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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.
This is BFD Chief Roland Behrend, who was now able to talk to firefighters back at the station or those “on the trucks” and racing to a fire.
The BFD tried out its new two-way radio system in late August 1953. Seen here are Fireman Robert Colyer (left) driving the service truck as Capt. Ernest Lockenvitz contacts the station.
Even the small Village of Downs had a post-World War II housing boom (relatively speaking). Note also that there was no Interstate 74 in 1953!
The “new” Bloomington Federal Savings & Loan Association building under construction some three months before its grand opening in November 1957. Designed by visionary architect A. Richard Williams, additions to this bank building were made in the 1970s and 1980s.
Meadowbrook, a 167-lot development southeast of Lakeside Country Club, was well under construction in this summer 1954 photograph.
In mid-July 1957, some 700 State Farm employees settled into their new quarters at 2309 E. Oakland Ave. In 2016, State Farm still occupies this office building.
Sen. Estes Kefauver of Tennessee stopped in Bloomington to campaign for fellow Democrat and hometown favorite son Adlai E. Stevenson II, who was the party’s presidential nominee. Stevenson would lose to Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower in both 1952 and 1956.
Back in the late 1950s, livestock farmer Walter Schroeder (second from right) of rural Bloomington Township fattened about 500 head of cattle a year.
Located at the junction of South Main Street and the Route 66 Beltline, the Phil-Kron drive-in theater featured a full restaurant built under the movie screen.
That’s a proud Walter Gottschalk of Danvers at the 1958 McLean County 4-H Club Fair posing with his grand champion gilt hog.
Art Floyd displays his mounted license plate collection from his garage in the Dale Township. Floyd was a local fastpitch softball legend, having served as announcer at Bloomington’s O’Neil park since 1948.
Kathleen Keeley, assistant counselor at the Girl Scouts’ Camp Peairs, talks to Dotty Laudeman and Karen Figg about the weather flag she holds in her hands.
Seen here is Delores Moser of Roanoke with her Poland China barrow (“barrow” being a castrated male swine) judged Woodford County grand champion of all breeds in 1950.
An estimated 200 area residents were on hand at the Municipal Airport (now Central Illinois Regional Airport) to celebrate the start of scheduled commercial air service to Bloomington. Seen here are Bloomington Postmaster Carter Pietsch (right) and Otto Gerth handing sacks of mail to stewardess Mary Forgach.
Ralph G. Blue (right) and Harold Davis (with clipboard) weigh steers using a scale box. They’re seen here in early July 1957 at Frank Simpson’s feedlot outside of Farmer City in DeWitt County.
These unidentified boys are seen here a few days before Independence Day 1957, hanging out at Miller Park on Bloomington’s west side.
In September 1953, Adlai E. Stevenson (right) spent five days in Bloomington, his boyhood home, visiting friends and family. Earlier this week we posted another photo from this visit.
This is a photo of one of Duke Ellington’s many visits to this stretch of Central Illinois. Ellington and his orchestra performed at the Elks Country Club in Pontiac in June 1957.
Seen here is “Golden Gleam,” who captured the top prize in the parade class. The trophy winning horse was owned by Harold Mortland of Streator but was ridden by Pete Bradley.