Glass Plate Negatives, Rockford, Illinois

Title

Glass Plate Negatives, Rockford, Illinois

Description

This collection includes over 300 rare glass plate negatives depicting Rockford life between approximately 1880 and 1910 with most photographs showing scenes and events around the turn of the twentieth century. Included are city street scenes, social groups, sporting activities, homes, businesses, churches, and civil occasions.

Date

circa 1880-1910

Collection Items

Boys In and Around a Tree
Four young boys pose for this photograph next to, and in, a tree. The location and the boys' names are unknown.

Home Interior: Study with a Fireplace
This interior photograph appears to show the study of a home. A fireplace dominates the area. The lighting is electric. Several plants are on display around the room as well as artwork on the walls. The location and the homeowner's name are unknown. …

Picket Fence and Gate Entry
A picket fence and open gate entry dominate this photograph at the front of a home screened by trees. The location and the name of the owner are not known.

A Board and Batten Building
A board and batten outbuilding (alternating wide boards with narrow wooden strips) with a limestone foundation is seen in a wooded clearing. There are windows in the foundation as well as in the main building. It appears to be a workshop-type…

Factory Fire
This photograph shows the aftermath of what is apparently a factory fire's damage, which has left only partial walls standing. It is unclear which factory in Rockford suffered this catastrophe although factory fires were not uncommon in the late…

Rockford Insurance Co. of Illinois: Business Office Interior
The Rockford Insurance Company of Illinois was founded in 1866. The President in the 1890s was John Lake. The company typically underwrote flood and fire disasters. In this time period, Rockford Insurance was on the sixth floor of the William Brown…

Monarch Shoe Store
This street scene features the Monarch Shoe Store on the corner. The streets appear to be wood block with a rail embedded for trolley transport. It is unclear if this scene is a Rockford photograph.

Electric Car
This may be the Columbia Runabout, an early electric car. This view is from the right side of the vehicle. The same automobile with different views can be seen in photos 95.26.8d, 95.26.8c, and 95.26.8b.

Electric Car
This may be the Columbia Runabout, an early electric car. This view is looking from front to back on an angle. The same automobile with different views can be seen in photos 95.26.8a, 95.26.8b, and 95.26.8d.

Electric Car
This may be the Columbia Runabout, an early electric car. This view is from the driver's side. The same automobile with different views can be seen in photos 95.26.8a, 95.26.8c, and 95.268d.

Electric Car
This may be the Columbia Runabout, an early electric car. This view is looking from front to back. The same automobile with different views can be seen in photos 95.26.8a, 95.26.8b, and 95.26 8c.

Horse & Buggy
This photograph shows an unattended horse and buggy in front of a house. The location is unknown.

Rockford Parade
A large group of uniformed men proceed west on West State Street crossing Main Street. The uniformed group appears to be members of the Masonic Knights Templar. Note businesses along the route: Porters Drug Store, 302 W. State; and Skinner Tailor,…

Rockford Parade
Circus wagons proceed east, passing the 400 block of West State street at the intersection with Church Street toward downtown Rockford. The Interurban rails are clearly present. Note businesses along the route: T. N. Miller, MD, at 401 W State and W.…

Tinker Swiss Cottage Suspension Bridge
This photograph of the Tinker Swiss Cottage suspension bridge was taken from below the cottage looking west. A man stands on a small Kent Creek dam in the foreground. The suspension bridge was replaced after being washed away in an 1890 flood.

Young Women in a Gymnasium
A previous notation indicated that this photograph was taken in November 1890 at the Rockford Seminary. Three young women, one with dumbells, pose in the photograph.

Hanging Scaffold at the Winnebago County Courthouse
This photograph, taken from the corner of Church and Elm Streets looking northwest, shows preparation for a hanging adjacent to the courthouse. The crowd may be gathering prior to the hanging of Clinton St. Clair on April 15, 1910, on the grounds of…

Rockford Parade Elephant
A photograph of Queen Jumbo, a circus elephant, proceeding west past the 300 block of East State Street. Note the three businesses along the route: W. E. Dolk, photographer, at 304 E. State Street; Frank G. Smith, harnessmaker, at 306 E. State…

Haskell Park Fountain
Dr. George S. Haskell and his brother-in-law, John Edwards, donated the land for Haskell Park, which was formally known as the West Side Public Square. The fountain supposedly was built over a Native American burial ground.

Village Scene
This dirt street town scene features horse-drawn wagons pulled up in front of storefronts on a main street. It is unclear where this photograph was taken.

