Category Archives: Nebraska Memories

Privileges and Responsibilities

In February and March many Nebraskans like to go to the State Capitol to testify or talk with their senators about  bills they support or oppose.  This week I will be attending the Nebraska League of Women Voters/American Association of University Women legislative day.  The Nebraska Library  Association  Advocacy Day is in March.  As a naturalized citizen I consider  voting  a privilege and a responsibility, and  February  is  a good time to be reminded of the struggle to extend those rights to every citizen.  Susan B. Anthony,  anti-slavery  campaigner and champion  of women’s voting rights, was born February 15th, 1820. In 1878 she and Elizabeth Cady Stanton presented the U.S. Congress with wording for  the 19th amendment  to the Constitution, ratified 24 years later on August 20, 1920.   “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the Unites States or by any State on account of sex”.

Business and Professional Womens Club display windowNebraska Memories includes several images related to voting and elections.   This Butler County Gallery photo taken  October 1940 shows a window display by the David City Business and Professional Womens Club.  It  supports Franklin Roosevelt’s campaign.  A photograph of a professionally dressed woman bears the caption “Business women in a democracy vote!”

A program from the  Polley Music Library collection  also celebrates women’s right to vote.  Equality Day celebrationOn August 24, 1991 an Equality Day Celebration was held in Lincoln to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the 19th Amendment. It was sponsored by the Women’s Information Network of Lincoln and the Nebraska Commission on the Status of Women.  Senator LaVonne Crosby and former Senator Shirley Marsh attended .   The afternoon included music, an art display,  and  Marlene Snyder impersonating  suffragist leader Clara Colby.   I remember it as a great event!  Jim Dahlman campaign

Nebraska Memories also includes some photographs of  election campaigning in Nebraska.   This photo from the Crawford Historical Society and Musuem collection is particularly interesting.  Several men involved with the  1910 Jim Dahlman Campaign for Governor  sit in a Franklin touring car.   Mr. Dahlman did not win the race. Apparently  Doc Middleton was a supporter.  Maybe that’s the reason he lost!   Doc is in the back seat on the left side in the photograph, wearing a tall hat. 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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A Cup of Tea

Kitchen diningWe are having balmy January days here in Nebraska, but people in colder parts of the country may be glad to know that January is National Hot Tea Month. While there are only a few days left in the month, a hot cup of tea is always a good way to ward off the winter chill. A look through Nebraska Memories reveals that tea has been a part of people’s lives for many years.

Tea cups are featured on this Fremont family’s table as they gather in their kitchen for a meal. Photographs from the William Wallace residence in Omaha show a tea kettle in the kitchen and silver tea sets Dining room, William Wallace residencein the dining room and parlor.

Although there may not have been actual tea involved, in my opinion, some of the sweetest tea-related pictures in Nebraska Memories are the images of children having tea parties. There are several posed portraits of children with tea sets in the Butler County Gallery collection, including this photograph of Dorothy Rich sitting with a doll and a stuffed bunny. The Dorothy RichNebraska State Historical Society collection includes a less formal image of children playing with a tea set in a barn.

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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A Balloon School in Nebraska?

FortOmahaWhile I was in Rochester, New York this past Christmas visiting my husband’s family, my father-in-law showed me some letters from a World War I 2nd Lieutenant from Spencerport, NY, who had a Nebraska connection. Based on the letters and some further research, I found out that this young man was stationed at Fort Omaha, Nebraska for Balloon School.

Fort Omaha (the Nebraska Memories picture to the left), located at 5730 North 30th Street, in Omaha, Nebraska, was opened in 1868 as an Indian War-era United States Army supply depot for various forts along the Platte River.   This is also where Ponca Chief Standing Bear and 29 fellow Ponca were held prior to the landmark 1879 trial of Standing Bear v. Crook. Judge Elmer Dundy determined that American Indians were persons within the meaning of the law and that the Ponca were illegally detained after leaving Indian Territory in January 1879.  FortOmaha2The Nebraska Memories picture of the fort to the right, was taken about that same time period.

