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In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, spiritualism, the belief that the dead could communicate with the living, especially through a medium, gained popularity and renown. It was a movement that garnered ardent enthusiasm from its followers, including author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and psychologist William James, among others; and was lambasted by its detractors, such as novelist Mark Twain and magician Harry Houdini.Read more about 19th Century Seance in Urbana
100 years ago on this day (July 12), the above ad ran in the Courier. It caught my eye initially because of the spelling error (editor missed the "t" in Knowlton), but it also reminded me that some designs truly have endured. The bottom photo is the sharpener in the Archives, probably quite similar to the one described in the ad. After many attempts with an electric sharpener, the department went back to an old, reliable manual model a couple years ago. (Thanks, Becky B.!)Read more about Sharpest Pencils in the Cup
Carl Bontemps (kneeling on stand) addresses some of the 171 boys who registered for swimming instruction on the first day of lessons at the Crystal Lake Park pool. This was the original round pool; it has been remodeled twice since this photo was taken.
Come into the cool Archives this summer and dive into our vast photo collection!Read more about Boys Only
A sharped eyed staff member spied this image from our collections:
Apparently, sightings of unexplained phenomena and Unidentified Flying Objects are not uncommon here, as this June 6, 1969 article from the front page of the Urbana Courier relates. Read more about Alien Visitors ... to Urbana?
From the Urbana Courier-Herald, Thursday, January 2, 1913:
MANY WATCH NEW YEAR COME IN
Parties Are Popular in Urbana on Tuesday Evening — Odd Fellows Have Meeting. — Circle Meets. Read more about Happy New Year, 1913!