Tinker Cottage
This photograph was taken looking south at the southeast corner of Tinker Swiss Cottage. The suspension bridge is visible to the right.

Early Automobiles
Two early automobiles appear in an alley. The auto in the foreground may be a 1906 Williams Electric Runabout or a Veracity Runabout with a 2-cylinder gas engine. The location in Rockford of this photograph is unclear.

Hanging Scaffold at the Winnebago County Courthouse
This photograph, taken on Elm Street looking west, shows preparation for a hanging adjacent to the courthouse. St. Mary's Oratory at 517 Elm Street appears in the background just left of center. The crowd may be gathering prior to the hanging of…

Rockford Park Gazebo
A large group gathers in front and within a two-story gazebo in one of Rockfords' parks. A person on a "pennyfarthing" (high wheel) bicycle leans against the gazebo on the right. This photograph appears to have been taken in the autumn or early…

Aftermath of Second Congregational Church Fire
The Second Congregational Church was founded in 1849. On February 20, 1894, the church was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt at the same location at 318 N. Church Street where it serves its congregation today. On December 19, 1979, fire again…

Outing in the Park
Seven men in business outfits and bowler hats recline on a grassy area in front of numerous carriages and surreys moving behind them in a wooded park setting. It is unclear in which Rockford park this photograph was taken (e.g. Fairgrounds Park,…

Rehearsal for Hanging in Winnebago County
Taken prior to the hanging of Clinton St. Clair on April 15, 1910, this photograph shows the grounds of the County Jail and Courthouse as county officials and others rehearse for the hanging. St. Clair's hanging was the fourth and last hanging in…

River Scene with People
Two fishermen appear in this photograph with other possible family members. The grassy opening is surrounded by woods. This may be the Kishwaukee River.

Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Banner at South Main and West State Streets
The GAR (Grand Army of the Republic, the Union in the Civil War) Banner hangs at the corner of South Main and West State Streets looking northeast. GAR was founded on April 6, 1866, on the principles of Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty. (Reference -…

Harlem Avenue Riverfront Homes
This photograph may have been taken from the Sinnissippi Park area looking west across the Rock River at the homes built on Harlem Avenue (National Avenue and Harlem Boulevard).

Rock River Dredging
Dredging on the Rock River was not an unusual sight in the late 1890s. There are two people in a small boat in the lower portion.The barge and the boat are both by a trestle bridge. The floating dredging barge seen in this photograph was probably in…

Young Men Under the Railroad Bridge
Two young men pose on one of the cross girders supporting the truss bridge that served the Chicago & Northwestern and Union Pacific railroads. The bridge was built in 1896 and had a 119 foot span across the river. Its type of construction is called a…

Hot Air Balloon Ascension
A large crowd has gathered to watch a single balloonist ascend above them, not an uncommon sight in the late 1890s and early 1900s. For example, on August 20, 1899, Madame Louise De Leon, wife of local Professor Hoffman, ascended from Harlem Park…

Horse-drawn Carriage on the Bridge
A horse-drawn carriage moves across this bridge from left to right. Pedestrians are also present on the bridge and another bridge is visible in the background. A small canoe with two paddlers can be seen to the right. It is unclear which Rock River…

Chick House Hotel
Thomas Chick purchased the Griggs House Hotel and started the Chick House Hotel in 1888 at the corner of Main and Elm Streets. This photograph looks north up Main Street. Rockford Business College occupied the D. J. Stewart building right next door…

A Bicycle Built for Three
This photograph, taken in front of the South Main Street entrance to the Nelson Hotel, features a very unique three-person bicycle. The hotel, at 306 S. Main Street, was opened in 1893 at the corner of S. Main and Chestnut Streets. William Nelson…

Hanging Scaffold for Winnebago County
This photograph may have been taken prior to the hanging of Clinton St. Clair on April 15, 1910 on the grounds of the County Jail and Courthouse. St. Clair's hanging was the fourth and last hanging in Winnebago County. The other three hangings took…

Hot Air Balloon Ascension
A large crowd has gathered to watch as a hot air balloon is being inflated for flight. There are what appear to be homes and some larger exposition-type buildings in the background. Ballooning was not an uncommon sight in the late 1890s and early…

Rockford Insurance Co. of Illinois: Business Office Interior
The Rockford Insurance Company of Illinois was founded in 1866. The President in the 1890s was John Lake. The company typically underwrote flood and fire disasters. In this time period, Rockford Insurance was on the sixth floor of the William Brown…

Fairgrounds Event
This photograph features several tents, horse-drawn buggies, and people strolling. This may be the County Fairgrounds on the west side of Rockford. The event as well as the names of individuals and organizations are unknown.

