaf (NSD) basketball team. Most the girls have a smile on their face and look happy to be having their picture taken. NSD was a school for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It was located in Omaha from 1869 to 1998 when it closed.

Sacramento basketball teamThe second photo is of the Sacramento basketball team. I must admit that the first time I saw this photo I had to consult a map. I had no idea there was a town named Sacramento in Nebraska.

Today I think Sacramento it what some folks may refer to as a wide spot in the road. It is located about six miles southeast of Holdrege. According to the Nebraska State Historical Society, the town was established sometime between 1876 and 1878 with a population of around 200. School District No. 8 was located there from 1876-1952. While there was a school in town at the time this photo was taken in 1913, we don’t know if it was a school team.Sacramento basketball team

I do have to admire the caps that the girls have on. Can you imagine all of the girls who played in the games last week wearing caps like that?

 Loomis basketball team, 1916 In the Nebraska Memories collection, there are two photos of basketball teams from Loomis. One photo is from 1916 and the other is from 1918. According to the description of the photos Roland Bragg, Frank Johnston, and Gordon Linder appear in both photos. Again, I’m not sure if these are the high school basketball teams.

Loomis basketball teamI thought some of the boys looked young so I did a quick search the 1910 US Federal Census for the boys. (Nebraskans can search this census and many other genealogy resources through the MyHeritage database, which is available through NebraskAccess.) I was easily able to locate Ronald and Reuben who were both 9 in 1910. I was also easily able to find Phil who was 10 and Gordon who was 11. That would make them 15, 16 and 17 in the 1916 photo.

The last photo I want to highlight is that of the 1924 Bertrand High School basketball team. Unlike the girls from NSD these guys aren’t smiling. As you can see, they all have their arms crossed and most of them are trying to look tough.

Bertrand High School basketball teamI was curious to see if this group of boys from Bertrand played in the Nebraska High School State Basketball tournament in 1924. I looked on the Nebraska School Activities Association’s (NSAA) website and found some historical information about the basketball championships. They have information for the boy’s teams going back to 1911 however; the information about the girl’s teams only goes back to 1977.

Here’s what I learned after reading the information on the NSAA’s site. In 1924 the boys state tourney was made up of 248 teams and they were divided into 16 classes. That year Bertand was in Class L. Assuming I’m reading the information correctly, Bertrand played in only one game against Papillion. They lost 11-12. Papillion then played Stockville and lost. Stockville then lost to Valley. In the last game Valley lost to Henderson. That made Henderson the 1924 Class L champions.

Do want to see more? Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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President’s Day

On the third Monday in February, the state of Nebraska celebrates President’s Day. The name of this holiday varies across the United States. While we call it President’s Day the federal government officially calls it Washington’s Birthday. It wasn’t until I read the Wikipedia article about Washington’s Birthday that I realized how many different names this holiday has been given. Some states celebrate both Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays and have named the holiday to include both of their names. Even those states that call it President’s Day disagree on the spelling. It is spelled Presidents’ Day, President’s Day, or Presidents Day depending on the state. No matter how you spell it I thought this would be a perfect time to highlight the images of three US Presidents that are included in Nebraska Memories.

Visit of President Benjamin Harrison

President Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President. He was in office from 1889-1893. If you would like to read more about President Harrison the White House website provides a nice biography on all of the Presidents. As you can see in the photo to the right, a large crowd of people turned out to see President Harrison on May 13, 1891 in downtown Omaha. If you would like to know more about this event, I suggest you do what I’m guessing many people did at that time and read about it in the newspaper. The Library of Congress’s project Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers provides access to many digitized newspapers from across the country. In the May 14, 1891 issue of the Omaha daily bee there are multiple articles telling about the six hours President Harrison spent in Omaha. You can read all about his visit on the Chronicling America website.

President Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President. Theodore Roosevelt rallyHe was in office from 1901-1909. The picture at the left shows Roosevelt on October 1, 1900 in Holdrege. At this time, he was campaigning for the Vice Presidency. Roosevelt returned to Nebraska in 1912. The photos from Holdrege and Fremont both show Roosevelt standing on the back of a train car. I’m assuming these appearances were part of his campaign for the 1912 presidential election.

 

Theodore Roosevelt visiting Holdrege, Nebraska   Union Depot, Fremont, Nebraska

President William Howard Taft was the 27th President. He was in office from 1909-1913. Visit of President William Howard TaftWe have two photos of President Taft in Nebraska Memories. In this picture, he is standing with a number of prominent Omaha gentleman. Unfortunately, the exact date and location of this picture was never documented so we don’t know it was taken. The other picture shows the President riding in a car as part of a parade. We know that this picture was taken on September 21, 1909 at the intersPresident Taft in carection of 20th and Davenport Streets in Omaha. If you would like to read more about Taft’s visit the Omaha daily bee covered his visit.

