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Archive of: 1930s

Christmas Seals, 1937

Christmas Seal design, 1937.

Richard Young is seen here showing an enlarged reproduction of his 1937 Christmas Seal design. More than 10,000 letters with Christmas Seals were sent in the hopes of raising money to fight Tuberculosis.

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.

Holiday Shopping 1932 Downtown Bloomington

Snowy Holiday shopping, 1932.

This snowy Depression-era scene shows the corner of Main and Jefferson streets on the northeast corner of the Courthouse (now Museum) Square.

Village of Colfax February 14, 1938

Aerial view of Colfax, 1938.

Village of Colfax, looking east. “A” is Main Street; “B” Center Street; “C” the Illinois Central Railroad’s “Bloomer Line”; “D” a lovely L-shaped row of Osage orange hedge that is gone today.

Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust ISNU vs. IWU, November 21, 1936

ISU vs IWU football, 1936.

Illinois State Normal and Illinois Wesleyan universities were bitter gridiron rivals going all the way back to 1887. Seen here is an unidentified Wesleyan runner getting by ISNU defender Edward Lesnick (#13).

Gronemeier Bakery, Bloomington November 1935

Inside of Gronemeier bakery, 1935.

From the late 1920s to the mid-1940s, W.H. Gronemeier operated a bakery at the northwest corner of East and Front streets. In 1935, you could bring your Thanksgiving turkey to Gronemeier’s and have it baked “to a queen’s taste.”

Bird House Contest, 1930s Anchor Grade School

Elementary school children with homemade birdfeeders, 1930s.

This photograph comes from the Museum’s William Brigham Collection.

Tilden-Hall Hotel Downtown Bloomington, 1933

Old Tilden Hall Hotel, 1933.

the six-story Tilden Hall is seen here in September 1933. The hotel was built around 1900 and was first known as the Arnold (and then the Hills and then the Arlington).

Nation’s Best Corn Huskers November 1939

Corn husking national champs, 1939.

Local, state, and national corn husking contests were all the rage in the 1930s. Seen here are the winners of the 1939 national husking championship outside of Lawrence, Kansas.

National Bank of Bloomington Main and Washington, 1930s

National Bank building, 1930s.

The green arrow points to the old YMCA building across East Street. The red arrow indicates the 1910 Majestic Theatre, and the blue arrow Liberty State Bank, one of only two Bloomington banks to collapse during the Great Depression.

Bloomington Letter Carriers Circa early 1930s

Bloomington mailmen, 1930s.

These spiffy letter carriers pose in front of the pre-1932 downtown Bloomington post office, which was located at the northwest corner of East and Jefferson streets.

Willard and Joel Yordy Heyworth Township, August 1938

​Farmer Joel Yordy and his son Willard, 1938.

Farmer Joel Yordy (right) and his son Willard pose in front of a smartly trimmed Osage orange hedgerow in Heyworth.

LeRoy Aerial East of Downtown, January 1933

Ariel view of LeRoy, 1933

The view here is looking south. Today, there’s a new high school and more residential in-fill, but some of what’s seen here remains much the same 83 years later.

Private Joe’ Fifer Laid to Rest August 8, 1938

Funeral procession for Joseph Fifer, 1938.

Seen here are pallbearers bringing the casket of Joseph “Private Joe” Fifer into the old downtown Bloomington Unitarian Church. A longtime Bloomington resident, Fifer served as Illinois governor from 1889 to 1893. He had passed away two days earlier at the age of 97.

Wabash Telephone Company Local Switchboard, Bloomington, 1935

Bloomington switchboard workers, 1935.

This early photo shows a full daytime force of operators on the “local board” at the Wabash Telephone Co.’s which handled about 60,000 calls a day.

Radio Party, Sept. 1938 806 W. Market St., Bloomington

Group of friends working on a homemade radio, 1938.

In mid-September 1938, members of the “roundhouse gang” from the Alton Railroad Shops on Bloomington’s west side helped coworker Orville Jolly erect an antenna mast for his new custom-built radio.

Radio Party, Sept. 1938 806 W. Market St., Bloomington

Group of friends working on a homemade radio, 1938.

In mid-September 1938, members of the “roundhouse gang” from the Alton Railroad Shops on Bloomington’s west side helped coworker Orville Jolly erect an antenna mast for his new custom-built radio.

Men with Hats Passenger Service Inaugurated Old ‘Bloomington’ Airport, 1931

Men standing in front of Bloomington's first airport, 1931.

This 1931 scene at that field shows a local delegation standing before one of Century Air Lines’ 10-passenger Stinson tri-motor “ships.” The occasion was the inauguration of air passenger service to this area.

Cedar Crest, Normal Undated Aerial, c. early 1930s

Aerial view of Cedar Crest in Normal, 1930s.

Here’s a fascinating view of the Cedar Crest neighborhood in Normal from the Depression era.

In the shades of Wesleyan’s elms … September 1938

Group of friends on the Illinois Wesleyan University quad, 1938.

Gathered here on the Illinois Wesleyan University quad in 1938 are students (left to right) Allan Goss of Lexington; Justus Olson of Foosland; Gertrude Ringler of Strawn; and William Ewalt of Ohio, IL.

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