Monthly Archives: January 2018

‘Toy-pistol tetanus’

Dozens of young Sangamon County residents were injured, and a few killed, by toy pistols during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The pistols were a regular feature of the Fourth of July, which is when the vast majority … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Children | Leave a comment

Prince Sanitarium

The David Prince Sanitarium opened in 1890 as a center for general surgery and eye, ear, nose and throat treatment. By 1978, when the building was demolished, it was a shabby apartment building whose tenants were the respectable (and elderly) … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Medicine | 2 Comments

Fuel crisis shutdown, 1918

In January 1918, the federal government told thousands of Sangamon County workers to take the week off. U.S. fuel administrator Harry Garfield on Jan. 17, 1918, ordered most factories east of the Mississippi River to close from Friday, Jan. 18, … Continue reading

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First labor strike, 1872-73

Sangamon County’s first labor strike failed, but it was only the first step in a coming struggle between business owners and the growing power of unionized workers. The issue in December 1872 was a demand by the county’s coal miners … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Labor unions, Springfield Survey | Leave a comment

International Union of Operating Engineers, 1930s (photo)

Springfield-based Local 965 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, founded in 1931, struggled at its start, largely because of the Great Depression. But there was another problem, according to an international union official who critiqued the local in 1933: … Continue reading

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Coldest day in Springfield history (1905)

Springfield’s temperature fell to 24 degrees below zero at 7 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 13, 1905, the lowest official reading ever recorded in the city. Engines seized up, gas mains failed, and the destitute crowded local jails. Even the ink … Continue reading

Posted in Disasters, Fires, Illinois capital, Weather | Leave a comment