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director

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“Nee-bras-ki is where we dwell”

McNair HardwareNebraska Memories contains 5,500+ digitized items from institutions across Nebraska. I’ve been working with the project since it began and I think I’ve seen every item in the collection at least once or twice. Not surprisingly, I’m drawn to some items more than other items. I wanted to share with you a few of the items that I like.

I’ll start with the picture of McNair Hardware that was taken in Crawford. The quality of the picture isn’t that great but I love the rows of rocking chairs. My parents own a rocking chair very similar to the padded chair on the bottom shelf. When I look at this photo, I always see it as an antique store until I remember that this photo was taken in 1909 and these are probably new chairs for sale.

NebraskaIncluded in Nebraska Memories is a collection of 256 musical scores from the Polley Music Library. I haven’t made the time to read the lyrics of every song in the collection but I’ve read a few. The lyrics of the song Nebraska, written by B. A. Rosencrans of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, always makes me laugh, especially the chorus. This song was written in 1927 and was dedicated to the American Legion Posts of Nebraska. I’ll tease you by just including the chorus below. You can view the complete score on the Nebraska Memories website. I’m assuming the name Volstead in the third verse is referring to the Volstead Act, which is actually a nickname for the National Prohibition Act.

NebraskaNebraska chorus:
“Nee-bras-ki,” That’s its name;
Cows and corn have won it fame.
Nee-bras-ki is where we dwell,
Its the best old state this side of.

On the last page of the score, they included the text that you see in the image on the right. One line states that this “It will be to Nebraska what the “Corn Song” is to Iowa.” I’ve never heard of the Corn Song before so I did a quick search and found the score on the Iowa Digital Library website. I wonder if Mr. Rosencrans wrote Nebraska as Nee-bras-ki because Iowa was written and I-O-Way in the Corn Song.

POW entertainersAnother set of photos that intrigues me are those of the clowns and actors at Camp Atlanta. If you are not familiar with Camp Atlanta, it was a German P.O.W camp located about 10 miles southwest Holdrege. It was in use from 1943 to 1946.

Food display in a grocery storeI’m sure we have all seen a TV show or movie where they are in a grocery store and the cans are stacked high in some pyramid type shape until someone either runs into the stack or pulls out the wrong can. While it makes for great entertainment, I don’t remember ever seeing stacks like this in any of the stores I frequent. Maybe that’s why I like this food display in the California Grocery. If you wanted to take advantage of the sale on apricots and buy three cans for 59 cents, which three cans would you pick up?

Children looking at picture books A list of favorites wouldn’t be complete unless it included pictures of children reading, a cat, and a baby playing with a dog.Cat on the kitchen table at the Wallace residence

These are just a few my favorite items in Nebraska Memories. Do you have any favorites? Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Edwin Lyndon "Ned" May, Jr. Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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The Modern Farm Horse

Unloading tractors at Sidney Nebraska Union Pacific freight yards As the harvest season is ending, I thought it would be a great time to look at some of the first tractors Nebraskans used to work the fields. Looking at the photos in Nebraska Memories makes me wonder what people thought of these large metal machines as they started to be delivered to farms across the state. Someone in Sidney cared enough to have a photo taken of a railroad flat car loaded with three International Harvester Mogul steam tractors. You can see how large the tractors are compared to the men standing in front of them.

Man posing on tractorPhotographer John Nelson took a picture of man who I consider to be brave. The man is standing on the back of a tractor that appears to be part way up a ramp with a sharp incline. The tractor must have great breaks since it is not rolling down the incline.

John Nelson also took a picture of a group of six men standing next to a tractor in what appears to be the middle of a field. While we may never know what was really going on at the time of this picture it appears to me that they gotMen with tractor the tractor and the cart they were pulling stuck in the mud. As you can see, the back wheels of the tractor and the wagon wheels are almost axel deep in mud. You have to wonder if the tractor made it out on its own steam or if the men and/or horses in the picture had to help.

If you haven’t noticed, I don’t know much about tractors. When I saw the photo of the Hart-Parr Company, I just assumed it was a local company in Lincoln. I love the sign next to the garage door. It states “The modern farm horse. Does plowing for 40 to 60 cents per acre. eats nothing when idle”. Hart-Parr Company, gas tractors

I originally planned to do a bit of research to see if I could learn something about this local company. I was surprised to learn however that the Hart-Parr Company was actually a tractor company based out of Charles City Iowa. I can only assume that the location in Lincoln was the local dealership. If you are a tractor enthusiast, you may be interested to know that Hart-Parr merged with three other companies in 1929 to form the Oliver Farm Equipment Company. The Oliver Company went through some changes and finally ended up being White Farm Equipment.

