Category Archives: Nebraska Memories

Looking Sharp

So fellas, did you think about your clothes when you put them on this morning? Dress up with a suit and tie or down with torn jeans and a baseball cap? Coordinate the colors or fabrics of top and bottoms? And where did you buy your fine fashions–a fine men’s store, a shop at the mall, or the local convenience store?

Where do you suppose a man-about-town or a hard-working farmer would have gone to get advice and purchase the latest fashions in the early part of the last century?

Men looking at clothingIn a small northeastern Nebraska town, they may have gone to a store like the one in the photographic postcard above. The store had the simple name of “Clothing and Shoes” and had an equally simple method of displaying the merchandise by stacking it on a long counter. Notice that the clerk behind the counter is the most formally attired, but  all three men wear hats and two wear suit coats. (Men looking at clothing, Nebraska State Historical Society Collection, circa 1907)

Clothing store and employees, Neligh, Nebraska In Neligh, another northeastern Nebraska town, the men’s store at left has more merchandise displayed in a more formal layout. While much of the merchandise is stored in boxes which are stacked and organized on shelves behind the counter, pants in a variety of colors are laid out along the curved counter so that customers can get a better view. With the pants display is an order book for “Custom Made Trousers,” which it appears could be ordered in from another company. The two clerks, formally dressed in dress pants, shirts, vests, and bow ties, appear ready to advise their customers in the latest sartorial fashions. (Clothing store and employees, Neligh, Nebraska; Antelope County Historical Society Collection, circa 1910)

Herman Petersen TailoringIf you wanted to order clothing fitted specifically for yourself directly from the source, you may have visited your local tailor such as Herman Petersen of Fremont, who displayed examples of his clothing in the windows of his establishment as shown in the photograph at right. (Herman Petersen Tailoring, Keene Memorial Library Collection, 1925)

Tillma-Anderl StorefrontResidents of David City and the surrounding area may have shopped at Tillma-Anderl Cash Toggery, left, whose signs above the display windows advertise clothing, shoes, hats and furnishings. The displays on either side of the door include a variety of clothing and a couple of suitcases. Notice that formal clothing, including suit jackets are still the main parts of the display(Tillma-Anderl Storefront, Butler County Gallery Collection, 1938)

Interior view of men's department of Nebraska Clothing StoreOr, if you visited the big city of Omaha, you may have shopped at the Nebraska Clothing Store, right. Shelves line the walls of the large room, and additional items are stored beneath the display tables in the center. Several suggested combinations of jackets, shirts and ties grace the top of one table. A fan helps customers keep their cool while making the right choice. (Interior view of men’s department of Nebraska Clothing Store, The Durham Museum Collection, circa 1940)

Visit Nebraska Memories to search or browse for other historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and various 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 Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Nebraska Memories: The Paxton & Gallagher Legacy

P&G CookbookThis week we received, as a gift, a copy of the Paxton & Gallagher 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Cookbook, 1864-1939.  It has been wonderful to leaf through the recipes and handwritten notes, and wonder about the company who produced them, as well as the many cooks who used them.

As it turns out, there are several pictures related to Paxton & Gallagher in Nebraska Memories, so here is a brief history of the company and its’ founders:

Paxton & Gallagher Wholesale Grocery was founded in 1879 by two Omaha businessmen: Ben Gallagher and William A. Paxton, and in a few short years became one of the largest grocery companies in the West.   Paxton started out as a cattleman, then became a banker who had his hand in many different businesses in Omaha and Nebraska.  Examples of Nebraska Memories pictures of some of his ventures are, from left to right: The Paxton Hotel, the Paxton & Vierling Iron Works, and the Nebraska Telephone Company (in which Paxton was a principal stockholder).

Paxton HotelP&VNETelephone

 

 

 

 

Gallagher, on the other hand, was a grocery man only, and previously operated a series of general stores all along the Union Pacific railroad route.

The original Paxton & Gallagher store was located at 15th and P&GFarnam Street in downtown Omaha, but later moved to a four story complex at 701-711 S. 10th Street.

