200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

#Labor

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Beats shoveling … Normal, Dec. 22, 1953

Two men out plowing the drive, 1953.

Three inches of snow had Don Locke of Bryan’s Standard Service Station out plowing the drive. Today, this site is occupied by Illinois State University’s Professional Development Building.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Herman Glaser, December 1952 Stanford’s Toy Maker

Homemade mechanical toy, 1952

Stanford resident and retired farmer Herman Glaser displayed several of his personally designed and built mechanical toys. This included a working 32-inch Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, and a yet-to-be-completed revolving Christmas tree.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

LeRoy’s CCC Camp August 1934

Aerial photo of LeRoy CCC camps, 1934.

LeRoy was home to a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) work camp during the Great Depression. Camp LeRoy opened in May 1934, and the unmarried young men stationed there worked on soil erosion control projects.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Herman Jack’s Christmas tree December 1952

Herman Jack holding young Christmas tree, 1952.

In 1950, farmer Herman Jack planted 1,500 evergreen seedlings. In late December 1952 Jack selected one of the surviving 1,300 evergreens.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Getting into the Stove Business Meadows Mfg. Co., April 1954

Meadows Manufacturing worker, 1954.

From 1920 to the mid-1950s, Meadows Manufacturing Co. made clothes washers from its plant on Bloomington’s near southeast side. n the spring of 1954, the company, then part of Thor Corp., began making electric stoves as well.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Mount Hope Ladies Aid Moore’s Mill Marker, August 1968

Moore's Mill Marker, 1960s.

The most famous gristmill in McLean County was the one operated by the Moore family of Mount Hope Township. Situated on the south bank of Sugar Creek about three miles west of the Village of McLean, Moore's Mill survived into the 20th century, becoming the last operational water-powered mill in the county. In 1964, the McLean County Historical Society dedicated a marker at the site of the mill.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Big 4 Valley Storm Sewer Project Mid-1930s, Bloomington

PWA sewer project, 1930s.

During the Great Depression an infusion of federal dollars through New Deal “alphabet” agencies and projects kept millions of Americans on the job and able to put food on the family table. In 1934, the Bloomington-Normal Sanitary District received a loan and grant from the PWA to construct a storm water sewer running roughly 3,000 feet.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Waterless Lake Bloomington Circa July 1929

Aerial photo of Lake Bloomington, undated.

This aerial, taken by The Pantagraph’s own news plane “Scoop,” shows the northern end of under-construction Lake Bloomington in the summer of 1929. By the following spring, late March 1930, the city was pumping fresh water from this lake to the city reservoir off Division Street.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Corn Belt Harvest September 1939

Corn Belt Harvest, 1939.

In the 76 years since these photographs were taken the Corn Belt countryside has undergone an absolute transformation when it comes to matters of mechanization, depopulation, storage, hybridization, the end of diversification, and genetics, among many other profound changes.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Labor Day in Bloomington Circa 1920

Labor Day, 1920.

Bloomington’s first Labor Day parade was held on September 7, 1891, three years before the day became a national holiday. This parade float, dating to sometime around 1920, is the handiwork of the International Brotherhood of Blacksmiths and Helpers Local 79. This local represented blacksmiths at the Chicago & Alton Railroad Shops on the city’s west side.

Read more…