The commoner., October 04, 1912, Page 12One of the place I looked for information about the Hart-Parr Company was in the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers collection. While I The commoner., November 15, 1912didn’t find the type of information I was hoping to find I did run across a couple of fun ads that appeared in The Commoner. In 1912 the Hart-Parr Company offered a correspondence course that would teach you how to run a tractor. Participants in the course also got to attend the practice schools where they could “actually run a tractor”. One of these schools was located in Lincoln.

I hoped you enjoyed seeing some of these “Modern Farm Horse”. Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Nebraska Then and Now Part 2

 

Last month I wrote a post that showed 15 historical images of buildings that are part of the Nebraska Memories collection and are still standing today. As I mentioned, I’ve tried to take pictures of some of these historical buildings as I’ve traveled the state because I thought it would be fun to see how much or how little these buildings have changed. As I was going through my collection of photos I realized I had enough photos for at least one more post showing what Nebraska looked like then and now.

I hope you enjoy looking at these pictures to see how these buildings have and have not changed over the years.


Albion Public Library in Nebraska – 437 S 3rd St, Albion

Albion Public Library in Nebraska

Albion Public Library in Nebraska
Built: 1908
Picture: 1920-1930

Albion Public Library

Picture: 2015

 


Public Library, Alliance, Neb. – 204 W 4th St, Alliance

Public Library, Alliance, Neb.

Public Library, Alliance, Neb.
Built: 1912
Postcard: 1920-1930

Alliance

Picture: 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 


Burlington Station, Omaha, Neb. – 926 S. 10th Street, Omaha

Burlington Station, Omaha, Neb.

Burlington Station, Omaha, Neb.
Built: 1898
Postcard: 1910?

Burlington Station

Picture: 2015
Read about how the Burlington Station is being remolded.

 

 


Burlington Station – 925 S. 10th Street, Omaha

Burlington Station

Burlington Station
Built: 1898
Picture: 1910-1911

columns

Picture: 2015
The columns were removed from the Burlington Station during a renovation in 1930. The columns are now located on the UNL Campus near Memorial Stadium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hardy’s Furniture Building – 1314 O Street, Lincoln

Hardy's Furniture Building

Hardy’s Furniture Building
The two-story addition was added in 1915
Picture: 1928

Hardy's Furniture Building

Picture: 2015


J. L. Brandeis & Sons Building, Omaha, Neb. – 16th and Douglas Streets, Omaha

J. L. Brandeis & Sons Building, Omaha, Neb.

J. L. Brandeis & Sons Building, Omaha, Neb.
Built: 1906
Postcard: 1900?

J. L. Brandeis & Sons Building

Picture: 2015


Library building, McCook413 Norris Ave, McCook

Library building, McCook

Library building, McCook
Built: 1908
Postcard: 1910-1920

McCook

Picture: 2010


Nash Building – 16th and Harney Streets, Omaha

Nash Building

Nash Building
Picture: 1920-1929

Nash Building

Picture: 2015


Ponca Public Library in Nebraska – 203 2nd St, Ponca

Ponca Public Library in Nebraska

Ponca Public Library in Nebraska
Built: 1912
Picture: 1913

Ponca Public Library

Picture: 2014


Scottish Rite Cathedral, Omaha, Neb. – 20th & Douglas Streets, Omaha

Scottish Rite Cathedral, Omaha, Neb.

Scottish Rite Cathedral, Omaha, Neb.
Built: 1912-1914
Postcard: 1914-1920

Scottish Rite Cathedral

Picture: 2015


Farnam St. looking east, Omaha, Nebr. – Farnam Street looking east from 18th Street, Omaha

Farnam St. looking east, Omaha, Nebr.

Farnam St. looking east, Omaha, Nebr.
Postcard: 1900?

Farnam Street

Picture: 2015


Hanson’s Cafe, Omaha, Neb. – 315 S. 16th Street, Omaha

Hanson's Cafe, Omaha, Neb.

Hanson’s Cafe, Omaha, Neb.
Postcard: 1908-1909

Hansons Cafe

Picture: 2015


Rose Building and Henshaw Hotel, 16th & Farnam Sts., Omaha, Neb. – 16th & Farnam St., Omaha

Rose Building and Henshaw Hotel, 16th & Farnam Sts., Omaha, Neb.

