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Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin Historical Society

Our Town…

In 1885, Charles Van Schaick opened a photography studio in his wife’s home town, Black River Falls, Wisconsin, where he served as “town photographer” for the next fifty-seven years.  The Wisconsin Historical Society (along with the Jackson County Historical Society) have collected over 5,600 of Van Schaick’s glass plates, and are in the process of moving them to WHS’ web site.

Van Schaick’s photos from 1890-1910 were the basis of Michael Lesy’s 1973 book Wisconsin Death Trip.  Readers can find a selection of the portraits and “small town life candids” in the Wisconsin Death Trip Flickr Pool

More, here.

As we engage our inner Thornton Wilder, we might consider just how far we have– and haven’t– come, as it was on this date in 1859 that Charles Darwin published The Origin of the Species.  Actually, on that day he published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life; the title was shortened to the one we know with the sixth edition in 1872.

Title page of the 1859 edition

Circus Antiquus…

George W. Hall, Jr. (1868)

The circus is a magical place, packed with performers of astounding feats and possessed of a language of its own.

Thanks to the Wisconsin Historical Society, readers can browse a remarkable gallery of circus folk from years past— like the young snake handler above.

As we resist the urge to run away and join up, we might stay tuned, as it was on this date in 1951 that the first long-running soap opera, Search for Tomorrow, premiered on CBS.  The show, which ran for just over 35 years (though on NBC in its last five years), focused on Joanne, a housewife played for the entire run by Mary Stuart, in a midwestern town called “Henderson”; its first head writer was Agnes Nixon, the Grande Dame of Daytime Television, who went on to create and write such stalwarts as One Life to Live and All My Children (the former of which was later written by the remarkable Michael Malone, whose efforts won him an Emmy to go with his Edgar, O. Henry, and Writers Guild awards).

(source: Wikimedia)

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