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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Santa at the Courthouse Square Downtown Bloomington, 1948

Christmas Parade ft. Santa, 1948

On December 4, 1948, Santa Claus arrived in Bloomington. Mr. Claus traveled to the Courthouse Square where some 6,000 children and their parents gathered on the Square to welcome Santa.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Herman Glaser, December 1952 Stanford’s Toy Maker

Homemade mechanical toy, 1952

Stanford resident and retired farmer Herman Glaser displayed several of his personally designed and built mechanical toys. This included a working 32-inch Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, and a yet-to-be-completed revolving Christmas tree.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington Author Wilson Tucker Book Signing, October 1947

Books signing, 1947.

Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker signing copies of his latest mystery novel, “To Keep or Kill,” at W.B. Read & Co., 210 N. Center St. in downtown Bloomington. Tucker enjoyed a second career as a mystery and science fiction writer, until he passed away in 2006.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Aaron Copland at IWU February 1958

Aaron Copland appearing at IWU, 1958.

Composer Aaron Copland, one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century, was the featured guest for Illinois Wesleyan University's Seventh Annual Symposium of Contemporary American Music in 1958. He is is seen here listening to R. Dwight Drexler, professor of piano and theory, and his wife, Maxine.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

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.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Beich Bowlers, 1942

Women's Bowling club, 1942.

Not much is known about this photograph. We do know that at least four of the five women shown here were working at Paul F. Beich Co., the local candy maker, at the time.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Cooksville Ball Club 1908

Young men in a baseball club, 1908.

Back in the early 20th century baseball was not only the National Pastime but the National Obsession. At this time even tiny communities such as Cooksville fielded competitive teams—though it’s possible this club included a “ringer” or two from elsewhere!

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Put Up Your Dukes Small Fry Boxers, March 1958

Little League boxing, 1958.

Billy Kletz (left) and Jim Heafer get ready for the upcoming Small Fry Boxing Championship at the Western Avenue Community Center.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

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.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

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.

Read more…