Monthly Archives: October 2015

WTAX radio

WTAX radio moved from Streator to Springfield in 1930. See Radio beginnings in Springfield.

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WCBS/WCVS radio

WCBS was Springfield’s first permanent radio station. See Radio beginnings in Springfield.

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Charles Messter, radio pioneer

Charles Messter was a co-founder of WCBS, Springfield’s first permanent radio station. See Radio beginnings in Springfield.

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Harold Dewing, radio pioneer

Harold Dewing was a co-founder of WCBS, Springfield’s first permanent radio station. See Radio beginnings in Springfield. 

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Radio beginnings in Springfield

Two boyhood friends turned radio pioneers brought Springfield its first permanent radio station in 1926. That station, whose original call letters were WCBS, broadcast its first program, a test featuring Alfred Blankschen, organist at Springfield’s Lyric Theater, on Dec. 10, … Continue reading

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Measles vaccinations, 1966 (photo)

In February 1966, Illinois Department of Public Health officials predicted a major measles outbreak unless local agencies set up crash immunization programs. “We will have a severe epidemic with deaths and encephalitis … unless there is widespread use of the … Continue reading

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Jolly Boy kites

Millions of Jolly Boy kites, manufactured by the J.C. Ayling Kite Co. in Springfield, were sold between about 1911 and the early 1940s. See J.C. Ayling Kite Co.

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The J.C. Ayling kite factory

The J.C. Ayling Kite Co., which got its start in a backyard shed on North Seventh Street, manufactured millions of Jolly Boy kites in Springfield from 1911 until the 1940s. The key to the company’s success was an innovation developed … Continue reading

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Springfield fire alarm boxes, 1912 (photos)

The 1912 Central Union Telephone Co. directory included this handy list of fire alarm locations. The directory also prominently asked residents not to call the phone company to find out the location of a fire, as that “seriously interferes with … Continue reading

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Illinois State Informer (newspaper)

The Illinois State Informer was a weekly newspaper founded by Dr. Alonzo Kenniebrew, a nationally prominent black physician, in the mid-1930s in Springfield. Kenniebrew (1875-1943), a graduate of Tuskegee Institute and close friend of Tuskegee founder Booker T. Washington, had moved to … Continue reading

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