Fort Omaha today is primarily occupied by Metropolitan Community College, but continues to house Navy, Marine and Army Reserve units. The fort is located in the present-day Miller Park neighborhood of North Omaha. The Fort Omaha Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The district includes the 1879 General Crook House Museum, as well as the 1879 Quartermaster’s office, 1878 commissary, 1884 guardhouse, 1883 ordnance magazine and 1887 mule stables.

In 1907 the Army built a large steel hangar at Fort Omaha for use in experiments with dirigibles, a program that was abandoned in 1909. This program and its successor, the military use of hot air balloons for reconnaissance missions, were part of the American Expeditionary Forces.  A balloon house was built in 1908, and in 1909 the first balloon flight took place.   Here is a picture from Nebraska Memories of the Balloon House at Fort Omaha, taken sometime between 1908 and 1910:

balloonschool4Shortly after the United States entered World War I, 800 men enlisted in the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corp, one of whom was William Spencer Barker, from Spencerport, NY.  They were immediately sent to the Balloon School at Fort Omaha for training. More than 16,000 airmen went through the Balloon Schools at Fort Omaha and other locations around the U.S., between 1908 and the close of the program in 1919.

Balloonists were trained in map reading and charting troop movements. This information was communicated through an extensive switchboard system to artillery troops on the ground.  The balloons were “captive” stationary balloons, utilized tail fins for stabilization, and had cables to tether the balloon to the ground.

In 1917, 2nd Lieutenant Baker was part of the 5th Squadron, Balloon Division, and did see military action with balloon squadrons in France from 1918-1919.

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images of 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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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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Home, Sweet Home, Part II

Be it ever so humble … The interiors of early Nebraskans’ homes varied as much as the exteriors. Sod houses may have had only one room, and tenement houses may have had shared public areas, but there were mansions, too, containing extras like formal entry halls, libraries, smoking rooms, conservatories, sun rooms, and billiards rooms.

Gramophone and chair inside settlement houseThe image at left shows a sparsely finished room in an early 1900s Omaha settlement house which still provided a corner for relaxing in a rocking chair to read a book from the John Birkel familyshelf while listening to music on the gramophone (Gramophone and chair inside settlement house, Omaha Public Library Collection). About four decades later, the descendants of those immigrants would have had a living room more similar to the one at the right (John Birkel family, Butler County Gallery Collection). While basics furnishings are the same and the room is used for reading, relaxing and listening to music, the easy chairs are now upholstered and the floor carpeted while the music comes from the radio at the left. Note that in the settlement house a clock and picture sit on top of the book shelf, while in the later living room a clock sits on the fireplace mantel with a picture hanging above.

Kitchen diningIn a simple house or farm house, meals were most likely served in the kitchen as is the case in the photRay Julius Nye residence dining roomograph to the left (Kitchen dining, Keene Memorial Library Collection). In the better part of town, a fancy house would have had a separate dining room such as the one at right, featuring chandelier lighting, coffered ceiling, carved dining table with matching upholstered chairs, oriental carpet and glass-front cabinet showcasing the fine china (Ray Julius Nye residence dining room, Keene Memorial Library Collection). Still the family in the kitchen looks happy enough.

Man and woman in a kitchenWhile the woman in the picture above probably cooked her family’s meals on a wood stove and used kerosene in her lamps, the young woman in the picture at right appears to have all the latest appliances available in 1945 (Man and woman in a kitchen, Omaha Public Library Collection). In addition to the gas stove and oven, she has electricity (the fuse box is behind her), indoor plumbing and probably a water heater. All that and a soldier safely returned from the war!

Bed at Wallace residenceRay Julius Nye residence master bedroomHow comfortable do you think the bed at the left would be? It seems to dip a bit in the middle. But then this photograph is of a “third floor bedroom,” so even though the room is nicely furnished with extra pillows on the bed, framed photographs hung from a picture rail and a bedside table, perhaps it was not the “best guest room” (Bed at Wallace residence, Omaha Public Library Collection). In the master bedroom at the right, however, one would think the Mr. and Mrs. slept quite well in their own beds with the carved and turned frames (Ray Julius Nye residence master bedroom, Keene Memorial Public Library Collection).