Paxton & Gallagher hit it big when they launched their Butter-Nut line of foods, and especially after 1913 when they began selling Butter-Nut brand coffee, a name that many people remember, and is still around today.

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 Participating in Nebraska Memories for more information, or 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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We Were Sailing Along

Although the central part of the country is some distance from an ocean, Stands and Looks Back and Hollow Horn Bear in a canoepeople still enjoy access to water by boat. Rivers and lakes offer a means of travel and transportation, acquiring food, recreation, and maybe a little canoodling.

Canoes were developed by Native Americans and used for thousands of years. Although the first ones were dugout of tree trunks, later ones featured tree bark over frames. The framed variety worked best for the rivers, streams and lakes in North America, as in the John Anderson photograph at left from the late 1800s of two Brule Sioux, Hollow Horn Bear and Stands and Looks Back, paddling on a river (Nebraska State Historical Society Collection).

U.S.E boat Leuit. Lewis 6-18-13Lewis and Clark’s Expedition of 1804-1806 to explore the territory acquired with the Louisiana Purchase began on keelboat up the Missouri River which also forms the eastern border of Nebraska. A little over one hundred years later, the United States Army Corps of Engineers steamboat, Lieutenant Lewis, (right) plied the same river (Omaha Public Library Collection). In addition to surveying and exploration, boats moved people and goods more quickly than horse or oxen and wagon for many decades.

Omaha, Nebraska, sene at Rod and Gun Club, Lake NakomaThe shifting of the Missouri River after the flood of 1877 created a curved lake and the opportunity of additional recreation for the locals. The Rod and Gun Club of Omaha used the lake, known as Lake Nakoma at the time the postcard at left was created. As shown in the postcard, members were not limited to men–women are ready at the oars of the rowboats on the water. The lake, later renamed Carter Lake for the family donating funds to establish a city park on the lake, also saw craft such as canoes and sailboats like the ones below sailing in the moonlight (both postcards from the Omaha Public Library Collection).

Carter Lake by moonlight, Omaha, Nebr.

Flood in Ericson, NebraskaBoats are at times required for more serious duty. Many of the rivers in Nebraska are not very deep, so heavy rains or run-off from an extra deep snowpack melting in mountains to the west can cause flooding across the plains. In such cases, like the flood in Erickson, Nebraska at right, required boats to navigate the streets (Nebraska State Historical Society Collection). Other images of canoes, rowboats, and sailboats can be found in Nebraska Memories.

Visit Nebraska Memories to search or browse for more advertising materials or other historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and various 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 Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Music in the Air

August Molzer, violinist

As mentioned in Beat of a Different Drummer, Lincoln had a thriving music scene at the turn of the twentieth century, and opera houses could be found in many small towns across Nebraska. How did they find performers before mass media or social media? Not all performers made their livings solely from performing. For an example, take a look at the career of August Molzer, violinist, pictured above (from a promotional pamphlet in the Donated Materials Collection).

Molzer was something of a local celebrity. Some years after moving to Wilber, Nebraska, from Bohemia as a boy of seven with his family, Molzer was sent back to Bohemia for musical schooling due to his aptitude for playing the violin. As noted in the promotional pamphlet, he studied under well-known musicians in the Prague Conservatory and performed well-received concerts in Europe. Upon his return to Nebraska, he taught music at both Nebraska Wesleyan University and the University of Nebraska School of Music in Lincoln. The pamphlet was printed and distributed by Nebraska Wesleyan University circa 1907.

Grand concert by August Molzer and Mrs. H. Finley HelmsKerr Opera House concertTwo concert programs from the Polley Music Library Collection detail performances Molzer gave in Nebraska after the promotional pamphlet was produced. The program at left was for a concert at the Shelby Opera House given January 18, 1908, and the one at the right was for a concert at the Kerr Operal House in Hastings given October 26, 1909. Note in the Kerr Opera House program the other performers are also faculty of the Nebraska Wesleyan Conservatory of Music.

Menuet BohemienneIn addition to teaching and performing, Molzer also composed music. The Polley Music Collection also contains two Rondomanuscripts of Molzer’s pieces for violin and piano: the “Menuet Bohemian” at left and “Rondo” at right, both circa 1910.