Rose Building and Henshaw Hotel, 16th & Farnam Sts., Omaha, Neb.
Postcard: 1920?

Rose Building

Picture: 2015


Mitchell Mercantile – 13th & Center Ave, Mitchell

Mitchell Mercantile

Mitchell Mercantile
Built: 1906
Picture: 1910

Mitchell Mercantile

Picture: 2012


Hotel Hill, Omaha, Nebraska – 505 South 16th Street, Omaha

Hotel Hill, Omaha, Nebraska

Hotel Hill, Omaha, Nebraska
Built: 1919
Postcard: 1920-1929?

Hotel Hill

Picture: 2015


Hardy’s Furniture Building – 1314 O Street, Lincoln

Hardy's Furniture Building

Hardy’s Furniture Building
A two story addition was added in 1915.
Picture: 1928

Hardy's Furniture Building

Picture: 2015


Dodge County Courthouse construction, Fremont, Nebraska – 435 N Park Ave

Dodge County Courthouse construction, Fremont, Nebraska

Dodge County Courthouse construction, Fremont, Nebraska
Built: 1917
Picture: 1917

Dodge County Courthouse

Picture: 2009


New York Life Ins. Bld., Omaha, Neb. – 17th & Farnam Streets, Omaha

New York Life Ins. Bld., Omaha, Neb.

New York Life Ins. Bld., Omaha, Neb.
Built: 1888-1889
Postcard: 1901-1907

Omaha Building

Picture: 2015

 

 


Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Nebraska Then and Now

When looking at pictures of historical buildings in Nebraska Memories I’m always surprised at how many buildings and places I recognize. Many of these buildings have been around for 100 years and are still being used today. Over the years, as I’ve traveled across the state, I’ve tried to take pictures of some of these historical buildings because I thought it would be fun to see how much or how little these buildings have changed.

As I’ve taken pictures of these buildings there are a few things that I have noticed. First of all there is a lot less clutter in the historical photos. Today many of the pictures I’ve taken are full of stop lights, street signs, and electrical lines. Also it appears that we have planted a lot of trees over the past 100 or so years. I like trees. I think it’s great we have planted so many but it really makes it hard to take a picture of a building when it is surrounded by trees. The last thing I’ve noticed as I’ve looked at the old photos is angle from which the photos were taken from. The photographers were either able to stand further away from the buildings or they had access to a neighboring building and took the picture out the window or from the rooftop. Also you can only move so far back when you are standing on a street corner in downtown Omaha surrounded by tall buildings.

I hope you enjoy looking at these pictures to see how some of these buildings have and have not changed over the years. Click on an old picture to learn more about the building. Click on the new picture to see a larger version of the new picture.

Flat Iron Building – 17th, St. Mary’s, Howard, and 18th Streets, Omaha

Flat Iron Building

Flat Iron Building,
17th, St. Mary’s, Howard and 18th, Omaha, Nebr.
Built: 1912
Postcard: 1912-1920



Omaha Public Library – 19th and Harney Streets, Omaha

Omaha Public Library

Omaha Public Library
Built: 1894
Picture: 1898

Previous Omaha Public Library Building

Picture: 2015


Little Building – 11th and O Streets, Lincoln

Little Building

Little Building
Built: 1907
Picture: 1928

Little Building

Picture: 2015

 


Omaha High School – 20th and Dodge St, Omaha

Omaha High School, Omaha, Neb.

Omaha High School, Omaha, Neb.
Built: 1902
Postcard: 1902-1907

Omaha Public School

Picture: 2015


Mitchell High School – 19th Ave and 18th St, Mitchell

High School, Mitchell, Nebraska

High School, Mitchell, Nebraska
Built: 1927
Picture: 1927

High School, Mitchell

Picture: 2012


Exterior of Glidden Paints building – 31st and Leavenworth St, Omaha

Exterior of Glidden Paints building

Exterior of Glidden Paints building
Picture: 1946

Picture: 2015

Picture: 2015


Public Library, Schuyler, Nebr. – E 10th and C Streets, Schuyler

Public Library, Schuyler, Nebr.

Public Library, Schuyler, Nebr.
Built: 1912
Postcard: 1920-1930

Picture: 2015

Picture: 2015


Post office, South Omaha, Neb. – S 24th and M Streets, Omaha

Post office, South Omaha, Neb.

