I don't know how he does it, but Ranger Bear just gets more handsome through the years...
See the many faces of Ranger Bear in our newest photo collection
There has been much in the news about Japan’s plan to resume operations at some of its nuclear plants and many have serious reservations on the safety of nuclear energy production in general. In light of these recent events, it was interesting to find photographs of this Atomic Energy exhibit which came to Racine in the early 1950’s.
The event was sponsored in part by the University of Wisconsin Extension in Racine and held for two days in November of 1951 at Memorial Hall. The emphasis was on “atomic energy in peace-time, especially as it concerns agriculture and medicine”.
Visitors learned basic facts about atoms, uranium, and radium, and had the opportunity to bombard dimes with neutrons and have them sealed in a special souvenir folder (You can still buy these coins on Ebay). The exhibit was a popular touring museum created by the American Museum of Atomic Energy in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (now called the American Museum of Science and Energy). Almost 2000 people visited the exhibit on the first day alone.
Hundreds of students from Racine and Kenosha attended the exhibit
 Racine Journal Times. "You Can Get a Big Jolt From Atomic Energy Exhibit." October 11, 1951: 6.
Hi everyone. My name is Lindsey Faist and I spent my spring break working in UW-Parkside’s archives. I graduated from UWP in spring 2011 with my B.A. in History. Currently, I’m pursing an MLIS at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. UWM has a program called Alternative Spring Break (ASB) where you can work in institutions. When I saw there was an opening at Parkside, I jumped at the chance.
During my time here, I worked on digitizing a collection of playbills. During my 30 hours, I digitized the entire Racine/Kenosha, and New York portions of the collection, and digitized about half of the Chicago collection. In all, I digitized over 200 playbills.
These playbills are a very fascinating collection, dating back to the early 1900s. I found myself resisting the urge to plop down and just read them!
One of the most appealing aspects of the playbills was the ads. It was interesting to see how fashion, food, and even language changes over time. Ads for alcohol and cars were more popular in the earlier playbills, while ads for makeup and hair dye were especially prevalent during the 1960s. The ads also showed how attitudes towards sexuality changed.
During the 1920s, ads were focused on “cover-up” clothing such as overcoats, hats, and gloves.
By the 1960s, this had changed completely with women being encouraged to be “impulsive, unpredictable, uninhibited, always different, never tame” using Tigress perfume “[for] when life gets too civilized.”
One of the things I enjoyed most about the playbills was looking to see when figures, who are well-known to me today, started to pop up. Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman, Woody Allen, and Robert Preston are all characters I have grown up with. It was exciting to see how they have changed over time.
One of the first works featured in our Featured Collections post was a piece by Charles Bukowski, entitled, “It Catches my Heart in its Hands”. It was published by an acclaimed small press in New Orleans known for its elaborate publications and attention to detail.
The Loujon Press was founded by Jon Edgar and Louise "Gypsy Lou" Webb in 1960 on Royal Street in New Orleans's French Quarter. The Village Voice and the New York Times called the press one of the best of its day. The Outsider, the press's literary review,
featured writers Charles Bukowski and Allen Ginsberg among others. The press was a labor of love for this creative couple, with Gypsy Lou selling her paintings by day on the corner of St. Peter and Royal for 19 years to support themselves and the press.
In addition to “It Catches my Heart in its Hands”, the Loujon published another early poetry collection by Bukowski, Crucifix in a deathhand: new poems 1963-65.
The press also published two books by Henry Miller: Order and Chaos chez Hans Reichel, and Insomnia, or the Devil at Large. In 1965, the Webbs moved to Santa Fe, El Paso, then settled for a while at in Tucson, Arizona. They later moved the press to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Jon and Gypsy Lou Webb
Insomnia, or the Devil at Large
This limited edition artist book includes a portfolio of 12 calligraphic watercolors by Miller, his hand-written introduction detailing his courtship of Hoki Hiroko Tokuda, a young Japanese singer whom he had recently married, and many large photographs of the newlyweds. It is all housed inside the original treated wooden portfolio box with slide-out front cover and decorative inlay wooden. One of 385 copies, book signed and dated May 1, 1970 by Miller.
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside Special Collections has all four books published by the Loujon Press, and one issue of The Outsider.
For more information on the Loujon Press, please visit:
This collection is a wonderful set of photographs donated to Parkside by John Sullivan, former pilot and manager of Racine's airport.
Mr. Sullivan learned to fly in 1937 in Kenosha and became a pilot for both Kenosha and Racine's airports. He started managing the Racine airport in 1951 until his retirement in 1983. He collected photographs and biographical histories of many pilots from the area with an interest in documenting and sharing this history.
Mr. Sullivan donated his collection of over 400 photographs, newspaper clippings, and aviator biographies to UW-Parkside in 2009.