Molzer Music Store employeesAfter teaching in Lincoln for nearly three decades, Molzer, his wife and their two youngest children moved to Laramie where he taught music at the University of Wyoming. However, it seems there was also music in the “heir”, as Molzer’s oldest son, Robert, remained in Lincoln where he later owned the Molzer Music Store. In the 1946 photograph at the right, Robert is most likely the man dressed in a suit, standing with his employees (Townsend Studio Collection). In addition to selling music and musical instruments, employees repaired instruments as can be seen in other store photographs.

Visit Nebraska Memories to search or browse for more advertising materials or other historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and various 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 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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High on Education

Thomas DoaneEducation was very important in the growth of the new state of Nebraska, and colleges were established in many communities. Bethany Heights, Blair, College View, Crete, Fremont, Hastings, Kearney, Lincoln, Omaha, Peru, Seward, Spalding, University Place, and York, to name a few, all had a public or private college before 1900; some thrived, others did not. One still very much in  existance today was founded by the gentleman pictured above, Thomas Doane (Doane College Library collection).

Doane, chief engineer for the Burlington and Missouri Railroad, helped establish the Crete Academy in 1871 which became Doane College after the grant of acreage on the hills east of Crete from the railroad in 1872. Doane continued to support the college until his death in 1897 by sitting on the board of trustees and contributing funds.

Boswell ObservatoryMerrill Hall 3Other benefactors of the college included Charles Boswell, the stepfather of one of the instructors, for whom the Boswell Observatory (left) was named. One of the first astronomical observatories in Nebraska, the building also housed weather observation equipment and a Greenwich Mean Time clock. The clock was connected to a “time ball” atop Merrill Hall (right). Shown in the lowered position, the ball indicates that it is past noon on the day this photograph was taken. Each day at noon the clock in Boswell Observatory would send an electrical pulse to the ball at the top of the shaft on Merril Hall; the 56-pound ball measuring 32 inches in diameter would then fall down the shaft, slowed by a brake before coming to a rest at the roof. A student using a pulley system would raise it back to the top each morning. Standard time was just coming into common use and people from the community as well as at the college would watch the ball on top of the building on the hill fall at noon to set their watches and clocks.

Mens Hall and Brandt BridgeMerrill Hall, the first building built on the new campus,  was just one of the buildings at the college designed by a prominent architectural firm. While Thomas Doane hired a Boston firm to design Merrill Hall, two former Doane students working for a Chicago architectural firm designed the dormitory, Men’s Hall (Men’s Hall and Brandt Bridge, left), in the Collegiate Gothic style. Built in 1929, the men’s dormitory contained the latest modern conveniences. A women’s dormitory designed in the same style sat at the opposite end of the campus.

See other pictures in this newest Nebraska Memories collection under Doane College Library.

Visit Nebraska Memories to search or browse for other historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and various 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 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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Sell, Sell, Sell

Any good marketer will tell you that you need to continually put your product or South side of Front Street looking east from Chestnut Street, Sidney, Nebraskaservice in front of people to make a sale. Today we are bombarded on all sides with commercials and advertising. But years ago there wasn’t such a wide range of media, so how did businesses reach their prospective customers? For some businesses that meant going beyond putting the name of their business on the front of their buildings to spelling out their products on signs meant to catch people’s attention. The Pioneer Drug Store spelled out their interesting combination of products–Front Street, Sidney, NebraskaDRUGS PAINTS OILS GLASS AND WALLPAPER–on the side of the building in the photograph at left. (South side of Front Street looking east from Chestnut Street, Sidney, Nebraska; Cheyenne County Historical Society and Museum Collection) Down the street, Adam Ickes’ Dry Goods Store positioned a sign perpendicular to the street that could be easily read by passersby, at right. (Front Street, Sidney, Nebraska)

Exterior of Glidden Paints BuildingSignage advanced to individual letters attached to buildings as in the picture at right with Glidden Paints capitalizing on their corner position by spelling out their name on two sides of the building. And if you have space on the roof, why not lease it to someone else–like Budweiser–for advertising? (Exterior of Glidden Paints Building, The Durham Museum Collection)