Post office, South Omaha, Neb.
Built: 1899
Postcard: 1907-1920

Picture: 2015

Picture: 2015


Donley Stahl Building – 13th and N Street, Lincoln

Donley Stahl Building

Donley Stahl Building
Built: 1925
Picture: 1928

Picture: 2015

Picture: 2015


Carnegie Library, Ashland – N 15th and Boyd Streets, Ashland

Carnegie Library, Ashland, Nebraska

Carnegie Library, Ashland, Nebraska
Built: 1911
Postcard: 1920-1930

Picture: 2009

Picture: 2009


Pavilion at Miller Park – Millier Park Drive, Omaha

Pavilion at Miller Park

Pavilion at Miller Park
Picture: 1900-1910

Picture: 2015

Picture: 2015


Keeline Building – 17th & Harney Streets, Omaha

Keeline Building

Keeline Building
Built: 1911
Picture: 1938

Picture: 2015

Picture: 2015


Sharp Building – 13th and N Street, Lincoln

Sharp Building rendering

Sharp Building rendering
Built: 1928
Rendering: 1928

Picture: 2015

Picture: 2015


Security Mutual Building – 12th and O Streets, Lincoln

Security Mutual Building

Security Mutual Building
Built: 1915
Picture: 1928

Picture: 2015

Picture: 2015


First National Bank – 16th and Farnam Streets, Omaha

First National Bank, Omaha, Nebr.

First National Bank, Omaha, Nebr.
Built: 1917
Postcard: 1917-1920

Picture: 2015

Picture: 2015



Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

 

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Nebraska 125 Years Ago – Part 2

In my blog post last week I talked about Nebraska 125 years ago and want to continue with that topic. This week we will take a look at the towns of Fremont, Brainard, Fairmont, Bertrand and Sidney.

Zach Shed residence exteriorFremont was still a relatively small town with a population of just 1,195. It 1890 it was only 19 years old as it was founded in 1871. Looking at the photo of the Zach Shed residence however it appears that they had some very nice looking houses in town at that time. The Shed residence is ornate as it was built in the Gothic Revival style. While the streets appear to be dirt, the sidewalk surrounding the house is wood. The wood sidewalks even appear to continue across the street.

Smersh Hardware storeBrainard is just a few years younger than Fremont as it was settled in 1878. The population of Brainard appears to have remained fairly steady over time. In 1890 the population was 306. According to the 2010 Census the population of Brainard was 330. The Smersh Hardware store was established in town on 1884 by Jakub Smersh. While we don’t know the names of the gentlemen standing in front of the store, I would like to think one of the nicely dressed men in a suit, tie and hat is Jakub.

Price elevatorThe town of Fairmont appears to have been prosperous in 1890 as it was able to support the Price elevator. At the time the population of town was 1,029. According to the note of the photo the Price elevator stood on the site of the present day elevator in town. The Farmers Cooperative Association purchased the elevator in 1919.

Eichelberger store on Main Street, Bertrand, NebraskaThe 1890 photo of Eichelberger store on Main Street, Bertrand, Nebraska provides us with a great view of downtown. For a town of just 265 people it appears to have a large and active main street.

Rose Street in Sidney also appears to be very busy in 1890. Sidney is the oldest of the five towns I’ve mentioned. It was founded in 1867. Looking at the picture of the west side of Rose Street you can see many different types of businesses including multiple grocery stores, a restaurant, arcade, and a meat market. Rose Street, Sidney, NebraskaYou could even stop in to Doran & Tobin for a beer as their sign clearly states that they are “agents for Anheuser Busch Beer”.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what Nebraska was like 125 years ago. Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Nebraska 125 Years Ago – Part 1

Lincoln Police Department, 1890The year was 1890 and Nebraska had officially been a state for 23 years. John Milton Thayer was Governor. The population of the state was 1.062 million but the population of Lincoln was just 55,154. Lincoln was being protected by Chief Melick and his fellow Lincoln police officers.

Nineteenth annual commencement of the University of NebraskaThe University of Nebraska held their Nineteenth annual commencement on June 11, 1890. The commencement was held at Funke’s Opera House which was located at the corner of 12th & O Streets in Lincoln. It had formerly been called Hallo’s Opera House and then Centennial Opera House. According to the commencement program the Governor attended the ceremony to present the military commissions.

Paving map of Omaha, NebraskaOmaha was also a lot smaller in 1890 with a population of 140,452. The city had a number of paved streets at this time as can be seen on this 1890 Paving map of Omaha, Nebraska. To get a better idea of the physical size of Omaha I studied the map looking for landmarks that are still present 125 years later. The east side of Omaha of course is easy to identify. On the North half of the map Cut Off Lake is clearly marked. If you don’t recognize that lake it may be because in 1906 the name was changed to Carter Lake. On the South half of the map the Missouri River is clearly marked. The northern edge of town is also fairly easy to identify. Towards the top of the North half of the map you can clearly see Fort Omaha. It’s located near where the top fold line and middle fold line on the map cross.

