Inside Spencer: the KSRL Blog

The Streetcar of Old K.U.

July 6th, 2015

Streetcars once scaled Mt. Oread. From 1910 until 1933 the electric streetcar carried students and faculty up, across, and down the campus. The date of the first complete trip was May 26, 1910, when the Kansan reported, “The first car to complete the circuit on the Tennessee-Mississippi line carried a party of citizens and newspaper people over the Hill this afternoon.” There are reports of earlier trips on April, 9, 10, or 19, but these trips were most likely not a complete trip like that of May 26th.

Streetcar on KU Campus, Mississippi St. looking north  Streetcar on Mississippi St., Lawrence

Left: Front of a streetcar on Mississippi St. looking north. Right: Streetcar line up Mississippi Street. Call number 0/24/1/Streetcars.
From KU Luna image collections.

At the height of streetcar popularity, there were three service routes. Known as the KU Loop, the run started at 8th and Massachusetts, ran west to Mississippi St., then south to McCook Field (near present-day Memorial Stadium). There was a single track from McCook Field to the top of the hill, and a double track switch near the old Robinson Gymnasium. The cars came down by the same route, running on a single track. Two cars on this line provided service to KU every 15 minutes.

1993 KU Campus Map

A 1933 campus map created by F.A. Russell for the 25th Anniversary Reunion of the Class of 1908.  The streetcar line is shown running from north to south along Mississippi St.
Call number 0/24/Campus Map/1933.

Students exiting streetcar, KU Campus

Students exiting and entering a streetcar. Call number 0/24/1/Streetcars/1925.
From KU Luna image collections.

With the advent and popularity of buses in the 1930s, the streetcar system was no longer in use by 1933. The streetcar then entered into popular university lore, with stories of mischief and adventure told by those who got to experience a unique part of campus history.

Streetcar in front of Strong Hall, KU Campus. 0.24.1_streetcars_1925_0002

Streetcar in front of Strong Hall after it crossed over Jayhawk Boulevard in 1925. Call number 0/24/1/Streetcars/1925.
From KU Luna image collections.

Just recently some pieces of that history were uncovered when construction began on Phase 2 of the Jayhawk Boulevard reconstruction in the summer of 2014. Sections of the track were found and a few pieces are now housed in the University Archives, with a large piece of the track on display in the Kansas Union.

KU streetcar token   KU streetcar nails

Left: KU streetcar token. Right: KU streetcar nail spikes found in 2014.

KU Streetcar rail fragment view 2    KU streetcar rail fragment view 1

Two views of a KU streetcar rail fragment uncovered in 2014.

JoJo Palko
KU Sesquicentennial Research Assistant
University Archives

Throwback Thursday: Fourth of July Edition

July 2nd, 2015

Each week we’ll be posting a photograph from University Archives that shows a scene from KU’s past. We’ve also scanned more than 5,300 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Photograph of fireworks over the Campanile, 1981

Fourth of July fireworks over the Campanile, 1981.
Gordon Holland, photographer. Look closely and you’ll see
Spencer Research Library in the background, plus people
sitting on the hill and in Memorial Stadium. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/24/1 Fireworks 1981 Prints:
Campus: Areas and Objects (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt, Megan Sims, and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants

A Kansas Fourth of July, 1898

June 30th, 2015

To celebrate the Fourth of July, here are a selection of festive photographs from the Kansas Collection at Kenneth Spencer Research Library.

John S. Salmon (1867-1927), owner of Salmon Brothers Photography Studio, took these photographs of the 1898 Fourth of July Parade in Mount Hope, Kansas, located in the south-central part of the state between Wichita and Hutchinson. Operating his studio at the turn of the century, Salmon captured the town just as it was making the shift from horse transportation to the automobile.

Photograph of a buggy decorated for the Fourth of July, 1898

Photograph of a buggy decorated for the Fourth of July, 1898

Buggies decorated for the Fourth of July, Mount Hope, Kansas, 1898.
Salmon Brothers, Mt. Hope Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH 131.
Click images to enlarge.

