Raymond Hodde was the Illinois State Journal’s first staff photographer. He began taking pictures for the newspaper in 1929, just a year after Col. Ira Copley bought the Journal and put into place a plan to modernize it and update its plain gray look. That included the use of staff-produced photographs and an end to the practice of publishing pictures that were submitted by local commercial photographers. Hodde, along with Ernest Pearson who joined him a short time later, took the pictures here, part of a collection of 1,300 glass plate negatives taken between 1929 and 1936 that have survived.
The images create of portrait of the city during the 1930s. Not a portrait defined by a single image, but one that emerges from the scenes and moments recorded by Hodde and Pearson over time. It’s the city’s cultural and built environment, the people walking its streets and in their daily routines, the lively public square in its role as the heart of Springfield, the grittiness of a growing urban center and the personality of a place that comes through in the interaction of all these things.
Snow White Laundry, circa 1930. File/The State Journal-Register
H.G. Buttrick of 214 East Washington Street returned home from a hunting trip in northern Minnesota with deer strapped to the fender of his car. His wife shot the deer that was strapped to the other side of the car, Nov. 20, 1930. File/The State Journal-Register
Sledding at Pasfield Park, March 10, 1931. File/The State Journal-Register
Representatives of Kellogg’s Cereal dressed in white trousers, green coats, white hats and gloves, distributed the company’s new Pep cereal door to door in the 900 block of South Sixth Street on April 19, 1934. File/The State Journal-Register
Snyder Super Service Station and Auto Greasing Palace at Fifth Street and South Grand Ave. West, Sept. 9, 1929. File/The State Journal-Register
Group photo of Illinois State Journal news carriers (“Carrier Boys Enjoy Movie”) at the Orpheum Theater, Aug. 20, 1931. File/The State Journal-Register
View from upper floors of C.I.P.S. building, facing east on Adams Street over public square, 1930. File/The State Journal-Register
Elks Club picnic and outdoor boxing match, July 16, 1929. File/The State Journal-Register
A sign atop this 1930 model Willys 6 Deluxe Sedan says it is so easy to handle in heavy traffic, it can be driven blindfolded. Parked under the Orpheum Theater marquee, a crowd gathers to see a blindfolded Billy Russell, seen next to the driver’s door, give it a try, date unknown. File/The State Journal-Register
President Herbert Hoover’s visit to Springfield for rededication of Lincoln’s Tomb, June 17, 1931, at Executive Mansion reception with Illinois Gov. Louis Emmerson and family. File/The State Journal-Register
President Herbert Hoover (at lectern), visit to Springfield for rededication of Lincoln’s Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery, June 17, 1931. File/The State Journal-Register
George Ecklund, profiled as young piano player. File/The State Journal-Register.
C. W. Becker, postal carrier, delivered mail in the northwest section of the city. His portrait is from a “smile of the day” contest held by newspaper, published Oct. 17, 1930. File/ The State Journal-Register
Frank Dillion, Y.M.C.A. secretary, oversees preparation of garden plot for unemployed near C&IM railroad at 19th Street and Moffat Avenue, April 19, 1931. Operating the tractor is James Holzwort. File/The State Journal-Register.
Pedestrians on Fifth Street at Adams, facing north, public square in background, Dec. 18, 1930. File/The State Journal-Register
Illinois State Fair carnival, ca. 1932. File/The State Journal-Register
Illinois State Arsenal fire, Feb. 18, 1934. File/The State Journal-Register
Drinking fountain at SE corner of courthouse square, Fifth and Adams streets, Montgomery Ward store at 506-510 E. Adams under construction in back at left., circa 1930. File/The State Journal-Register
Carl D. Franke chooses a Christmas tree from the sidewalk in front of Van Nattan Hardware on Monroe Street, Dec. 18, 1930. File/The State Journal-Register
Frank Dillion wipes his brow on hot summer day, July 22, 1932, walking west on Adams from Sixth Street, C.I.P.S. Building in background. The image accompanied story about severe heat wave that had begun July 12 with temperatures above 90 degrees for 10 days straight and up to 100 degrees. File/The State Journal-Register
Via: Illinois State Journal