In 1918, a Spanish influenza pandemic swept the world, the deadliest in human history. This photo, from the Stanley B. Evans scrapbook, was taken in the YMCA at Rantoul's Chanute Field in 1918. The handkerchiefs worn over the face, some rather jauntily, were an attempt to stop the spread of the disease.
The S.S. President Grant was originally a commercial ocean liner. It was seized by the U.S. government during World War I and officially recommissioned the U.S.S. President Grant. This postcard was issued by the Jewish Welfare Board to soldiers sailing home aboard the S.S. President Grant. Following the signing of the armistice, the ship brought over 37,000 people home to the United States.
The Doris K. Wylie Hoskins Archive for Cultural Diversity documents the African-American experience in Champaign County and east central Illinois. Doris Wylie Hoskins amassed this valuable resource throughout her life. This greeting card, published by the National Council of Negro Women, was sent to Doris’ daughter on her birthday in September 1995.
Published January 22, 1973, this magazine’s cover features a wintertime photo of the Busey mansion. Inside, it includes a description of the extravagant home and a brief history of the Busey family. The mansion was shortly thereafter demolished.
Shown here is a pair of cross-country skis from 1915. Skiers used the leather straps to secure their boots to the skis. These skis were donated to the Museum of the Grand Prairie in 1968.
On April 25, 1946, the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad’s high-speed passenger train, the Exposition Flyer, rammed into the Advance Flyer in Naperville, Illinois. Forty-five people died, and 125 people were injured in the collision. Naperville residents, like the employees of Kroehler Furniture Factory and students from North Central College, volunteered to help the injured, while emergency workers traveled from neighboring communities to assist in recovery efforts.
An Illinois divorce case made national headlines in early 1860. Isaac Howe Burch, a prominent Chicago banker and real estate investor, sued his wife Mary Weld Turner Burch on the grounds of adultery.
Illinois-based Kroehler Manufacturing Company was one of the largest upholstered furniture manufacturers in the world for 80 years. It had major influence on the buying habits of the American public. The Naperville company sponsored a traveling exhibit of twelve miniature rooms, “Four Generations of Furniture Fashion.” Commissioned by Kroehler and E.I. DuPont de Nemours in the mid 1960s, the exhibit traveled widely through the late 1970s to stores and shopping centers that carried Kroehler furniture.
In 1893, Chicago hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition—an epic event that drew nearly 27 million attendees from around the world. The fair celebrated art, architecture, social issues, agriculture, and technology through various exhibitions and displays, providing visitors with both entertainment and educational opportunities.
In the 1930s, Illinois fast food entrepreneurs Earl Prince and Walter Fredenhagen found that existing soda fountain machines were not up to the task of mixing their Prince Castle “One in a Million” malted milkshakes. A heavy-duty, centrally-mounted, motor-driven, individual mixing shaft solved the problem, and the Multimixer was born.