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Archive of: 1940s

Glen Dotson and ‘Sparky’ Towanda, January 1941

Glen Dotson is seen here in late January 1941 with his new pet pigeon “Sparky.” Glen’s previous pigeon had been killed by an automobile. After reading about Glen’s loss, Lewis Hodge of Bloomington gave the Towanda boy a new pigeon, Sparky, who was said to be well-trained and fond of music.

New American citizen May 24, 1941

Twenty-six people became American citizens in a naturalization ceremony held May 24, 1941, in the McLean County Courthouse. Overseeing the proceedings was Circuit Judge W.C. Radliff. Seen here is an unidentified woman completing her naturalization paperwork.

Some of the women who became U.S. citizens on this day included Catherina Fillipponi, Marguerite Grundler, and Frieda Wilde. If you can identify the woman shown here, please let us know!

Parking meters perplex motorists Downtown Bloomington, May 1941

Parking meters were first installed in downtown Bloomington in February 1940. By the following spring these contraptions were still confusing local residents, as illustrated in this May 1941 Pantagraph photograph. The befuddled gentleman is local resident L.C. Hill.

Woops! Roller-skating messenger State Farm Insurance, summer 1940

More than a week ago we posted a photograph from this set. Here’s another one. At the time, State Farm was testing the feasibility of having staff at its downtown Bloomington building deliver mail on roller skates. Seen here is Fayne Hoobler taking a rare tumble. Sitting at the desk is Margaret Warrick.

Clarke Triplets Turn Eight Downs, August 1949

Mary, Margaret, and Marilyn Clarke of Downs (don’t ask us to identify who’s who!) turned eight years old on August 21, 1949. Their mother, Maude M. Phillips Clarke, made all their matching outfits—and those for their dolls too!

Readying for college Fall of 1949

Bill and Edmunds Rolley enjoy an apparently carefree day in the Twin Cities before heading off to Northwestern University in Evanston, where Bill would be a sophomore and Edmunds a freshman. That’s Connie Carter in between the Rolley boys. Connie was off to Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Red Cross knitters July 1940

In the summer of 1940, Marietta Howard, McLean County Red Cross executive secretary, issued an “S.O.S.” for local knitters. The local chapter hoped to soon knit 200 sweaters and other items for its war relief program.

We’re not sure who’s who here, or where this scene takes place. If you can help us out with any identification, we’d sure appreciate it.

Roller-Skating messengers State Farm Insurance, summer 1940

Anyone remember when State Farm used staff on roller skates?

Mackinaw River catch, July 1940 Boolman residence, Bloomington

Chester Boolman, 820 W. Washington St., shows his 21-month-old son Melvin a 15-pound catfish he caught below the Kappa Bridge on the Mackinaw River. This photograph was probably taken July 1 or 2, 1940.

Lexington Dog Show July 31, 1940

Seen here are 5 of the 30 some entries for the children’s dog show, held July 31, 1940, in Lexington. They’re at Lexington Park, with the view looking east. That’s 105 E. Main St. behind them. The house is still there.

We’re not entirely sure, but this photo might show the five winners and their owners (left to right): “Nicky” and Dickie Payne; “Brownie” and Arlyss Printz; “Skipper” and Phyllis Ann Framer; “Mack” and Jimmy Travers; and “Bob” and Jane Oliver.

Red, White, and Kaboom! Independence Day 1941

Nine-year-old Tommy Roberts of Bloomington stocks up on fireworks for the July 4, 1941 festivities.

The Museum wishes you and yours a happy—and safe!—Fourth of July

Tot Tries Tiny Tractor August 1947

Three-year-old Janet Schultze gets comfortable on her father Floyd Schultze’s two-cylinder, nine horsepower tractor. This was no child’s toy, however, as this miniature machine was strong enough to pull a 12-inch plow or a 56-inch disc cultivator.

Floyd Schultze ran a tractor repair shop in Chenoa.

Bull in Barbershop Hudson, June 19, 1947

We’ve all heard the expression “bull in a china shop,” but how about one in a barbershop?

Mackinaw River swimmin’ hole July 1941

A few hundred yards west of the old Mackinaw River bridge, about one mile west of Lexington, was one of the lovelier swimming holes in all McLean County. Seen here during the summer of 1941 are Christine Kinslow (left) and Christine Underwood, both of Lexington. The owner of the head bobbing in the waters behind them is unknown!

Miller Park Beach July 1941

For decades Miller Park beach was the most popular spots in the Twin Cities to cool off during the summer months. If you can identify any or all of these three swimmers, let us know! Miller Park beach closed for good in 2002.

Who remembers spending time at this beach?

Redd-Williams Legion Post McBarnes Building, January 1942

Seen here are Redd-Williams American Legion Post #163 members at the McBarnes Memorial Building on East Grove Street in Bloomington. For much of the 20th century the Twin Cities had segregated Legion posts.

If you can identify any of these unidentified gentlemen, please let us know.

Illinois State Normal University Junior-Senior Prom, 1949

Several ISNU coeds show off their gowns for the June 10, 1949 junior-senior prom. Louise Claymore (left) is in a blue chiffon; Barbara Schonert (center) in blue satin; and Marilyn McCarthy in beige lace with a stole.

Normal grocery readies opening May 1949

Warren Craft (left) and two clerks, Don Bradbury and Catherine Chambers, prepare for the May 25, 1949 grand opening of Craft’s Food Store at 108 E. Beaufort St. in Uptown Normal.

Eugene Field School Reading Class, October 1949

Eugene Field teacher Kathryn Carnahan leads a crowded classroom of 40 first graders in this October 1949 scene. Opened in 1936, Eugene Field in Normal closed as an elementary school in 2005, and today the 81-year-old building serves as the Vocational Training Center for McLean County Unit District No. 5.

Who’s a Eugene Field alum or had children that attended this neighborhood school?

Artist and Author Visit Bloomington May 1948

Artist Bob Hooton (left) and writer Dan Wickenden, both fresh from an extended stay in the Central American nation of Guatemala, arrived in Bloomington in mid-May 1948. Hooton, the son of Bloomington architect Phillip Hooton, intended to stay in the Twin Cities for the summer. Wickenden planned to return to his home in Connecticut. Two years later, the dust jacket cover of Wickenden’s novel “The Dry Season” would feature a Hooton painting.

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