200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

#Towns -- Bloomington

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Getting into the Stove Business Meadows Mfg. Co., April 1954

Meadows Manufacturing worker, 1954.

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.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Wabash Telephone Company Local Switchboard, Bloomington, 1935

Bloomington switchboard workers, 1935.

This early photo shows a full daytime force of operators on the “local board” at the Wabash Telephone Co.’s which handled about 60,000 calls a day.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Navajo Tap Room and Coffee Shop Illinois Hotel, Bloomington, circa 1943

Illinois Hotel's tap room and coffee shop, 1943.

The Illinois Hotel survives today as the Illinois House, where this tap room and coffee shop was one of several businesses on the hotel’s street level.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

New Two-Way Radios, Part II Bloomington Fire Department, 1953

New radios for the Bloomington Fire Department, 1953.

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.

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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.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Fearsome Front Line Illinois State, September 1941

Illinois State University football team, 1941.

Seen here are the gridiron “Red Birds” who went 3-4-2 in 1941, with losses including a 7-0 heartbreaker to Illinois Wesleyan.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

New Two-Way Radios Bloomington Fire Department, 1953

The Bloomington Fire Department testing out new radios, 1953.

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.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Men with Hats Passenger Service Inaugurated Old ‘Bloomington’ Airport, 1931

Men standing in front of Bloomington's first airport, 1931.

This 1931 scene at that field shows a local delegation standing before one of Century Air Lines’ 10-passenger Stinson tri-motor “ships.” The occasion was the inauguration of air passenger service to this area.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Pony Giveaway Courthouse Square, August 1947

Pony giveaway gathering, 1947.

In 1947, Bloomington merchants staged a promotional drawing on the west steps of the McLean County Courthouse Square (now the Museum Square). Nine-year-old Donald Lake, whose family lived north of Lexington, won the top prize, a bay pony named “Flag.”

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