Man in rocking chair at deskNo matter the furnishings or the number or types of rooms, people could still kick back and relax in their own personal space like the gentleman above (Man in rocking chair at desk, Nebraska State Historical Society Collection). Or perhaps enjoy a Christmas party like the children in the picture below with the interesting tree and decorations (Joseph T. May residence Christmas party, Keene Memorial Public Library Collection). We hope your Christmas is as merry as theirs!

Joseph T. May residence Christmas party

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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NCompass Live: Nebraska Memories

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live: “Nebraska Memories”, on Wednesday, December 17, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Join Beth Goble, Allana Novotny and Devra Dragos to see what is happening with Nebraska Memories, our cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials. Nebraska Memories has a new interface, several newer collections, and a new policy on the donation of materials from individuals.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • December 24 – Installing and Using the OverDrive App: A Day-Before-Christmas Refresher!
  • December 31 – Tech Talk with Michael Sauers: WordPress and SEO/SMO
  • January 7, 2015 – Extreme Customer Service @ Your Library

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

 

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Getting the Groceries

Grocery shopping may seem like a pretty mundane thing to blog about.   During the holiday season food – getting it, preparing it, sharing it, and reminiscing about previous culinary triumphs and disasters – is part of the celebration.  The way we shop for food has changed dramatically with the advent of huge one-stop-shop chain stores and fewer locally owned markets.   Fortunately,  in Nebraska Memories   we can see what some earlier Nebraska food stores looked like because the owners hired photographers for advertising.

Family in ShopOne of the earliest images is a Fred McVay photograph  in the Butler County Gallery  of the  Hrock Meat Market.  Joseph Hrock opened the butcher shop in Brainard in 1898, and sold meat from his slaughterhouse on his farm at Loma.  We  don’t know where the butcher shop in the 1907-1917 era John Nelson photo on the left from the Nebraska State Historical Society  collection was located.  Sausages, hams and ribs hang on the walls, and best of all there is a turkey on the scale.   Was it going to be Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner for the  Family in the Shop ?

 

Greenlees Department Store Andrew K. Greenlee, a pioneer settler in Cheyenne County,  owned Greenlees Department Store in Sidney.   This 1928 photo from the Cheyenne County Historical Society shows the grocery department.  It looks quite large with at least two long corridors lined with fresh and canned goods carefully displayed .

 

IW Rosenblatt Food Store window displayHow about the spectacular  I.W. Rosenblatt Food Store window display    in this 1937 William Wentworth photo from the Durham Museum collection?  It must have taken hours to put that together.   I can’t imagine the employees actually trying to fetch something from those pyramids for a customer.

 

Women shopping in grocery store Finally, I couldn’t resist including this World War 2 era Wentworth photo of Women shopping in a grocery store.   My mother had a full-lenth muskrat coat that  looked a lot like the ones these ladies are sporting.  I wonder if they drove to the store themselves or were taken by their husbands like my mom, who didn’t learn to drive until the early 70s, was.

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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Movember, Nebraska Memories Style

Movember is an annual event during which men are encouraged to grow mustaches during the month of November in order to raise awareness of men’s health issues. A glance at the photo gallery on the Movember website reveals some of the striking mustaches grown in support of the cause. The Movember movement started in 2003, but men have been sporting notable mustaches for ages. A number of these mustaches are documented in Nebraska Memories.

Smith brothersMany of these Nebraskan mustaches are showcased in the portraits of the Butler County Gallery Collection. Ralph Stryker and George Hahn were two men who sat for portraits in the early 1900s, both showing off their mustaches. Growing mustaches (and beards) was clearly a family affair for the four Smith brothers of David City.

Henry HerpolsheimerAnother notable mustache portrait is found in the Townsend Studio collection. Henry Herpolsheimer, president of Lincoln’s Herpolsheimer Company, sports a long white mustache in his portrait. Joseph M. Rising, a member of the founding family of Rising City, also has a bushy mustache.

