Posted by: Diane Langton/SourceMedia Group News | June 6, 2009

D-Day revisited, 10 years later

d-day 1954

Posted by: Diane Langton/SourceMedia Group News | June 2, 2009

What happened to the Playmobile?


These photos ran on The Gazette's Picture page, July 26, 1954.


  In the summer of 1954, the Junior Chamber of Commerce looked into buying a portable playground for the city. They discovered Detroit had purchased one for $30,000. That was too much for their budget, so they set out to create one.

An Around the Town item on Aug. 1, 1954, described its construction: 

WE’VE COME ACROSS a few statistics on construction of the city’s new Playmobile that you might be interested in. Members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, which constructed the mobile playground and donated it to the city, put in 302 hours of work on the project—in addition to the Iowa Electric Welding Company’s work under the direction of Henry Malek. It took 20 quarts of paint to cover it. Materials that went into it included 222 feet of channel iron and angle iron, 110 square feet of 12 gauge sheet steel, 80 feet of two and a half inch pipe, 320 square feet of marine plywood and 184 lineal feet of two-by-fours. It all adds up to a unique and useful addition to the city’s recreational facilities.

   The Playmobile was used in the  Recreation Department’s summer playground program into the mid-1970s.

Posted by: Diane Langton/SourceMedia Group News | June 1, 2009

Cedar Rapids’ link to the Titanic

At the death of the last Titanic survivor, Millvina Dean, I thought it would be interesting to see what coverage The Gazette had of Cedar Rapids’ Walter Douglas, who was a casualty of that tragedy.

This pair of stories (published April 22, 1912) was moving, especially Mahalla Dutton Douglas’ description of the ship’s sinking.


Posted by: Diane Langton/SourceMedia Group News | June 1, 2009

Mother Mosque’s long history

The Iowa Islamic Heritage and Cultural Center, which has a long history in northwest Cedar Rapids,  is just recovering from the flood of 2008. In the 1950s, The Gazette ran an article each Saturday labeled “East Iowa Churches.” On June 14, 1952, the article focused on the “The Moslem Temple in Cedar Rapids.” It focused on the mosque’s 16th anniversary.

mother mosque 1552

Posted by: Diane Langton/SourceMedia Group News | May 29, 2009

In memory of Pfc. Terrell Randall, 1948-1968

This story ran on page 1 of the March 11, 1968 Gazette:

terry randall

Posted by: Diane Langton/SourceMedia Group News | May 28, 2009

Alma Van Allen – Mother of the Year

van allenThis photo was published on June 9, 1958.

Posted by: Diane Langton/SourceMedia Group News | May 27, 2009

Pontiacs introduced to C.R. in 1908

This article appeared in the Evening Gazette, Feb. 4, 1908: Pontiac-1908-2


Receives First Shipment of Pontiac Motor Vehicles, a Revelation in Horseless Vehicles

The American Auto company has received its first shipment of Pontiac motor vehicles, high-wheeled autos, which are a revelation to all who are interested in automobiles. The Pontiac sells for $600, without top,  has double cylinder motor 15 horse power, friction clutch with drive on both rear wheels. The engine is water-cooled and the wheels are fitted with solid rubber tires. The Pontiac can be driven at any speed, being especially controllable at very slow speed. It  is guaranteed to run over roads that the low-wheeled  machines cannot negotiate, being available the year around. While especially adapted to runabout purposes, it is  unequalled on the road, engine capacity considered.

The American Auto Co. Inc. was incorporated in Cedar Rapids on Nov. 12, 1907 and was  located at 201-203-205 Fourth Avenue. E.A Pickering was president and treasurer, H.C. Kingsley, secretary and manager, and Geo. Henderson, general sales agent. They advertised  Buick, Cadillac and Franklin Automobiles  and Pontiac and Mier Motor Buggies.

Posted by: Diane Langton/SourceMedia Group News | May 23, 2009

Memorial Day, Cedar Rapids, 1944

mem day 1944

Posted by: Diane Langton/SourceMedia Group News | May 21, 2009

No fireworks on the Cedar? How about a swim?

That’s what Cedar Rapidians did in the first half of the 20th Century.

The photos in this clipping were taken on a hot July day in 1928.

ellis beach 1928

Posted by: Diane Langton/SourceMedia Group News | May 19, 2009

West Side Hospital? We had one

In 1926, Lutherans within a 50-mile radius of Cedar Rapids began fund-raising to build a Lutheran hospital. When the fundraising didn’t quite garner enough for a new building, the Cedar Rapids Lutheran Hospital Assn. opted to buy  Prospect Place at Sixteenth Avenue and Ninth Street SW. By June 30, 1928, the remodeled West Side Hospital opened to the public.

An article about the hospital’s open house said:Historical Houses

“Situated on the top of Young’s hill on the west side, the hospital commands a view of wooded grounds that encompass an entire city block. The old structure is picturesque and was one of the first show places in Cedar Rapids. It was built about seventy-five years ago by a man named Young, who left Cedar Rapids wealthy so long ago that his initials have been forgotten.

“The building has been redecorated and the third floor has been remodeled to prepare quarters for the operating rooms. These rooms done in white with the exception of the eye, ear, nose and throat room which is black, contain the latest equipment of the same type that is in the Mayo Clinic at Rochester and St. Luke’s hospital in Chicago. An elevator has been installed from the third floor to the basement. The maternity and nursing rooms are on the second floor.

“The hospital has a capacity of from twenty-five to thirty-five beds. There are eight private rooms furnished in different colors. The beds are of the latest adjustable type. Besides the private rooms there are men’s and women’s  wards, capable of six beds each.

“These wards are on the first floor. An x-ray room fnished in green and featuring a $4,000 machine is also on the first floor.

“The hospital is open to all doctors in good standing in the Linn County Medical Association or any other similar association. “

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