 

 

Capital City Tire CompanyMobile advertising works well, too. Capitol City Tire Company’s truck at left advertises the brand of tires they carried (Capitol City Tire Company; Men wearing signs advertising movieTownsend Studio Collection). And what could be more eye-catching than a group of men walking the street in sandwich board signs promoting the movie Roxie Hart with a pretty Ginger Rogers at right? (Men wearing signs advertising movie; The Durham Museum Collection)

Denver Chop House Restaurant doggieBut what could be better than advertising that a person takes home with them? Use a picture of a cute dog and who wouldn’t want to try out the Denver Chop House Restaurant? (Denver Chop House Restaurant doggie, Omaha Public Library collection) Or if a pretty Gibson-style lady is more to your taste, perhaps you would have hung the calendar plate given out by a Papillion bank. (Banking House of A.W. Clarke 1909 calendar plate, Sarpy County Historical Museum Collection)Banking House of A. W. Clarke 1909 Calendar Plate

Great artist course: Efrem ZimbalistGreat artist course presenting Miss Rosa PonselleTargeted advertising can be very profitable. If you attended the Efrem Zimbalist concert in 1919, your program contained an advertisement encouraging you to purchase a Victrola from Ross P. Curtice Co. so that “Zimbalist will play for you in your own home.” (Great artist course: Efrem Zimbalist; Polley Music Library Collection) Or if you attended the Rosa Ponselle concert a few seasons later, your program listed the Victor Records containing her songs also available at Ross P. Curtice Co. (Great artist course presenting Miss Rosa Ponselle, Polley Music Library Collection)

Visit Nebraska Memories to search or browse for more advertising materials or other historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and various 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 Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Palimpsest anyone?

A recent radio news piece about the redevelopment of an urban area brought to mind a term I first read during a college history course. Palimpsest may be used as a noun, verb or adjective and originally was used in reference to paper or other writing materials which were reused so that the original text was partially erased or obliterated and new text overlay the old. By the nineteenth century the term was used for things which similarly had been layered with something new but still had a trace of the original such as land and buildings.

Take, for instance, the site of the oldest photographic image in Nebraska Memories,  “View looking northwest from 15th and Douglas” (Omaha Public Library Collection). The colorized lantern slide below is from about 1865 and shows Douglas Street from 15th Street to just past 18th Street in Omaha, then the Territorial capital of Nebraska. The roads are dirt (or mud), but houses and other buildings, including the Captiol building on the hill right of center, have been built and trees planted. When Omaha was established in 1854, the topography would have been the same with the land sloping upward from the Missouri River, but it would have been covered in prairie grass as far as the eye could see.View looking northwest from 15th and Douglas

Millions of years ago, Omaha’s locale was close to a large inland sea when dinosaurs roamed the land. Later, glaciers shaped and re-shaped the lay of the land. But we don’t have any images of those times, so back to recorded history…

15th and Douglas Streets, Omaha, NebraskaAs Omaha grew, more businesses moved in and started replacing houses as shown in the image to the left (15th and Douglas Streets, Omaha Public Library Collection). In the five years or so since the previous image was taken, building materials have already been upgraded to brick. The building on the corner which features extra architechtural detailing around the windows housed the City Livery stables.

In addition to new buildings, in the 1890s city officials changed the lay of the land with a re-grading project that lowered the steep rise in Douglas Street as seen in the first image. For more details and images, see Re-Shaping Omaha.

Brandeis Building, Omaha, NebBy the turn of the twentieth century, houses and trees have disappeared along this section of Douglas. “Downtown” businesses as shown in these two postcards from the Omaha Public Library Collection were being built to serve customers who lived farther out. Douglas west from 15th, Omaha, NebThe Brandeis Building, built in 1906 at 16th and Douglas Streets to house a department store and other businesses, is featured in the postcard to the left and is in the background of the postcard showing “Douglas west from 15th, Omaha, Neb.” at right. However, what goes around comes around–the Brandeis Building now houses apartments and condominiums for those wishing to live downtown.

