Month: August 2016

Penny Post: It is Great Here

Postmark: Indianapolis  Ind    May 12 1909   3:30PM Message: Say it is great here. Enjoying it fine. Addressee: Miss Laura Guess, Horton, Kans (Our) Post Script: It IS pretty great here, especially along this lovely boulevard–thank you, George Edward Kessler. In March 1905, despite protesting property owners who will have to bear assessments, the Moore-Mansfield Construction company, secured the contract for and began building Fall Creek Boulevard. The levying of assessments was made under the direction of the Park Board, who reduced the initial cost, but many property owners argued that they should pay nothing. A large portion of...

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Penny Post: Weather Report, 100 Years Ago

Postmark: Indianapolis Ind   Aug 22 1916  9:30PM   Message: My dear sister: Aug 22. 1916. This is ___and I never got a letter from home. Can you account for that? I can’t. Don’t let it happen again. My “ground grippers” made me sit down on the stairway today. It never hurt but I thought I was a killed girl. I was in a good posture to slide on down but I thought I would rather stay where I lit. We had a storm here between three and four o’clock and it is a great deal cooler now. Have...

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Deja Vu Tuesday: The Know Nothing Party of Indiana

Imagine for a moment that you’re living in a world where families are struggling to make ends meet. Where hard-working citizens are losing their jobs to technology and immigrants.  Where some of these immigrants are criminals, many are indigent, and most of them practice a different religion that calls into question their allegiance to our country. And then — almost overnight — a new political movement sweeps the nation that promises to make America great again. Welcome to 1854 and the rise of infamous “Know Nothing” party. In the mid-1850s, a new political party known as the “Know Nothings” seemingly sprang...

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Friday Fave: After 1890 State Fair, See This!

Visitors from all over the state come to see and show at the Indiana State Fair. Check out the non-fair recommendations from the 1890 State Fair Visitor’s Guide–the last year before moving to its current location. “Visitors to the State Fair can economize time visiting public buildings by knowing in advance how to reach them. On arriving at the Union Station (which is said to be the most complete building of the kind in the United States), take particular notice of the surroundings, and on returning you will find your train on the same track, only headed the direction you...

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Then & Now: Indiana State Fair & Expo

Indiana State Fair and Exposition, 1873. Spanning Exposition Avenue (now 19th Street) between Hudson and Ogden (alleys immediately west and east of Alabama Street) Image: Indiana State Archives. The location, scale and wares have changed, but the premise remains the same: gather Indiana’s best art, agriculture, science and industry for concentrated display and consumption. The State Fair is a coveted Hoosier tradition begun in 1852 in Military Park. The event flirted with a handful of other locations in years following–even outside the capital city–but in 1860, the State Fair and Exposition staked out land within the boundaries of today’s Herron-Morton...

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Sunday Ads: State Fair: September 17-22, 1888

A few ads and other info from the State Fair program from the 1888 State Fair. Hotel English–before it consumed the entire northwest quadrant of the circle. General Fair information: 10 cents round trip on a street car? If only those were still around… George Merritt & Company, Woolen manufacturers; Grand Hotel; and McGilliard & Dark Insurance company were all based in Indianapolis. Lilly & Stalnaker, purveyors of hardware–successors to Willis C. Vajen and Vajen-New Company had a shop at 64 East Washington Street. Looks like they were in the same block as The Model Clothing...

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Friday Fave: State Fair Souvenirs

Image: collection Tiffany Benedict Browne Some people must have a tangible memento of places visited, others prefer photos, and still others are content to make memories. While memories may wash away like footprints in the sand, photos and souvenirs can live on long after you’ve gone. Unfortunately, we do not know any more about Helen and Mathilda’s trip to the Indiana State Fair together on September 8, 1909, beyond the fact that they picked up this post card for Herm Bense of Columbus, Indiana. Relics of past Indiana State Fairs (and the current one) are always fascinating. Check out...

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State Fair, 1874

Think about what it was like to attend the Indiana State Fair and Exposition before electricity was invented. Enjoy a couple of highlights, excerpted from an 1874 Indianapolis newspaper. “The center figure in W.L. Woods display is a most elegant glass chandelier worth in the neighborhood of seventy-five dollars. It is a beauty indeed. Wood keeps the well-known shop at 39 Virginia Avenue. At night he lights up part of the Exposition building in such a way as to make gas light look sickly. Those who prefer a good light, cheaper than gas, will bear in mind that Wood...

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Sunday Ads: Antiseptic Refrigeration? A National Craze

  Business: National Furniture Company Date of Ad: August 6, 1916 Location: 335-343 West Washington Street, downtown Indianapolis Years of Operation: 1899-1958 Notable: The dog days of summer have everyone looking for a way to cool down. A hundred years ago, you’d be hard-pressed to keep the butter from melting and the milk from spoiling. The technology of the day consisted of the icebox: wooden cabinets featuring a zinc lining where food could be stored with a large block of ice. Ice was delivered by “icemen,” who would haul chunks harvested from the arctic regions and kept in large warehouses known as icehouses....

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Penny Post: Networking, 1906 style

Today, you can interface with any number of people through various social media channels, but 100+ years ago, you might have used…a post card. Postmark: Indianapolis, IND, December 7, 1906 2PM Olean, NY, December 8, 1906 10:30AM Message (on the front): Would you like one in return Agnes Rifner, 850 Linwood Ave. Indianapolis, Ind Addressee: Anna M. Peterson 135 N. 6th St. Olean, N. Y. Quick Recon: Agnes was  born in January 1887 and 19 when she asked to exchange post cards with Anna Peterson. One of 6 children, her father was a cigar maker. In 1910, Agnes was a milliner, living...

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Deja Vu Tuesday: The Carole Lombard Mystery

“Every picture tells a story don’t it,” Rod Stewart famously sang in the early 1970s, the same decade that brought us other grammatical atrocities in song titles such as “Baby I’ma want you.” But sometimes the story told by a photograph is not the truth, but an artful work of fiction that gets repeated every time the photo is reproduced. Or as British journalist Harold Evans wrote in 1978, “The camera cannot lie, but it can be an accessory to untruth.” Hollywood celebrities are especially adept at using the camera to paint a tale of their lives that may not be entirely...

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