Photograph of the Georgetown Band, 1898

Georgetown Band playing on the Fourth of July, Mount Hope, Kansas, 1898.
Salmon Brothers, Mt. Hope Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH 131.
Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of the Fourth of July parade, Mount Hope, Kansas, 1898

Photograph of the Fourth of July parade, Mount Hope, Kansas, 1898

Fourth of July parade, Mount Hope, Kansas, 1898.
Salmon Brothers, Mt. Hope Photograph Collection. Call Number: RH PH 131.
Click images to enlarge.

Additional records documenting the activities of the Salmon Brothers Photography Studio can be found at Wichita State University’s Special Collections and University Archives, which has made an inventory of the collection available online.

Kathy Lafferty
Public Services

Throwback Thursday: Stouffer Place Edition

June 25th, 2015

Each week we’ll be posting a photograph from University Archives that shows a scene from KU’s past. We’ve also scanned more than 5,300 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

With KU’s Stouffer Place apartments set to close at the end of June, this week we’re sharing some early pictures of the complex, which housed married students and students with children. It opened in 1957.

Photograph of Ellis B. Stouffer standing next to Stouffer Place sign, 1950s

Ellis B. Stouffer (1884-1965), for whom the complex was named, with his wife Anna and
daughter Jean, 1950s. A mathematician, Stouffer also served KU as
Dean of the Graduate School (1922-1945) and Dean of the University (1945-1951).
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/22/86 1950s Negatives:
Campus: Buildings: Stouffer Place (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of Stouffer Place building with man and child on porch, 1950s

Stouffer Place residents, 1950s. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/22/86 1950s Negatives: Campus: Buildings: Stouffer Place (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Aerial photograph of Stouffer Place, 1950s

Aerial view of Stouffer Place looking north, 1950s. Nineteenth Street runs
across the bottom of the photograph; Iowa Street is shown on the left.
Daisy Hill is undeveloped, with only a couple of farm houses.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/22/86 1950s Prints:
Campus: Buildings: Stouffer Place (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

View of Stouffer Place, 1959

View of Stouffer Place from the east, 1959. The truck is likely heading down
Naismith Drive. Note the construction on Daisy Hill. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/22/86 1959 Prints: Campus: Buildings: Stouffer Place (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of Daisy Hill residence halls behind Stouffer Place, 1950s

Daisy Hill residence halls behind Stouffer Place, 1960s.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/22/86 1950s Prints:
Campus: Buildings: Stouffer Place (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Aerial photograph of Stouffer Place, 1963-1964

Aerial photograph of Stouffer Place looking east towards campus, 1963-1964.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/24/A 1963/1964: University General:
Campus: Aerials (Photos). Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt, Megan Sims, and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants

Yearbook in a Box: The 1971 Jayhawker

June 22nd, 2015

Unique, playful, interactive” are words that describe the 1971 Jayhawker. Packaged in a blue box, the yearbook stands out amongst those that came before and after.

1971 Jayhawker box

Box housing the parts of the 1971 Jayhawker yearbook

Inside, however, are the usual contents to any Jayhawker yearbook: sections on athletics, the seniors, Greek life, administration, hot topics, and more. But the way in which they were presented was unusual, satirical, and perhaps a commentary on the year that was by the Jayhawker staff. For example, the section on Greek life was titled “Agricultural Almanac of Flowering Plants in Eastern Kansas.”

Another part included an interactive “Love Sun” mobile. To see what this Love Sun mobile actually looked like, I put one together for the University Archives. Below are pictures from this endeavor, with the completed Love Sun hanging in the University Archives in front of the yearbook collection.

 

Constructing Love Sun card mobile from 1971 Jayhawker yearbook  Step 2_1971 yearbook

Left: Instructions for making the Love Sun mobile. Right: The six cards that form the mobile.

Constructing Love Sun card mobile from 1971 Jayhawker yearbook  Constructing Love Sun card mobile from 1971 Jayhawker yearbook

Right and left: Constructing the Love Sun mobile.

Constructing Love Sun card mobile from 1971 Jayhawker yearbook

Completed Love Sun mobile hanging in the University Archives.

 

JoJo Palko
KU Sesquicentennial Research Assistant
University Archives