Hotel Fontenelle, Omaha, NebOmaha business districtNew buildings grew taller. Built in 1917, the Hotel Fontenelle at 18th and Douglas Streets, shown in a postcard from the Omaha Public Library at left, had all the modern conveniences of the time. But it later changed its shape as seen (or not seen, as the top of the hotel has been changed) in the photograph at right taken from 17th and Douglas Streets in 1945 (Omaha business district, The Durham Museum collection). It would disappear totally from the landscape in 1983.

15th & Douglas, Omaha from Google EarthSo, what does that northwest view from 15th and Douglas Streets look like today? If one of the first Omaha residents looked at the Google Earth snapshot at right, they would be totally astonished to see all of those buildings. But the hill that the territorial capitol sat on is still there; perhaps there are other features they would recognize too. Imagine what this area might look like one hundred years from now. We can only hope that someone takes and archives pictures over the decades so that others may see the changes that occur.

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 Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Focus on Nebraska Memories: Valley Public Library

Valley HotelIn this post about Nebraska Memories, I’d like to focus on a collection of photographs from Valley, Nebraska.

The Friends of the Valley Public Library have digitized and described a collection of photographs depicting businesses and members of the local population between the late 1800s and early 1900s in Valley.

The picture to the left is Reid’s Hotel, located at Front and Rine Streets in Valley, Nebraska. It was later sold and renamed the Fitz Hotel. The third owner, Mrs. Connie McKee, renamed the building McKee Hotel and Apartments.

Valley pic

 

 

The picture from 1920’s Valley to the right is the Seefus Tavern and confectionary store.  Taken on the sidewalk in front of businesses on the west side of Spruce Street, this black and white photograph shows eight locals and a dog sitting and standing in front of the business.

 

Valley pic 2

 

This black and white photograph shows flooded streets with houses in a distance. Flood waters up to four-feet deep surged through Valley, Nebraska on March 30, 1912, leaving homes full of mud and silt.

There are many more pictures of Valley businesses and the 1912 flood in Nebraska Memories.  Be sure to take a look!

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 Participating in Nebraska Memories for more information, or 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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“Summer time, and the livin’ is easy…”

picnic3Just like George Gershwin’s song for the 1935 opera, Porgy and Bess, it’s almost summer time, when thoughts turn to picnics, barbeques, and outdoor fun in general.

Photographs in Nebraska Memories have captured these pursuits over the years.  People barbequing, friends and/or families gathering for picnics, fun playing badminton, baseball or foot racing–these have all been (and continue to be) part of Nebraska’s heritage. picnic2

sports1Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images like these, digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.sports5

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 Introduction to Participating in Nebraska Memories for more information, or contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Just Like Riding a Bike

You may not have realized that May is National Bike Month, though I suppose it makes sense to get out and enjoy the spring weather on your bicycle. The first verifiable invention of the bicycle occurred in the 1800s, and as a glance through Nebraska Memories shows, Nebraskans have been enjoying their bikes for many years.Elvannah Brown

The Butler County Gallery Collection includes some portraits of children posed with their bicycles, such as Elvannah Brown. While she is technically riding a tricycle, rather than a bicycle, this image of toddler Nettie Butler Nettie Butlerwas too adorable not to include.

The Townsend Studio Collection also includes some portraits of people with their bikes. This portrait of Mrs. Tomas Bennett most likely depicts a bicycle used for purely recreational purposes, while Ed Mockett’s portrait depicts a cyclist and his racing bike.

A less formal, and more recent, depiction of a bicycle is shown in this image of children at Frazier Cycle Companythe Nebraska Children’s Home in Omaha receiving a bike, among other gifts, in 1938. Also of interest is a group of images of the Frazier Cycle Company in Omaha in the early 1900s.

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 Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Preserving Nebraska’s Past

Are your paper archives crumbling? Are your photographs fading? Now may be the time to plan for preservation, and digitization is one of the best ways to preserve your historical materials.