Right now, the Wisconsin Historical Society has a great collection of these cards digitized and accessible in an online gallery which can be found here:
Make sure to take a moment and view these historical exchanges of Christmas through the years.
A tradition among schools, both public and private, is the publication of the school yearbook or annual. An early annual might consist of newspaper clippings, locks of hair, and autographs. Improved printing techniques and photography allowed students and staff to include photographs, art, and a more detailed history of the year’s events. The yearbooks from Racine and Kenosha High Schools not only detail the academic and social lives of students but record the evolution of education and the public school system established by Colonel Michael Frank.
The first annual for Racine High School was produced in 1909, and in 1912 the Senior Class dubbed the publication, “The Kipi Kawi”. Kenosha High School created the first version of its annual in 1903 and included an informal history of the Kenosha Public Schools, providing information on graduates from preceding years.
UW-Parkside Archives & Area Research holds several volumes from both schools. For more information, please visit our website:
This month's Featured Collection is a single volume which contains numerous photographs of one of Mexico's oldest and most interesting cities. One of my first assignments at the Parkside Archive was to perform a shelf-read, which is basically comparing the materials on the shelf to a catalog listing to confirm that everything is in order. I’ll admit that the job took longer than it should have, as I often paused to page through the materials which piqued my curiosity. One of these articles was Mérida en el año de mil novecientos cuarenta y dos (Mérida in 1942), a collection of photographs by Enrique A. Cervantes, who self-published the work in 1943. I visited Merida many years ago, and I was curious to see if I recognized any of the locations.
Mérida is a beautiful colonial city, the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Yucatán and the Yucatán Peninsula. It was founded in 1542 by Francisco de Montejo. Mérida was built on the site of the Maya city of T’ho which had been a center of Mayan culture and activity for centuries. Because ofthis, it is believed that Mérida may be the oldest continually occupied city in the Americas.
Mérida en el año de mil novecientos cuarenta y dos is handsomely bound in fabric with cloth ties, and includes original black and white photographs mounted on cardstock. Cervantes includes a history of the city and details on the architecture represented in the images.
One photograph depicts the Catedral, which was completed near the end of the Sixteenth century, and another the Palacio Municipal, a more recent construction. I remember visiting both buildings, and how impressed I was by the structures. It is easy to see why Cervantes loved this city enough to create this homage.
Sacristía del templo de San Juan Bautista
Palacio Municipal, 1942
The American publisher Thomas Bird Mosher (1852-1923) published his first book in 1891, a poem titled Modern Love by George Meredith, without the author's knowledge or permission. The next year he published James Thomson's The City of Dreadful Night, and the year after that, 1893, he published two books, including his first anthology, Songs of Adieu. By 1895, he had published 16 books, and decided to publish full-time.
Mosher believed that everyone should have access to good literary works, and produced small, beautifully printed books at a reasonable price, rendering them affordable to the middle class. Mosher himself became notorious as the impassioned “Portland Pirate” of the turn-of-the-century printing world. The international copyright laws of 1891 were widely misunderstood and commonly flouted. The United States only protected works from foreign publishers if the book was published in America. Any material not published in the States was fair game. Mosher’s books were banned in England, but some authors defended Mosher for giving them an American audience they wouldn’t have otherwise had.
Thomas Mosher chose quality materials for his publications and often used handmade paper from Holland or vellum imported from Japan. Forty seven of Mosher Press books were entirely printed on vellum made from sheep or calf skin.
The Special Collections Department at the UW-Parkside Archives & Area Research Center owns several editions of Mosher Press publications, including Underwoods by Robert Louis Stevenson, and Danted at Verona, by Dante Gabriel Rosetti.
For more information on the Thomas Bird Mosher Press, including a biography of Thomas Bird Mosher, history of the press and links to related sites, please visit www.ThomasBirdMosher.net
Perishable Press was founded in 1962 by book artist Walter Hamady, Professor Emeritus at the Art Department of UW-Madison. Located in Hamady’s barn in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, Perishable Press has produced works by such noted artists as Joel Oppenheimer, Norman H. Russell, Diane Wakoski, and Michael Heller. Hamady’s work has won numerous awards, including the American Institute of Graphic Arts yearly selection of the 50 best designed books.
Hamady creates his own paper and calls it Shadwell after the birthplace of Thomas Jefferson. Shadwell paper is crafted in small batches, taking approximately one day to produce 50 sheets. Hamady often incorporates threads from old clothing, dried flowers, and leaves to create a distinctive medium for his work.
Perishable Press Ltd., 1964
Figures of Speaking
Perishable Press Ltd., 1977
"There are many reasons for making a book and probably the best one, as the only reason for making Art, is because you can’t stop." Walter Hamady