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#Transportation

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Courteous Bicyclist June 1951

In late June 1951, the Junior Chamber of Commerce sponsored a “Traffic Courtesy Week” in Bloomington-Normal. The event included giving away $5 to those who exhibited courteous behavior to fellow motorists and pedestrians. Here’s Gene Paxton of Paxton Typewriter Co. talking to 13-year-old Ronnie Rider of Bloomington. Ronnie was a $5 winner for stopping his bicycle to let a woman burdened with packages get to her car.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

ISNU Tour of Europe June 1951

A group from Illinois State Normal University readies for their two-month tour of the British Isles and the European continent. They were led by Dr. Arthur W. Watterson (far right), who was just named acting head of the Department of Geology and Geography. Watterson Towers is the namesake of Dr. Watterson.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

What a long, strange trip it’s been … William and Beverly Meyers road trip Spring 1949

William Meyers and his wife Beverly (seen here) spent eight weeks traveling by U.S. Army surplus jeep from the Panama Canal Zone to Central Illinois—some 7,040 miles in all. Beverley’s parents lived in El Paso, Ill. During the epic journey the young couple had but one flat tire.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Route 66 Hit-and-Run Towanda, May 1948

In the early morning hours of May 19, 1948, a hit-and-run truck driver knocked down two gasoline pumps at D.E. Henderson’s service station in Towanda. Fortunately no one was hurt.

Who remembers when gas pumps looked like this?

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Written by Bill Kemp in

Franklin Park’s new evergreens April 1958

In the spring of 1958, the Bloomington-Normal Garden Club planted a series of evergreens at Franklin Park, the city’s oldest green space. Seen here is Joyce Lynn Hall, an Illinois Wesleyan University student, admiring three Pfitzer junipers and a vertical yew recently set in the concrete planter at the park’s center.

Note the city bus heading west on Walnut Street in the background.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

National Air Mail Week May 1938

Art Carnahan (left), manager of the Bloomington Municipal Airport (now Central Illinois Regional Airport), greets Harold Medbery, a pilot from the Tazewell County community of Armington. Medbery brought in nine pouches of airmail from towns southwest and west of Bloomington. That mail was then loaded onto a waiting Chicago & Southern airliner.

This May 1938 demonstration was staged for National Airmail Week.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Unfinished Business Interstate 74 , October 1965

This aerial shows Interstate 74 under construction southeast of Bloomington in the fall of 1965. Note the abrupt end of the interstate at the bottom of this photo. Talk about traffic delays!

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Vroom, vroom

This undated photograph shows a Pantagraph motorcycle and sidecar at the corner of Madison and Washington streets. The view is looking east. What a way to deliver newspapers!

Behind the stylish rider is the Hills Hotel, which later became the Tilden-Hall, which was torn down in 1962.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Snowbound Illinois Central Northeast of Fletcher, February 1908

Train buried in snow, 1908

A heavy snowfall in February 1908 put a halt to this steam locomotive along the Illinois Central Railroad’s “Bloomer Line.”

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Snow-shrouded Bloomington, undated 200 Block E. Jefferson St., north side

Horse drawn carriage in the snow, undated.

None of these buildings are standing today. This is all surface parking and the Irvin Theater would be built on this block in 1915.

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