Vintage: Glass Plate Collection from the Illinois State Journal (1929 – 1936)

Vintage: Glass Plate Collection from the Illinois State Journal (1929 – 1936)


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.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. in 600 block of E. Adams Street, Springfield Furniture Store in background, circa 1933. File/The State Journal-Register

Oscar Ansell & Son Machine Shop, Alton Railroad (now Union Pacific) tracks in foreground, between Capitol Avenue and Monroe Street. This location is where the Illinois State Library is currently located. File/The State Journal-Register

Clark Frisbie pulling ice block in the ice storage room at the C.I.P.S. ice house at 10th and Edward streets, July 12, 1936. File/The State Journal-Register

T.M. Travis of Travis Cafeteria at 624 E. Capitol, attempting to fry an egg on sidewalk July 20, 1930. “Heat in City Reaches 100,” story and photo published July 20, 1930, File/The State Journal-Register

Fifty men from the Springfield city street department helped clear a 6-inch snowfall by hand from downtown intersections, March 6, 1931. This intersection is Fifth and Adams facing north. File/The State Journal-Register

Illinois State Register sponsored Dog Parade, “shortest tail” category, June 22, 1929. File/The State Journal-Register

Memorial Pool, June 23, 1929. File/The State Journal-Register

Streetcar No. 200 was dragged into retirement on July 2,1936 after ending its service on the ‘zinc works’ branch of the Illinois Power Company’s citywide trolley system. The zinc line serviced the northeast section of Springfield and the car was towed over a stretch of unused and overgrown track that no longer had the overhead power cable needed to provide power. Its destination was the trolley car barn on Eighth Street at Monroe (now Saputo’s Restaurant). File/The State Journal-Register

Pedestrians crossing Sixth Street at Adams Street, C.I.P.S. building and S.A.Barker’s in background, Aug. 9, 1932. File/The State Journal-Register

Illinois State Journal news carrier William J. Irvine, Nov. 8, 1931. File/The State Journal-Register

Crowd gathered in front of Illinois State Journal building to watch score of the St. Louis Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Athletics game in the World Series, Oct. 1931. File/The State Journal-Register

A band entertains people waiting to tour the new Illinois State Journal building, June 18, 1930. The tours began at 7 p.m. and lasted into the evening so visitors could see as much of the production as possible. Sixth Street in front of the building was closed to traffic to accommodate the crowds. Col. Ira C. Copley, who had purchased the Journal two years earlier, greeted the visitors. File/The State Journal-Register

Joe Imlay, instructor and tight wire enthusiast at the Y.M.C.A, practices for the “Y” Circus at the Illinois State Arsenal, circa 1931. File/The State Journal-Register

Christmas shoppers on Fifth Street, west side of public square. File/The State Journal-Register

Ironworkers E. Gable, left, and Johnnie Gentry top off the C.I.P.S. building at the highest point of structural steel, July 26, 1930. File/The State Journal-Register

Postmaster William Conkling, left, and Newman Stirewalt, president of the American Business Club, painting air traffic directional sign on the Federal Building roof, Oct. 2, 1930. File/The State Journal-Register

Boy Scout event at Executive Mansion with presentation to Gov. Louis Emmerson on porch, Feb. 13, 1931. File/The State Journal-Register

The Illinois State Police purchased new Thompson submachine guns to help them face the threats of the day, which included bootleggers and labor unrest that frequently turned violent. The guns were issued to every sergeant in each police district throughout the state. Capt. Carr, assistant superintendent of highway police, left, posed with his officers and their guns in front of the Centennial Building on February 28, 1931. File/The State Journal-Register

Illinois World War I veterans, known as Bonus Army marchers, returned to Springfield after a march on Washington, D.C. seeking early payment of duty bonus from their service in the war, photographed in front of the Illinois State Arsenal, Aug. 5, 1932. File/The State Journal-Register

Funeral for poet Vachel Lindsay at First Christian Church, Sixth and Cook streets, Dec. 8, 1931. File/The State Journal-Register

Springfield High School students, circa 1930. File/The State Journal-Register

Two killed in fire and explosion at the Italian Villa restaurant and E.L. Williams Monument Co, 200 block E. Monroe Street, Jan. 26, 1932. File/The State Journal-Register

Via: Illinois State Journal


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