While most of these mustache photographs date from the late 1800s or early 1900s, interesting mustaches can be found in later photos as well. This German prisoner of war, in a photograph German prisoner of wartaken at Camp Atlanta, near Holdrege, during World War II, has a prominent mustache.

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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Remembering Nebraska Veterans

memorial1Veterans Day is an official United States holiday that honors people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is a federal holiday (originally known as Armistice Day) that is observed on November 11 ; that date being chosen because major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice went into effect.   In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I.  Congress officially changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day on June 1, 1954.

Soldiers6

 

In honor of our Nebraska veterans, I would like to mention a few of the photographs that can be found in Nebraska Memories.  The picture above is of the Veteran’s Memorial in Bruno, Nebraska.   The picture to the right is of Orin W. Boston, of  David City, Nebraska, wearing his father’s Union Civil War uniform.  The picture below is of  Clyde Zeilinger, who first served on the Mexican border, then was a medic and a prisoner of war during World War I.

Soldiers3

 

 

 

The next photograph is of Evelyn Powell of David City, Nebraska, who served in the US Naval Reserve (Women’s Reserve) during World War II.

Soldiers5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Home, Sweet Home, Part I

Ben Miller family outside of sod houseShelter is one of the most important requirements for people living in a harsh environment. Even though we have been enjoying warm fall weather here in Nebraska recently, temperatures will soon drop and snow will fall and the wind will howl at times during the winter. The first homesteaders settling the prairies didn’t always have much to work with in constructing their homes. A number of them used the sod that lay under their feet, cut and stacked into walls. Sod houses provided protection from the sun, wind, and other natural elements; however, residents sometimes wound up sharing the space with more critters than they would have preferred. Some sod houses were used for many years, into the early 1900s, like this sod house belonging to Ben Miller and his family (Ben Miller family outside of sod house, Nebraska State Historical Society Collection).

Family in front of wooden houseAs years went by and their farms became prosperous, families could afford the cost of lumber to build new houses. The farm family in the picture to the right lived in a snug wooden house with a gambrel roof. It does appear that the house is somewhat smaller than the barn in the background, but the barn protected their sources of income (Family in front of wooden house, Nebraska State Historical Society).

Tenement houses and alleyThose families moving west looking for a new life in a larger town, may have wound up in housing such as that to the right. Tenements were built in Omaha in the early 1900s to house not only poor people moving from the east but also immigrants from overseas just as tenements were being built in larger cities such as New York City and Chicago (Tenement houses and alley, Omaha Public Library Collection).

O. M. Carter's residenceNebraska residents who made their money quickly often built homes to reflecFairview, residence of William Jennings Bryan Lincoln, Neb t their wealth. O.M. Carter’s residence to the left was built with wood in the Queen Anne-style of the time. “Fairview”, residence of William Jennings Bryan at the right, also built in a style popular in the United States at the time, was constructed of brick. (Both images from Omaha Public Library Collection.)

Westfield Acres, east elevationSome homes were even more grandiose. Westfield Acres in Fremont, NGeo. A Joslyn residence, 39th & Davenport, Omaha, Nebebraska, to the left, was designed by Alfred C. Class of Ferry and Clas, architects of the 1893 World’s Fair (Westfield Acres, east elevation, Dodge County Historical Society Collection). Joslyn Castle, as its name suggests, was designed along the lines of a European estate house (Geo. A. Joslyn Residence, 39th & Davenport, Omaha, Neb., Omaha Public Library Collection).