Paving map of Omaha, NebraskaThe south edge of town is also easy to identify. On the bottom right corner of the South half of the map is River View Park. If you don’t know the history of River View Park it is now the location of the Henry Doorly Zoo. Locating a present day landmark on the far west side of Omaha wasn’t as easy. Looking at the map you will see that there are very few of the north south streets are named and when are named they don’t always match up with current street names. On the South half of the map Hanscom Park is located at about the center of the map. The west side of the park runs along 32nd Ave. I’m guessing the west side of town ends around what is now 50th street.

Paving map of Omaha, NebraskaLooking at the map you can see that the streets of Omaha in 1890 were paved with a variety of different materials, including sheet asphalt, Sioux Falls granite, Colorado sandstone, Woodruff sandstone, Galesburg brick, cedar block, and cypress block. Looking at the area of 13th and Jones Street you can see that a variety of these options were used in this area. While the map does not label individual stores we know that Henry Moeller’s grocery store was located on the northwest corner of 13th and Jones.Henry Moeller's grocery store Looking at the picture I think the store faced Jones Street but unfortunately I can’t tell if that is Sioux Falls granite in front of the store.

Watch for Nebraska 125 Years Ago, Part 2 next week to see more of Nebraska and what it looked in 1890.

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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What did it really look like?

It seems like every few weeks a news story about a photo of a model or celebrity being retouched makes the rounds. The topic of photo manipulation or retouching is not new but did you realize that the manipulation of images has been going on since the 1800’s? I don’t know a lot about how this early manipulation was done but they used many techniques including hand-coloring black and white photos and negatives and combining pieces of multiple pictures and negatives to create a new image.Fishing on Pibel Lake, Nebraska What I do know is that there are many great examples of postcards in Nebraska Memories that feature images that have been manipulated.

Let’s start by looking at an obvious manipulation. This postcard is captioned “Fishing on Pibel Lake, Nebraska”. Look at the size of that fish. It is almost as big as the boat. If you want to try catching a big a fish like that you can visit Pibel Lake as it is a Nebraska State Recreation Area. (Update – The Pibel Lake Recreation Area is now owned by the Lower Loup Natural Resources District)

Among the cattle pens, stock yards, South Omaha, Neb.Looking at this postcard captioned “Among the cattle pens, stock yards, South Omaha, Neb.” you can see that color has been added but I think they got something wrong. Have you ever seen healthy green vegetation growing in an active stockyard? Growing up I drove past these stockyards many times. I don’t remember them ever being this lush and green looking when they were filled with cattle.

Sometimes looking at a single postcard you may realize that color has been added unless you can compare it to the original black and white image or you notice something odd you may think the coloring looks good. It would be fun if we could compare the original image to the enhanced version but unfortunately we don’t have that option. In Nebraska Memories we do however have multiple postcards of the same scenes.

There are two postcards in Nebraska Memories captioned “Partial view of stock yards, South Omaha”. One is black and white while the other one has had color added. Looking at these postcards is a great way to see how adding color changes an image.

Partial view of stock yards, South OmahaPartial view of stock yards, South Omaha

These next two postcards appear to be created from the exact same image however the manipulation that was done to them is slightly different. The postcards are captioned Stock pens, South Omaha, Neb. and Stock pens, south side, Omaha, Neb.. Some of the differences between these two postcards are obvious such as making the roofs have a reddish cast to them. Also the postcard on the top has an overcall darker feel to it. Stock pens, South Omaha, Neb. Stock pens, south side, Omaha, Neb.To see these next differences you may need use to above links to look at the actual items in Nebraska Memories where you will be able to zoom in on the postcards. Starting at the bottom left on the postcards do you see the animals in the pen? On one postcard they clearly look like pigs while on the other they look like black blobs. Moving to the right do you see the man standing behind the cattle? On the postcard with the pigs that you can see you will notice that the man is carrying some type of stick over his shoulder while on the other postcard the stick has been colored black and it blends in with the cattle. Next follow the fencing until you locate the man standing on top of the fence. Do you see that there is a tall object next to the man that has been removed from one of the postcards? The last differences I want to point out are the color of the taller fence posts next to the train cars. On one postcard the tops of the posts were left white while the train cars around them were colored. On the other card the posts were colored to match the train cars.

