In the latest edition of Nebraska History we are highlighting Nebraska’s history in 150 photos in four parts. In the blog we will be previewing each part, along with adding an interesting photo and caption from each section.
Part 2: 1867-1916
The period between statehood and World War I saw the building of a vast infrastructure across Nebraska: railroads, towns, farms, ranches, economic and social networks. Settlers poured in from eastern states and from multiple countries, speaking many languages and bringing a variety of cultural traditions. Native peoples struggled to protect their interests and to assert their rights even as they were confined to reservations. Everyone faced the challenges of making a living in an environment prone to extremes of weather. And while we don’t usually think of this as a high-tech period, major technological changes were altering the ways in which Nebraskans did business, entertained themselves, and traveled.
The picture above shows the Office of the Pilger Herald, 1915. The press is a Prouty “grasshopper”—its roller was propelled back and forth by slotted bars that looked like grasshopper legs. Patented in 1878 by a Baptist minister in Wisconsin, the Prouty was small and inexpensive, and remained popular with small newspapers well into the twentieth century. Pilger had only 471 residents in 1910, but printing technology helped it and other small towns keep up on local and national events.