An area resident visited downtown Shirley on horseback, presumably as a way to limit the wear and tear on his auto or tractor tires!
Arnold Beatty (left) and Colman Hicks, at the O.V. Douglass farm outside of Shirley, demonstrate patching a worn-out tire after yet another blowout. With a severe wartime shortage of rubber tires, area farmers were calling for the reintroduction of metal wheels for tractors and wagons.
Ted Colteaux hands over his gasoline ration book to Lee Harris of Harris Super Service Station. During the summer of 1943, the federal government’s Office of Price Administration cracked down on abuses in the gasoline rationing program.
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!
Billed as “Illinois largest free fall festival,” the LeRoy Fall festival live entertainment in downtown LeRoy. This M41 Walker Bulldog light tank was part of the festivities, but we’re not sure if it was part of a parade or was used as a static display for Cold War-era military recruitment.
Volunteers for this wartime home front program pledged 150 hours or more annually for non-technical nursing at stateside military and civilian hospitals. More than 200,000 women served in the Red Cross Nurse’s Aide Corps. Unfortunately, no one is identified.
The U.S. Congress declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941, in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor the previous day. On December 8, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his “Day of Infamy” speech to a joint session of Congress at 12:30 p.m. (the address was reprinted on page 7 of that day’s Pantagraph, shown here).
This 1908 scene shows Campbell Brunton behind the wheel of the very first truck owned by the family business, Brunton’s Parcel Delivery and City Express. At the time Campbell worked as a clerk for his father Frank G. Brunton.
U.S. Army veteran Dwight Pierceall of Normal received quite a shock on June 6, 1946, when he opened a crate sent from Europe. Inside was Bella, a canine refugee from war-torn Europe. That wasn’t the surprise though...
Local Girl Scouts hoist Old Glory at Forrest Park in south Bloomington in preparation for Flag Day 1948. Running the Stars and Stripes is Mary Jane Anderson, assisted by Joanie Magirl. In the background (left to right) are Karen Figg, Carole Colteaux, and Peggy Bennington. Happy Flag Day from the Museum!
Seen here is Bloomington restaurateur Carl J. Loeseke tending to many of his homing pigeons at his 1103 W. Moulton St. (now MacArthur Ave.) residence on Bloomington’s west side. This photograph dates to mid-June 1938.
Several pieces of military hardware can be found at Bloomington’s Miller Park, including this World War I-era tank, seen here being offloaded on May 24. 1939.
In 1942, Edward Adams discussed the benefits of raising honeybees during the sugar shortage and civilian rationing spurred by World War II.
On September 24, 1942, four visiting entertainers were the main attraction at a “Star Victory” luncheon at the Bloomington Consistory (now the Center for Performing Arts)...