Van Fleet Teachers CollegeDigital versions of items provide access to content while limiting the handling of delicate materials. The lantern slide of the Van Fleet Teachers College (Nebraska Wesleyan University Collection) to the left has a crack down the right side which, while not readily obvious in the digital image, could become worse if the slide is handled regularly. The 1887 Letter from John Q. Goss and H.M. O’Neal to Major Butler (Sarpy County Historical Museum Collection) below has creases from folds that could eventually crack or tear.

Letter from John Q. Goss and H.M. O’Neal to Major Butler

Some items may disintegrate for other reasons such as chemical reactions within the structure of the material or a poor storage environment. The acetate negative of Lena Carveth and Ernest F. Carveth (Townsend Studio Collection) below is an example of deterioration due to a chemical reaction. Nitrate negatives are even more unstable; as the chemicals in the negatives decay, they become highly flammable and require very specific storage conditions. Before these items disappear forever, consider scanning them according to archival standards.

Lena Carveth and Ernest F. Carveth

If you are wondering where to start with preservation, check out the Nebraska Library Commission’s Preservation of Library Materials list of resources. You will find guidelines and tips on the care and preservation of many different types of materials. And remember, if you do plan to digitize any materials, Nebraska Memories hosts Nebraska-related materials for web access and Library Commission staff may be contacted for consultation.

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 Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Thanks for the Memory

With my retirement near,  I decided to devote my  last Nebraska Memories blog posting to reminiscing about  some of the visits I made to organizations that are participating in Nebraska Memories.  Mutton tallow lanternIn 2008 I visited the  Bess Streeter Aldrich House & Museum  with  Devra Dragos and Lori Sailors.   We toured the home that Bess and her family lived in, and saw memorabilia and documents related to her writing.  I remember seeing  her writing desk, typewriter,  the original typed manuscript of A Lantern in Her Hand, and the Mutton Tallow Lantern that Bess’s mother and her family carried with them on their journey to Iowa were on display.   Lori and Devra returned later to take photographs.

Also in 2008, Lori and I  visited Wanda Marget at Fairmont Public Library, who gave us a great tour of the Fillmore County Museum, located in a building donated by the Ashby family.   One room featured a restoration of Dr. Ashby’s medical clinic,  including the appendix of one of his patients preserved in a jar!  Another room featured many photographs and documents related to  the Fairmont Army Airfield during World War II.  In 1944 Lt. Colonel Paul Tibbets came to the Airfield and picked several crews and their support personnel for a secret mission –  the atomic bomb dropped oFairmont Army Air Fieldn Hiroshima.  The crews were taken from the  Airfield in the middle of the night for training.   The Fillmore County Historical Society also owns the old drug store building, complete with the original soda fountain.   Lori returned to scan the items now in the  Fairmont Public Library — Fillmore County Historical Society  collection.

The Durham Museum in Omaha is a fascinating place.   The restored train station housing the museum is spectacular.  I remember the stunning interior with a beautifully tiled floor,  a functioning soda fountain,  and an entire restored railroad car in the lower level.  It is a popular event venue – several years later I attended a wedding there.    The Museum  owns a large photograph collection.  Devra and I visited the Museum in late 2008.  The Museum scanned and contributed images from the William Wentworth photography studio collection to Nebraska Memories.   This 1939 photograph of a Car jumping flatbed trucksCar jumping flatbed trucks  is a great example of the commercial work Wentworth did for business clients.

Students at Haywood SchoolIn 2009 Lori and I visited  Lincoln Public Schools to see their collection of historical photographs.  Lori returned later to scan some of them.  We were delighted to add the images  to Nebraska Memories, and later very thankful that we could provide them with copies of their  images after the LPS building was mostly destroyed by fire on May 30, 2011.   I find this photograph of Students at Hayward School  rather poignant.   At the top are the words “The growing Citizens  Better schools, Better Citizens”. The three boys and one of the girls are barefoot.   Were they too poor to have shoes?  Were they recent immigrants?

Easter egg huntAnother collection featuring photographs of children is from the  Nebraska Children’s Home Society  in Omaha.   The Society became a  particpant after Lori and I visited  in 2010.  Lori scanned photographs, brochures and newsletters that the Society used to raise funds for care of the children and to ecourage adoptions.    The children in this photograph of an  Easter Egg Hunt on the grounds of the Home look like they are having a great time.

