• Slatted Corn Crib bins

    McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    Bins at either side of corn cribs were designed to hold ear corn. Slatted sides of corn bins permitted circulation of air, which helped to dry the corn. Bins at either side of corn cribs were designed…

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  • 1947 Corn Bowl Parade Pioneers Float

    McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    A float from Union Auto Insurance, depicting an old covered wagon, pulled by horses, travels in the 1947 Corn Bowl Parade. The Corn Bowl football game, which started in 1947, coincided with an annual…

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  • Bloomington Trunk Factory Advertisement

    Matejka, Michael, 1953, Hartzold, Susan, McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    The Bloomington Trunk Factory manufactured trunks, satchels, valises, and traveling bags in Bloomington in the late 1800s. Many local Bloomington businesses, such as this one, advertised in the city d…

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  • Dumping corn into pit before drying

    McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    Al Bateman dumps havested grain from his truck into a pit before drying. The use of a combine, which picks, shells, and pulverizes the cobs, reduces the need for corn cribs where ears were stored. Al…

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  • Delaware Village in Federal Land Survey

    McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    The Federal Land Surveyors recorded a Delaware village near the Mackinaw River. The area west of the village is where John Thompson planted his first crop in 1829. McLean County was not first settled…

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  • Bloomington Manufacturing Company

    Matejka, Michael, 1953, Hartzold, Susan, McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    The Bloomington Manufacturing Company manufactured the "Graham Mower and Reaper" in the 1860s. The company employed 70 to 80 workers and averaged $100,000 in business annually. They produced bicycles…

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  • Sanborn Map, McLean County Court House, Bloomington, Illinois

    Sanborn map of the McLean County, Illinois Court House, 1901. Because of the depth of historical land use data, corporations and individuals interested in acquiring a particular piece of property ofte…

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  • Grain elevator

    Walters, William D, Jr., 1942, McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    A farmer's elevator in Cooksville, Illinois has wooden siding on all sides. A fence leads to this elevator, which has a shingled roof. Grain elevators were often located near railroads for easy loadin…

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  • Corn Sheller Advertisement

    McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    This is an ad for a corn sheller, which would provide feed by removing kernels from the cob. Farmers would shell stored corn ears to sell or to provide livestock feed while they waited for their curre…

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  • Cyclists' Ten Commandments & ID Card

    McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    The ID card and Ten Commandments contain personal information about Lyman R. Tay. Interpretation Text includes: Copyright 1897 "THE CYCLIST'S TEN COMMANDMENTS" Thus spoke the wheel: I am thy friend in…

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  • Wreckage of the Bloomington Fire

    McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    The damaged Bloomington skyline is visible beyond the courthouse square. A streetcar and a crowd of people are visible in the foreground. June 19, 1900, much of the center of Bloomington was destroyed…

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  • Farmer's Elevator

    Walters, William D, Jr., 1942, McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    A farmer's elevator in Cooksville, Illinois, has siding on all sides. A fence leads to the elevator, which has a shingled roof. Grain elevators were often located near railroads for easy loading into…

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  • Automated Corn Planting

    Walters, William D, Jr., 1942, McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    In 1995, a tractor attached to an automated corn planter seeds a field. Bags of Ciba seed are used. Today, automation is a main key of farming. Technology allows precise planting without missing rows…

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  • German Day, Bloomington, Illinois

    McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    The streets of Bloomington, Illinois, are shown decorated for German Day. By 1870, 13% of the population of Bloomington was of German descent or born in Germany. The Germans in Bloomington held their…

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  • Corn Landscape

    Walters, William D, Jr., 1942, McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    A photograph for a Funk advertisement by James Holbert, one of the main men behind Funk's success. The photo shows a large cornfield in the background and and a farmer with cattle in the foreground. T…

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  • Cornbelt Cube

    McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    This home, constructed around the turn of the 20th century, is called a Cornbelt Cube, or American Foursquare, because of its shape. Years of high corn prices between 1900 and 1920 saw the constructio…

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  • Metal Wheeled Tractor

    McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    Three farmers in overalls look over the engine of a metal wheeled tractor in the 1930s as a well-dressed man sits on the machine with a jug. Much of the early debate on tractors centered on the questi…

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  • Corn Knife

    McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    The corn knife, about 18 inches long, was often hammered from available scrap metal. The corn knife was essential for the cutting of ears from the stalk. The corn knife was one of the most widely used…

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  • Concrete Block Barn

    McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    This concrete block barn was built around 1900. Plentiful harvests allowed farmers to afford more expensive building materials near the turn of the century, such as concrete block. This barn is a resu…

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  • Trapeze artists, Mary & Roy Valentine with Reiner

    McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Ill

    The Valentines and Reiner pose for a publicity photograph. They were famous trapeze artists. Trapeze artists often spent the winter in Bloomington, Illinois. American Communities in History Communitie…

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