J.A. Bentley home, Sidney, Nebr.As time passed and other design styles became popular, examples of those homes were also built across Nebraska. J. A. Bentley’s home in Sidney, to the right, is a nice example of the Prairie-style house (J.A. Bentley home, Sidney, Nebr., Cheyenne County Floyd Nichols homeHistorical Society and Museum). Floyd Nichols’ home, at the left, is a unique style of architechture for Nebraska and still stands in David City (Floyd Nichols home, Butler County Gallery Collection). Browse other exterior pictures of homes in Nebraska at 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, 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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The Fruits of the Earth

Last Friday, September 26th,  was the 240th anniversary of Johnny Appleseed’s birth.   Although he died in 1845 and never visited the plains of what would become Nebraska,   growing, eating, and celebrating apples have become an important part of harvest time in Nebraska. Last Friday was also the first day of the  Applejack Festival  in Nebraska City.   At this time of year many of us enjoy going to the festival, visiting  an orchard, and bringing home apples to fill  freezers, pantries and bellies.  Plus getting  fresh cider to enjoy when the work is done.

Women in orchardNebraska Memories participants have contributed several images about apples, from “start to finish”.   The smiling ladies in the  photo on the left from the Durham Museum collection are holding bouquets of apple blossoms from the trees in the orchard they are standing in.  After harvest growers displayed their best at the Nebraska State Fair.  Apples galore-Horticulture BuildingThe stereographic photo on the right in the Nebraska State Historical Society collection was taken by John Nelson.  A huge variety of apples were on display that year  in the Horticulture Building (now called Industrial Arts Building) .   Use your imagination to color all these beauties!    Canning Apples, Immanuel Deaconess Institute

After harvest it was also time to preserve such bounty for later enjoyment.  The women canning apples in this photo from the Alegent Health Immanual Medical Center collection worked at the Immanuel Deaconess Institute.  They  already have quite a few jars made!

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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Webinar: Grant Writing for Preservation and Access Digitization Projects

FDLP

 

 

 

A live training webinar, “Grant Writing for Preservation and Access Digitization Projects,” will be presented on September 30, 2014.

This webinar has been rescheduled. Registration is open to any new registrants. Those who have already registered do not have to re-register. Your previous registration will carry over to the new date.

Register today for “Grant Writing for Preservation and Access Digitization Projects

  • Start time: 2 p.m. Eastern Time
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Speaker: David Walls, Preservation Librarian, U.S. Government Printing Office
  • Learning outcomes: The webinar will cover: preparing for your grant proposal, matching your project to the appropriate funding agency, writing an effective grant proposal while avoiding common faults, and understanding the review process.
  • Expected level of knowledge for participants: No prerequisite knowledge required.

The webinar is free, however registration is required. Upon registering, a confirmation email will be sent to you. This registration confirmation email includes the instructions for joining the webinar.

Registration confirmations will be sent from sqldba @ icohere.com. To ensure delivery of registration confirmations, registrants should configure junk mail or spam filter(s) to permit messages from that email address. If you do not receive the confirmation, please notify GPO at FDLPOutreach.

GPO’s eLearning platform is now presenting webinars using WebEx. In order to attend or present at a GPO-hosted webinar, a WebEx plug-in must be installed in your internet browser(s). Download instructions.

For access to other archived Federal Depository Library Program webinars and webcasts and for a calendar of upcoming webinars and educational events, please visit the Training and Events page on FDLP.gov.

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Brown Bag History Forum: Nebraska Orphan Train Riders

OrphanTrainThe Nebraska State Historical Society’s September Brown Bag Lecture is tomorrow, (Thursday, September 18th) at 12:00 noon in its new location in the City/County Building (555 S. 10th Street, Room 303). Join this free program, which will discuss Nebraska’s historic Orphan Train.

 

 

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You Can Take It To The Bank

The first bank in Nebraska was established even before Nebraska became a state. The Kountze Brothers Bank was opened in Omaha in 1857, when Nebraska was still a territory. It later became First National Bank of Omaha. As more and more of Nebraska was settled, more banks were established. Nebraska Memories contains many images of banks in Omaha banking housesNebraska cities and towns, from many different points in the history of the state.

First National was just one of many banks in Omaha. This print from the 1880s shows five different Omaha banks, only a few of the city’s banking institutions.

Of course, smaller towns in Nebraska had banks, too. The bank in Sidney in 1900 shared aChowins Block, Sidney stone building with a dry goods store and a millinery shop. This image of the Bank of Bank of BrainardBrainard gives us a glimpse into the interior of an early twentieth century bank.