Bee Building, Omaha, Neb.Finally I want to highlight a selection of postcards picturing the Old City Hall and Bee Building. The Old City Hall building was located on the northeast corner 18th & Farnam Streets. The Bee Buidling stood next to it. Both buildings were torn down in 1966 to make way from the Woodmen Tower. Shown here are just a few of the postcards in Nebraska Memories that feature both of these buildings. After looking at all of these postcards I wonder what these buildings really looked like. Because these buildings were not torn down until early in 1966 I would think that there is a color photo of one or both of these buildings available someplace. If you have a color photo of either of these building stashed away or you know where I can see a color photo I would love to see them!

City Hall and Bee Building Omaha, Neb.City Hall. Bee Building County Court House.

Bee Building, City Hall and corner of Court House lawn, Omaha, Neb.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Historical Projects Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Thanks for your help!

John Ellis AlbumYou may remember earlier this year we asked for help in transcribing two autograph albums in Nebraska Memories that belonged to May Martin Ellis and her husband John Ellis. The project was a great success and it only took one week for both albums to be transcribed. We want to thank everyone who helped make this project a success.

For those of you not familiar with the project these albums contain many pages of handwritten inscriptions. Some are easy to read while May Martin Ellis Albumothers take a bit more effort to decipher. Transcribing the handwriting makes it easier to read the inscriptions and makes the albums searchable. As you read the transcriptions remember we did our best to type the text as it was written and did not fix any of errors.    This means you will find phrases such as “always paddle your one cenue” and “In the depth of thine- Effeetiend[?] , please plant a sweat Fore-get me not.” The question mark in the brackets means that we were unable to clearly read the handwriting and typed our best guess. If you are have having a hard time deciphering those phrases my guess is that they meant to say “always paddle your own canoe” and “In the depth of thine affection plant a sweet forget me not”.

The transcriptions available in Nebraska Memories can be viewed in three different places in the interface. While I’m focusing on these two albums the viewing options apply to all items in the collection that include transcriptions. Let me show you how you can search and view the transcribed text.

While working with these albums I remember reading at least one reference to dishes that I found amusing but unfortunately I don’t know which album it was in. A search for the word dishes shows that the word appears in both albums. I am going to look at May’s album. When I click on the link to her album from the search results page I’m taken directly to page 42 in the album where Eva has written a note to May about washing dishes.

Image TextAs I mentioned there are three places where the transcription can be viewed. The first place is towards the bottom of the page in the area labeled Description. The second place is on the Text tab. This tab is located just above the album page between the Image tab and the search box. dishesThese two tabs can be used to switch between the Image view and Text (transcript) view of the page. After clicking on the Text tab you will see the word dishes highlighted. Also note when you are on the Text tab that up and down arrows now appear next to the phrase “2 found in document”. Use these arrows to move to the previous and next instances of your search term.

View Image & TextThe last way to view the transcription is by clicking on the View Image & Text link. This view allows you to see the transcribed text and the image at the same time. To adjust the widths of the text and image area click on the slider button and drag it left or right. Use the thumbnails at the bottom of the page to move from page to page.

As the New Year begins I hope you take a few minutes to explore these albums and all of the digitized photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials available through Nebraska Memories.

A.W. Clarke Grain & Ground Feed 1881 New Year's postcard

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Historical Projects Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Halloween Inspiration

Are you still searching for that perfect Halloween costume? How about a historic costume inspired by the clothing choices of Nebraskan’s from 100 years ago. You can find plenty of inspiration in Nebraska Memories. There is a wide variety of options ranging from formal to informal attire.

Let’s start out with looking at some of the more formal apparel. Men it looks like you are going to need a three piece suit, shirt, tie and a hat if you have one. Ladies you are going to need a long skirt and a blouse with a high neckline. You may also want to find a hat to complete your outfit.

Men and women in front of building     Family outside house

Three men in a studio portrait     Lillian Polley, Ed Polley, and Cora Henkle Dobbs

Men if the idea of wearing a three piece suit doesn’t appeal to you there are plenty of other options. How about dressing as a baseball player from 1914 or a football player from 1909? Ladies if you are going to be sports fan it appears that a hat is required. If you actually want to participate in sports you will need to find a pair of bloomers or a nice ruffled cloth cap.

Lincoln Baseball ClubFour linemen of 1909 football teamGym class at Union College

Crowd at football game, 1915Sacramento basketball team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you haven’t spotted a winning costume idea yet here are a few more. I really wish we knew the story behind the picture of the two men smoking their pipes while wearing ladies’ hats.

Hermit     Sister Frida Thor

Men wearing ladies' hats     Men drinking beer

I hope these images provided you with a bit of inspiration as you are working on your Halloween costume. If these looks are a too boring you can always complete the outfit by applying some fake blood and zombie makeup. Just like the folks in these pictures remember not to smile.

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Historical Projects Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Do you have 10 minutes to help us transcribe a handwritten inscription?