Lincoln Trction Comopany streetcar on College AvenueAnother 2010 visit  was to the Union College, Ella Johnson Crandall Memorial Library with Devra, to see photographs in the College archives.    The  collection consists primarily of  photographs of students and buildings on the College campus.  There are also some photographs of the College View neighborhood,  including this one of the Lincoln Traction Company streetcar on College Avenue.  Evidently streetcars occasionally got a little too close for comfort.   In 1910, a streetcar ran off the track and pushed the College View bandstand at the corner of 48th and Prescott Streets  off its foundation!

Samuel W. Rising and Polly RisingThe last site visit I made was to the Rising City Library with Devra in 2013.   Library board members showed  us photographs of businesses on Main Street, the depot, church, post office, a major fire, and portraits including this one of founders Samuel W. Rising and Polly Rising .   They generously allowed us to bring the photographs, some of which were framed and on display in the library,  back to the Library Commission for scanning.   Lori was able to scan the framed photographs without removing them from their frames.

Visiting museums, libraries and archives  has been a wonderful way to find out more about Nebraska’s history.  It’s been great fun.   As Bob Hope and Shirley Ross sang in 1938, Thanks for the Memory !

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 Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

 

 

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If Pinterest Existed…

The popular website Pinterest describes itself as a “visual discovery tool”. Nebraska Memories also allows for discovery based on visual resources.

Can you imagine what it would be like if Pinterest existed when some of these photographs were taken? I took a moment to let my imagination roam and come up with some Pinterest-esque caption for these great images. Once I got going, I discovered that Nebraska Memories hits several of the major categories you will find on Pinterest today: parties, food, fashion, kids, décor, and of course, cats!

wedding cheese making party boys playing dorm room hats and muffs cat Image Map

Just like an image on Pinterest can lead you to a great recipe or DIY project, an image in Nebraska Memories can lead you to an interesting story about Nebraska’s past. 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 Services Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Nebraska Memories: A Collection of Collections

Nebraska MemoriesDid you know that Nebraska Memories is a collection of Nebraska cultural heritage collections?  When you visit Nebraska Memories, instead of searching for a particular item or person, try clicking on “View Collections.”  As a result, you will find Nebraska historical collections from (almost) A-Z.  The histories of Nebraska hospitals, cities, towns, counties, public schools, colleges, libraries, musicians, authors, sports and historical events are all represented in the collections found in Nebraska Memories.

ImmanualFor example, the first collection listed is the Alegent Health Immanuel Medical Center.  The rich and well documented history of Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska is shown in the images of the early buildings, people and artifacts. The archive of thousands of photos, papers and items has been maintained for over 120 years, carefully stored and currently housed at the Alegent Health Immanuel Medical Center campus.

Other collections in Nebraska Memories include city and county historical societies, such as the Crawford, Fairmont/Filmore County, Hastings, Antelope County, Butler County, and Phelps County, to name a few.

Lincoln High

 

Historical materials related to the Lincoln Public Schools have been collected and saved in some form in various offices, library sites, and schools since the inception of the first school in Lancaster county.  Over the years, LPS Library Media Services has made great progress in collecting, preserving, and archiving the history of LPS for the staff and the public.

PlayhouseThere are other unique collections in Nebraska Memories as well: the Omaha Community Playhouse (pictured right), that includes digitized images of the Playhouse and some of its performances; the Lincoln Police Department, that includes digitized images of police officers from 1885-1907; the Durham Museum in Omaha, with the William Wentworth Collection that consists of 4663 negatives of images that document life in Omaha, Nebraska from 1934 through 1950; and the Bess Streeter Aldrich House and Museum in Elmwood, Nebraska (pictured below), images of which have been selected to give the viewer a deeper understanding of the influences and inspirations that Bess Streeter Aldrich drew upon when writing the 1928 novel “A Lantern in Her Hand.

QuiltVisit 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 Introduction to Participating in Nebraska Memories for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Historical Projects Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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