A slightly more recent picture, from the 1920s, shows a bank in Richfield, Nebraska. My Richfield State Bankco-workers and I were commenting that the four percent interest rate advertised in the window is better than what we are currently receiving on our accounts!

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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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

memories.ne.govOne of the fun things I like to do while browsing through Nebraska Memories is to find pictures that remind me of a phrase or movie title, then add a Nebraska twist.  That led me to today’s post about Nebraska photographer John Nelson, and the movie “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.”

John Nelson was born in Halestad, Sweden in 1864.  He came to Nebraska with his parents at the age of seventeen.  His many photographs tell the story of small town life in Nebraska during the first decades of the 20th century.  His subjects included people, towns, businesses, community activities, early airplanes, trains, and automobiles.

The picture to the left is of the photographer himself, standing in front of the rear end of his motorized portable darkroom, between 1907 and 1917.

The pictures immediately below are the first stop in the planes, trains, and automobiles tour.  They are of a biplane with its’ pilot, two Native Americans and a woman, and then a crowd of onlookers at the site of an airplane crash, respectively, about the same time period.  These are just two of several airplane photographs taken by John Nelson found in Nebraska Memories, and illustrate the variety of pictures he took.

biplane   planecrashI

 

 

 

 

 

Trains are our next stop in the planes, trains and automobiles tour.  Mr. Nelson took photographs of the trains themselves, but also took photographs of the people and places associated with the railroads.  This can be seen in the pictures below of the “219 on Wednesdays” coming into a small Nebraska town, and in the picture of a couple standing outside the Ericson, Nebraska train depot.

219Traindepot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then last on the tour, but certainly not least, are the pictures of automobiles.  John Nelson took many pictures of cars: everything from cars in downtown Omaha to individuals in or beside their cars, and from the F.J. O’Hara Buick Dealership in Spalding, Nebraska to automobiles decorated for parades, as seen below.

buickparadecar

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed our photographic tour of John Nelson’s planes, trains, and automobiles.  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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Dining Out

Did you run out and pick up lunch today? Do you plan to eat out tonight? Are you out on the road and need a place to eat?

People in front of restaurantPeople have had a variety of choices for cafes, restaurants, steak houses, etc. in Nebraska over the years. Options included formal and informal. Al fresco dining outside this restaurant was offered in the early 1900s. The photograph to the left captures a crowd at a restaurant offering an outside lunch counter option (Nebraska State Historical Society Collection). Photographer John Nelson took many pictures in the area surrounding Wheeler County where he lived.

Vineyard , Rome Hotel, Omaha, Neb.Hanson's CafeMore formal dining at about the same time was in order at the Vineyard in Omaha’s Rome Hotel at 16th and Jackson Streets, shown in the postcard far left. The wait staff there may have been as numerous as that of the Calumet Restaurant (1411-1413 Douglas Street, Omaha) shown in the postcard bottom left. Tolf Hanson, after selling the Calumet to his brother-in-law, opened Hanson’Group of waitresses, Calumet Restaurant, Omahas Cafe in 1908, a tony restaurant that didn’t quite catch on despite extensive, expensive interior renovations. The building now houses the Omaha’s oldest Chinese restaurant at 315 S. 16th Street. (Omaha Public Library Collection)

Steak houses have also been big in Nebraska for a number of years. Denver Chop House Restaurant doggieThe Denver Chop House at 1518 Dodge Street, used cutting edge advertising in 1894, to promote their 15 Cent Restaurant on the postcard at the top left (Omaha Gorat's Steak House barPublic Library Collection). Opening somewhat later, Gorat’s Steakhouse, 4917 Center Street, Omaha, was and is a popular dining establishment. Cooks in the basement kitchen of Gorat’s Steak House cut generous portions of steak in the 1949 photograph at the left. Cooks cutting up steaksWhile upstairs in the photograph to the right, patrons could enjoy a drink at the sleek bar before eating. (The Durham Museum Collection)

 

