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Archive of: 1950s

BPD’s Rogues Gallery August 1947

Bloomington Police Chief Clyde Hibbens (left) and Officer James Daley examine some of the 1,600 mug shots in the department’s newly acquired “rogues gallery” investigative aid.

John Thomas’ new corn crib June 1958

Construction of a corn crib nears completion at the John C. Thomas farm southeast of Bloomington. This crib, with a 5,000 bushel capacity, featured extra heavy framing, as Thomas looked to the future when it might be converted to the storage of shelled corn.

ISSCS Festival August 1950

The Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School annual festival of 1950 included pressure cooking demonstrations, as well as displays of preserved fruits and floral arrangements. We don’t know the names of any of these “homers” (as ISSCS kids were called), but we do know that the judges were Dr. Lee W. Miller, a professor of biological sciences at Illinois State Normal University, and three ISNU students.

Three hospitals; three styles of caps June 1958

The distinctive caps worn by graduate nurses at the three Bloomington-Normal hospitals were compared and contrasted during the local Student Nurses Association meeting in June 1958.

Phyllis Fehr (left) of Danvers wears a Mennonite Hospital cap; Lois Welch (center) of Gridley has one from Brokaw Hospital; and Bernice Roth (right) of Saybrook one from St. Joseph’s Hospital.

On Parade Elementary Rhythm Band, July 1951

On Tuesday we posted another photograph featuring this neighborhood music class. These children, who were between the ages of thee and six, were led by music teacher Kay Baylor. Presumably, that’s Ms. Baylor with the accordion. We don’t know where this photograph was taken, but we do know Baylor taught out of her home at 407 S. Linden St., Normal. If you can identify this location, let us know!

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.

“A-One, and a-Two, and a-Three …” Elementary Rhythm Band, July 1951

Tammi Orendorff conducts Kay Baylor’s elementary rhythm band during the summer of 1951. Baylor, who taught piano and music theory from her home, 407 S. Linden St., Normal, organized this “rhythm band” for local children between the ages of three and six. Instruments included castanets, cymbals, bells, rhythm sticks, gongs, and triangles.

4-H Lamb Show June 27, 1951

In late June 1951, the McLean County 4-H market lamb show was held at the Producers Stock Yards, located at East LaFayette Street and the Illinois Central Railroad on the south end of Bloomington. Here’s Roger Risser of Danvers (left) showing off his “best pen of three.” That’s Wayne Mohr on the right.

Barbershoppers’ summer party June 26, 1951

In late June 1951, local barbershoppers held a get-together at Phil Hooton’s residence, 3 Country Club Place. Seen here are winners of the impromptu quartet contest. Clockwise from left: Dick Dennie, tenor; Fred Gehrt, baritone; J.H. Bellamy, bass; and Mac Convis, lead

The Iceman Cometh … but for how long? June 1957

Once a common sight in windows throughout the Twin Cities and beyond, ice cards were becoming an increasingly rare sight by 1957. What were they?

BHS Student Lounge May 1948

Bloomington High School students Wanda Rust (right) and Margaret Schlemmer work on murals in the newly opened student lounge, a repurposed second floor classroom. At this time the high school was located on the 500 block of East Washington Street. The current high school opened in 1959.

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.

Easter Lily Sales March 1958

Here’s a group of Y-Teens from the Bloomington YWCA, March 29, 1958, selling Easter lilies in the State Farm Insurance Co. headquarters downtown. The girls are not identified, but that’s Gladys Martin (left) and Betty Moore in the back.


The girls were raising money for the local chapter of the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults.

Bloomington High Aegis staff October 1954

Several weeks ago we ran a photograph from a set of 1954 negatives showing the staff of Aegis, the BHS student newspaper. Here’s another one.

Gathered around the desk of Aegis editor Su Selders (that’s Sue without the “e”) are Pat Jones, assistant editor; Don Owen, business manager; and Ann Alcott, reporter.

Titans Thump Redbirds February 1953

On February 11, 1953, Illinois Wesleyan beat visiting Illinois State Normal 98-66 at the old Memorial Hall gymnasium (now IWU’s Hansen Student Center).

Bloomington High Swim Team February 1953

Five BHS swimmers prepare for the Big 12 Conference meet in Peoria in this mid-February 1953 scene. Left to right: Peter Whitmer, Hal Johnstone, Ray Baxter, Chuck Dunbar, and Adlai Rust, Jr.

Five BHS swimmers prepare for the Big 12 Conference meet in Peoria in this mid-February 1953 scene. Left to right: Peter Whitmer, Hal Johnstone, Ray Baxter, Chuck Dunbar, and Adlai Rust, Jr.

March of Dimes Coffee Day January 1953

On Friday, Jan. 30, 1953, local restaurants donated proceeds from their coffee sales to the March of Dimes and the campaign to combat infantile paralysis, commonly known as polio. Here is waitress Pauline McGath pouring coffee for truck drivers (left to right) Mack Rutledge, Gene Dreelan, and “Slick” Evans.

John Pratt, February 1953 Valentine’s Day Groom

John Pratt, who in a few days time would marry Geraldine Dillon in a Valentine’s Day ceremony, is seen here in a downtown Bloomington store sampling scents for his bride-to-be.

John Pratt, who in a few days time would marry Geraldine Dillon in a Valentine’s Day ceremony, is seen here in a downtown Bloomington store sampling scents for his bride-to-be.

Freitag children, rural Stanford February 1959

​Jane and Doug Freitag horse around with a canine friend at their family farm standing on top of a cob pile.

Jane and Doug Freitag horse around with a canine friend at their family farm outside of Stanford in Allin Township.

Lea Kallish Fashionable Hats, 1959

On February 8, 1959, The Pantagraph featured photographs of local women wearing the latest in fashionable hats.

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