Carcaluly Camp
This well-dressed group of men and women sit under a "Carcaluly Camp" banner in an opening within a wooded area. Several individuals are holding musical instruments in the foreground in addition to a bicycle laying on its side. A hammock or two are…

Children Sitting on a Porch Railing
Ten well-dressed children pose for this photograph while sitting on a front porch railing. The location and the names of the children are unknown. Also see photo 88.122.664.

Rockford West Side Looking East Over The River Between the East State Street and Chestnut Street Bridges
View of Rockford's east side showing prominent Rockford buildings and businesses between the East State Street and Chestnut Street bridges, from left to right: Republic Building, Rockford YMCA Building, Rockford Steam Boiler, and Watchmaker's…

Bicycle Racing
The closed-course race is about to start for these nine cyclists at the Fairgrounds (aka Fairgrounds Park). This event may have taken place during the county fair typically held in September. Cycling competitions were quite common in Rockford of…

Hot Air Balloon Inflation and Fire Department Carriage
A fire carriage sits close to a hot air balloon, which lays on its side as a crowd gathers. There are buildings in the distant background. Ballooning was not an uncommon sight in the late 1890s and early 1900s. For example, on August 20, 1899, Madame…

Parade Procession
A long parade makes its way down a paved Rockford street with Interurban tracks. It appears to be 7th Street. The parade is led by several women riding side-saddle with horse-drawn wagons bringing up the rear. Numerous parasols have been deployed…

Rock River Ice Skating
During the winter, the Rock River became a popular place for citizens to ice skate. This photograph was taken directly north of the State Street bridge looking east. The Rockford Wholesale Grocery building is in the background. (Reference -…

East State Street Scene Looking East
View of the East State Street Interurban/Rockford Street Railway Company line looking east possibly from the current 9th Street, East State Street intersection.

Guitar and Mandolin Quartet
On stage comprising the (2) guitar(s) and (2) mandolin(s) quartet are Bert Parmele, Carl Ross, L. Harold Clark, and H. W. Wililams. In 1902, professional musicians in Rockford formed the Rockford Musical Association, an affiliate of the American…

Group of Actors/Performers in Minstrel Show
A large group of performers pose on stage for this photograph. Some are in black face. This may be the stage of the Grand Opera House on N. Wyman Street. However, there were several other performance venues at the time: the Bijou, the Mendelssohn…

Chestnut Street Bridge Construction
In 1890, the East State Street bridge in downtown Rockford was replaced with a new bridge. The old bridge was cut into large sections and floated down river to create a new Chestnut Street bridge. This photograph captures one of those sections being…

Men Posing on a Porch
Seven well-dressed men sit on a porch railing in this photograph. The names of the men and their location are unknown.

Limestone Bluff Close-up
A small creek flows between the high and narrow passage separating the limestone bluffs In this photograph. The location is unknown. Also see photos 88.122.666, 88.122.687, 88.122.701, and 88.122.715.

Children in Costume
A large group of children pose for this photograph in costume. The location and the event are unknown.

Children Performers
In this photograph, a large group of costumed boys and girls pose on a small "stage" area with a hanging wall prop in the background. It is unclear where this photograph was taken, but it is highly probable that it's in one of Rockford's elementary…

African-American Work Crew
This photograph appears to show a large group of African-American men that may have been assembled as a work crew at an event. A long wooden structure appears in the background. The glass plate negative for this photo is broken into several pieces in…

President Theodore Roosevelt Visits Rockford
This photograph, looking southwest, captures the Rockford Military Band and a large group of Rockford Police Officers awaiting President Theodore Roosevelt at the Illinois Central Train Depot on South Main Street. The President dedicated the new…

"Huntress" with Dog
A woman stands in a wooded clearing with a dog. She is holding what appears to be a 12-gauge shotgun and wearing a full-length dress, which wouldn't be typical for hunting.

Hunter with Two Dogs
In this photograph, taken in a rural area with farm fields, a hunter aims his shotgun across a field while two dogs patiently standby hoping to fetch a downed bird.

Man at Boat Launch
This photograph may have been taken on either the Kishwaukee or the Rock River. A log hut with a pier juts into the river. A wood-branch weir (an enclosure of stakes to trap and/or keep fish) sits in the water possibly to keep the catch of the day…
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