Category Archives: Nebraska Memories

Dogs Rule and Cats Drool

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dog walking on tight rope

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

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

Edwin Lyndon Ned May Jr

Edwin Lyndon “Ned” May, Jr.

Unknown child and dog

Unknown child and dog

Boy and dog

Boy and dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minnie Liebrecht and dog

Minnie Liebrecht and dog

Agnes Birkel

Agnes Birkel

Louis Fuller and dog

Louis Fuller and dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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Trees, Trees and More Trees!

Hanscom ParkSince moving to Nebraska I have discovered many new and interesting facts. For example, Nebraska was the first state admitted to the United States after the Civil War. Nebraska is also home to both the National Museum of Roller Skating and the International Quilt Center and Museum. It’s also the site of the first American commemoration of Arbor Day. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, Arbor Day was first celebrated in 1872, in Nebraska City.

While J. Sterling Morton, who the Arbor Day Foundation credits with organizing that first Arbor Day, is not included in Nebraska Memories, there are many tree-filled photographs and postcards. Browsing through the collection, it seems as though trees pop up everywhere – in front of churches, libraries, schools, government buildings, and private homes. Trees even stand adjacent to Nebraska’s legendary cornfields!

Country road and fields near Bennington

In many of the images, the trees appear to have been deliberately planted. That is, I didn’t see a lot of pictures of broad forests, similar to those found in western Montana. For Green Terrace Hall, elevated viewexample, the trees surrounding Green Terrace Hall, on the campus of the Nebraska State Normal School in Kearney, grow in neat rows. This does not hold true for all the photographs and postcards I found. A postcard featuring two young women in Omaha’s Hanscom Park, depicts a meadow crowded with trees; while a postcard of Big Saddle Butte, near Crawford, shows trees scattered around a butte.

I’m sure in the coming months and years, I’ll learn many more fascinating bits of trivia. Here’s one more: Arbor Day is the last Friday of April. You don’t need to plant a tree to celebrate, but take a moment to enjoy the beauty of a tree.  Big Saddle Butte Lone Butte to right Crawford Neb.

Scene Hanscom Park Omaha Neb

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

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

 

 

 

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Cats Rule and Dogs Drool

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Windmills of Nebraska

Girl looking across fieldIn early January, I moved from Montana to Nebraska. This is not necessarily the best time of the year for a road trip. It’s cold. It’s bleak. Fortunately, my mom decided to make the trip with me.  We entertained ourselves by talking about the landmarks, odd formations, and abandoned structures we glimpsed along the freeway. For example, as we drove from Scottsbluff to Lincoln, we saw a lot of windmills. It seemed like there were windmills popping up all over the place. Looking for windmills helps make that last leg go a little faster!

Now, we have windmills in Montana. We even have a few wind farms, but you do not see a lot of windmills standing alone in a field. Most are adjacent to a farmhouse or a barn, and may still be operational. For those living off the grid, windmills serve as an excellent power source.  Wanting to see Family in front of wooden housemore of Nebraska’s windmill heritage, I searched Nebraska Memories for images and publications.

As you may know, homesteaders used windmills to convert wind into energy that could be used to pump water wells.  In areas where there are few rivers, it makes sense that farmers and ranchers used the energy generated by windmills to bring water to the surface.  Looking through Nebraska Memories, I found a few photographs of windmills. However, rather than featuring a solitary windmill in a field, most of the images depicted windmills standing adjacent to a homestead or lurking in the background.  This makes sense. After all, the windmills my mom and I glimpsed as we sped across the Nebraska plains were the remains of abandoned homesteads.

Man performing with lassoIf you would like to see more photographs of windmills, 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, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx For more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Dressed to the Nines

The origin of the phrase “to the nines” is debatable; however, the meaning or intent seems to be consistent, as in to perfection or to the highest degree. When combined with the word dress, it can mean smartly or flamboyantly.

Florence Martin StevensMargaret MeisterFormal dress was de rigueur for photographs taken in a photographer’s studio, even in small town Nebraska. Florence Martin Stevens, dressed in a trim two-piece fitted top and matching skirt, posed for the photograph, at left, taken by A. C. Strauss in Osceola, Nebraska, probably in the 1890s. The only embellishment on her tidy costume appears to be a bow at the collar. Margaret Meister’s costume,  on the other hand, is a bit looser fitting, embellished with flowers, and topped by a very large frilly hat. Mrs. Meister’s photographer, Harvey Boston of David City, perhaps contributed the flowers as some of the women in other photographs taken by him are also decked out in a similar manner (Butler County Gallery Collection).

Dora LaneIn the following decade, Dora Lane dressed just as fine but her costume is a two-piece suit made of a lighter colored pinstripe material and worn over a white blouse with lace at its collar. The jacket, while fitted around the body, has puffed sleeves and insets of darker cloth at the cuffs which match the attachment on her collar. Her large hat of a dark color isn’t quite as frilly as Mrs. Meister’s; it has a bit of frill at the back and some type of ornamentation on the front brim. Harvey Boston also took this photograph.

Mr. and Mrs. Victor BartaA few decades later, during the Great Depression, hemlines had risen and clothing tended to be less bulky. However, in Mr. and Mrs. Victor Barta’s wedding picture, the bride, Helen, wears a dark dress lightened by a wide, white lace over-collar and calla lilies pinned at the center of her neckline. Her soft hat is much smaller than the other two, more like a cap, but it has a wide woven ribbon around the edge and a short piece of netting attached to the back edge. This photograph was taken by Harvey’s daughter, Edith Boston Proskovec in 1936.

Section of sewing room in Industrial Building, Nebraska Hospital for the Insane, LincolnSo where would these ladies have gotten their fine outfits? The first three were most likely made at home or by a dressmaker specifically for the wearers. Into the beginning of the twentieth century, even in institutions, like the Nebraska Hospital for the Insane, clothing had to be sewn (Section of sewing room in Industrial Building, Nebraska Hospital for the Insane. Lincoln, Nebraska Library Commission Collection).

Virginia Dare Women's Apparel display windowsWoman modeling print dressMrs. Barta, Helen, may have had her dress specially made, too. Or it’s possible she made the trip to one of the larger towns in Nebraska to shop at a store such as Virginia Dare Women’s Apparel in Omaha. William Wentworth’s night time photograph from the late 1930s or early 1940s shows lots of wonderful costumes and accoutrements. The Brandeis Store was another popular department store in Omaha, and Wentworth’s photograph at right shows one of their models wearing a ready-to-wear print dress in 1939. (The Durham Museum Collection)

It is also possible that Helen shopped in her local dress store the A to Z Dress Shop in David City, shown below. Small to be sure, but customers were certain to receive personal service.

A to Z Dress Shop

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

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

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It’s High School State Basketball Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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President’s Day

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

Visit of President Benjamin Harrison

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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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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