Commercial Club dining roomJenquenz Sanitary Lunch CarIn Lincoln, businessmen could eat formally in the Commercial Club dining room on an upper floor of 1110 P Street as they do in the photograph to the left. Or someone in a hurry could grab a bite at the Jenquenz Sanitary Lunch Car a few blocks away at 222 S. 11th Street shown in the photograph to the right. (Townsend Studio Collection)

 

Mrs Tony's CafeMarchio's Italian CafeLocals and teenagers had their own favorite hangouts. Mrs. Tony’s Cafe in Fairmont with its pinball machine was popular with young people in town shown at left. (Fairmont Public Library Collection) Marchio’s Italian Cafe was part of the neighborhood at 13th and J Streets in Omaha, photograph to the right. (The Durham Museum Collection) Joe Gatto Store, view 3And anyone wanting something from the soda fountain had many choices in Lincoln, including Joe Gatto’s Store, to the left. (Townsend Studio Collection)

So, where are we going and what’s for dinner?

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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Donating to Nebraska Memories

Do you have some neat historical photos, postcards or documents at home that you think would be good additions to Nebraska Memories?   Are you willing to donate them to the Library Commission?   If yes, read on.

Most of the content in  Nebraska Memories comes from  non-profit organizations contributing images of materials that they retain ownership of.  Did you know that now we also accept donations of pre-approved historical, Nebraska-related materials from individuals?  These items may include photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, and documents such as letters, diaries, deeds, diplomas, and event programs.

We recently added a new collection to Nebraska Memories called  Donated Materials  which currently includes photographs, postcards, and autograph albums.    Click on the Browse this Collection button and click on the thumbnail images to see what we have so far.

The three items shown here were donated by Vicki Witmer, who is credited in the image descriptions as the donor.   Two are postcards of landmarks in the town of Havelock  Nebraska,  which was founded in 1893. The photos were taken in the 1920’s before Havelock was annexed by the city of Lincoln in 1930.

Burlington YardsI am fascinated by the turntable in the  Burlington Yards postcard., and imagine huge engines rotating on it while being worked on or turned around to begin a new journey in the other direction.   Public School, Havelock, Nebr.I can also imagine  children of  railroad workers, most  of whom probably lived in Havelock, walking to the nearby  Public School while a parent (likely the father)  walked to work at the yards.   The school building looks rather forbidding,  but many did in those days.

Enid and Neil HoltThis Dole Studio, Lincoln portrait of Enid and Neil Holt was also taken in the 1920’s.   Could they have lived in Havelock?  I hope seeing these donated images whets your appetite for helping us tell Nebraska’s story.  If you have Nebraska –related historical items that you would like to donate, follow this link for more information. http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/donations.aspx

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.

Posted in General, Information Resources, Nebraska Memories | 1 Comment

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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Rising City Memories

An assortment of items from Rising City Community Library joins Nebraska Memories as its newest collection. The photographs and postcards in the collection highlight many aspects of Rising City’s history.

Rising City DepotRising City was established when the Omaha & Republican Valley Railroad was extended across Butler County in 1878, and the collection includes photographs that show the town’s railroad roots. In this photograph, the town’s railroad depot appears to be a site of bustling activity.

The establishment of the railroad brought increasedOpera Block population to the area, and businesses grew accordingly. The business community of Rising City is well represented in this collection. Images of local businesses, including a hotel, banks, and a meat market, provide a Ruins of the Opera Blockview into Rising City’s business scene throughout its history. One of the most notable commercial buildings in Rising City was a prominent brick building known as the Opera Block. This structure was built in 1892, and it was destroyed by fire in 1923. This collection includes scenes of the destroyed building after the fire.

Samuel and Polly RisingA group of portraits of members of the Rising family, after whom the town is named, is another highlight of this collection. Samuel W. Rising (seen here with his wife Polly) and his son Albert W. Rising each gave 40 acres of their land to be used for the Rising City town site. Portraits of Samuel’s other sons, Dennis and Joseph, are in the collection, as well.

Take a moment and explore this collection to get a glimpse into Rising City history, and be sure to 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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