John Ellis AlbumRecently we added two autograph albums to Nebraska Memories. The albums belonged to May Martin Ellis and her husband John Ellis. They contain many handwritten inscriptions with the majority of inscriptions dating from the late 1800’s. While it is fun to read the inscriptions it can also be a challenge to read some of the handwriting. We would like to remove this challenge by providing a typed transcription of each page. Typing the transcriptions is a bit of a daunting task however because there are about 150 pages between the two albums and each page was written by a different person. The quality of handwriting varies from page to page so some are easy to read while others take a bit more effort.

John Ellis Album (page 24)To help with the task of transcribing these albums we wanted to try using crowdsourcing. If you are not familiar with crowdsourcing in this context it is a way to divide up the labor of transcribing the text among a group of people who are willing to give a few minutes of their time to the project. This is not a new concept but it is the first time we are trying it and hope you will be willing to help us.

What do you get out of helping with this project? To start with you get the enjoyment of reading a page or two in the autograph books. While I haven’t read all of the pages yet here is one inscription that I found amusing. This is from page 42 of May’s album.May Martin Ellis Album (page 42)

Dear Friend May:

Remember me and my best wishes
When far away washing dishes.

From your friend.
Eva Miller.

July 26th 1885.

Second, by helping to create a typed transcription we are making both the inscriptions and the name of the person who wrote them legible, searchable and findable. After the pages have been transcribed we will add the transcribed text to the corresponding album page in Nebraska Memories.

Third, if your relatives lived in Nebraska during the late 1800’s maybe you will find an inscription they wrote. Many of the inscriptions include both a date and place name. Some of the place names I’ve seen include: Alliance, Box Butte, Genoa, Hemingford, Osceola, and Grand Lake (According to information on the Nebraska State Historical Site’s webpage Grand Lake was located near Alliance.)

If you are up to the challenge here is how you can help. We have set up a Google form for each album so we can easily collect the transcribed text and then display the text in a corresponding spreadsheet. You do not need a Google account to help us. Everything you do is anonymous. We have no way of tracking who has helped us with this project. Here is what you need to get started.

Links That You Will Need – Please make sure you read the instructions below.

May Martin Ellis Album

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone’s help the May Martin Ellis Album is done.

Album: http://memories.nebraska.gov/cdm/ref/collection/donated/id/127May Martin Ellis Album

Spreadsheet: http://goo.gl/ZVFXwx

Form: http://goo.gl/ebYc52

John Ellis Album

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone’s help the John Ellis Album is done.

Album: http://memories.nebraska.gov/cdm/ref/collection/donated/id/178John Ellis Album

Spreadsheet: http://goo.gl/TOvyi2

Form: http://goo.gl/D2rDfx

Instructions

  1. Open either May’s or John’s spreadsheet. On the spreadsheet you will see a column labeled Page. If a page number is listed in the spreadsheet that means the page has been transcribed. You will see the transcription in the corresponding column. Determine which page or pages need to be transcribed.
  2. Open the corresponding album and locate a page you want to transcribe.
  3. Open the corresponding form. Enter the number of the page you are transcribing and then type the text as it is written.
  • Press the enter key at the end of each line.
  • Do NOT correct misspellings, grammar errors, punctuation, odd capitalization or anything else we may consider wrong. I know this may be the hardest part for some folks but it is important that you type the text exactly as it was written. For example I’ve seen a couple of folks who have written the word tomorrow as two separate words. In May’s book on page 6 her Pa wrote it as “to Morrow”. That’s the way it needs to be typed.
  • John Ellis Album (page20)If you cannot read a word, letter or are unsure of something please put a question mark in the transcription at the point you have the question. The question mark will be a signal to us that someone else will need to look at that text. For example if I was transcribing page 20 of John’s book there is a line where I would need to insert a question mark because I’m not sure what is written between the word in and albums. In the form I would enter: If scribbling in ? Albums:
  • toolbarSome folks wrote at all kinds of odd angles. You may need to rotate or zoom in on the text to make it easier to read. Use the buttons on the toolbar above the image to do this. Put the text in the order you think is most logical.
  • If you see a transcription in the spreadsheet with a questions mark in it and you want to try deciphering that page please go ahead and try. Multiple forms can be submitted for each page. We will be looking at all of the transcriptions before they are added to Nebraska Memories.

John Ellis Album (page 39)Now that you have spent five minutes reading this I hope you will be willing to spend 5 more minutes transcribing a page or two in the albums. You never know what funny saying you may transcribe.

Thank for your help. If you have any questions please leave a comment or send me  an email.

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Historical Projects Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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