Margaret Karlov

  • Tin Type Photography

    Tin Type Photography

    Long before Polaroid made it possible to capture that special moment and wait expectantly through the development process, Americans enjoyed the tintype. The tintype allowed many a young girl to preserve her sunny afternoon likeness on a small plate that a poor young soldier might clutch on a muddy battlefield. Many an immigrant patriarch posed…

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  • The Milkman — 1915

    The Milkman — 1915

    The generation is nearly gone that retains some memory of the milkman or his young “jumper”, lugging cartons of milk and cream from a paneled truck up and down the steps of his customers or perhaps placing the bottles inside the cubby that opened from both inside and outside the house to store the delivered…

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  • Restoring the Past: Small-town Theaters Rebound

    Restoring the Past: Small-town Theaters Rebound

    In 2014 residents of Webster City, Iowa, rallied to save their local movie house, The Webster on the 2nd Street strip was sandwiched between the Hallmark shop and Bettis Appliance and Television. Residents might watch Five Feet Apart this weekend for $4. After a manufacturing plant closed in Webster City in 2013, the citizenry gathered…

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  • Remembering the Old One-Room Schoolhouse

    Remembering the Old One-Room Schoolhouse

    The mention of the one-room schoolhouse calls to mind a picture of Laura Ingalls Wilder engaging a handful of students in rural South Dakota when she was only fifteen years old. Fans of the Little House books and television series may recall that she retired from her one-room school life at age eighteen to marry…

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  • Homage to the Village Blacksmith

    Homage to the Village Blacksmith

    The village blacksmith—he is the big man in a sleeveless leather vest, sweating in a way that makes his forehead and biceps stare back at you, yet friendly as the milkman or local parson. He is the man you call when facing the impossible emergency down on the farm or shop. The poet Longfellow imprinted…

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  • Modern Life: A Glance Backward in Time

    Modern Life: A Glance Backward in Time

    In 1998 a staffer at Beloit College in south-central Wisconsin forwarded a list of relevant facts to orient colleagues to the culture of incoming students; that is, what new students, mostly born in 1980, would know and not know. On that original Mindset List were items like, your new students “never had a polio shot,…

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