Monday, April 27, 2020

Review of "Images of America: Cedar Rapids, Iowa," by George Henry

Review of

Images of America: Cedar Rapids, Iowa, by George Henry and The History Center ISBN 0738519243

Five out of five stars

The history of a city through snapshots

 As a lifelong resident of the Cedar Rapids area, many of the references are familiar to me and some of those with a later date I can recall. The earliest photographs were taken in the last few decades of the nineteenth century, when the modern era was in its infancy. An image of the Salvation Army Hall taken in 1890 clearly shows a utility pole and a streetlight.

  To me, the most interesting photo was of the first graduating class of Washington High School. There were only six graduates, but four were female and two were male. Given the common history of the time, where females were generally not educated, this was surprising. Most of the images involving people are posed, it is entertaining to see what passes for attire in those times. Professional men wore suits and ties and nearly all of the women had full buttoned collars and all wore hats when they were outdoors.

 History is largely the recounting of events, yet some of the most interesting is based on how things looked at specific times. Not only the buildings, but also the people.

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