Rock Island County History in Postcards



Crescent Bridge
New Sylvan Bridge
Log Raft on the Mississippi
Rock Island Reservoir

Rock Island High School, 1945
Lincoln School in Rock Island
Immanuel Lutheran School
Augustana College
St. Mary's School
The Villa de Chantal
United Presbyterian/Wayman AME Church
St. Anthony's Hospital

Rock Island County Courthouse
Tri-City Railway
Old Post Office
The Rock Island Library

Safety Building
The People's Bank
Rock Island Savings Bank
Fort Armstrong Hotel
Bear Automotive
Farmers' Congress

Eagle Building
Modern Woodmen of America
The Elks Club
Prince Hall Masonic Lodge
The Family Theatre
The Fort Armstrong Theatre

Downtown's Second Avenue
Black Hawk Lounge
Garnsey Square
The Mill Store

C. W. Hawes Bungalow
Frank Mixter Residence
De Silva House
House at 1601 25th Street
Rosenfield House
1103 2nd Avenue

R. R. Cable Residence
Double House
L. S. McCabe House
Buford Home
The Guyer House

Rock Island Preservation Society

The Rock Island Preservation Society (RIPS) provides a number of services that promote the preservation of Rock Island's past: its buildings, people and history. One service is to promote the preservation and restoration of old homes, commercial buildings, and other city properties by making annual Preservation Awards.

The postcards published in this section originally appeared in the Daily Dispatch and Argus. The cards' commentary has been written by Diane Oestreich or another member of the Rock Island Preservation Society. These postcards contain a wealth of information about Rock Island.

For more than 100 years photographers in the Quad City area have created postcards of businesses, factories, downtowns, and, of course, the river. Since March of 2001, the Rock Island Preservation Society, has been researching these postcards and publishing them weekly in the the Rock Island Argus and Moline Dispatch as a way of promoting the restoration of our local architectual treasures.

This column features vintage Rock Island postcards with text that has been researched and prepared by the Rock Island Preservation Society as a public service.

According to an article by Robert M. Skaler in the July/August 2000 issue of Old House Journal, "real photo" postcards were popular between 1902 and 1910. During those years, Kodak made a preprinted postcard backing that allowed photographers to print relatively small quantities of postcards directly from their negatives. This created a new business, where traveling photographers went from town to town to create and sell postcards. Many of these postcards show homes; others are of street scenes and public buildings, especially from towns that were too small to provide an adequate market for lithographed cards.

"Unfortunately the locations of many of these real photo cards, especially those produced for homeowners, are not identified. Not only is the street address frequently unknown, even the city of origin may be difficult or impossible to determine. When present, postmarks can be an aid in such identification.

"In the pre-digital (and even pre-camera for many) era, real photo postcards allowed images of prized buildings to be created and shared. This was a wonderful way for homeowners (or renters) and businessmen to show pride in their building. Surviving cards are now a valuable resource for architectural and community historians and can be a source of enjoyment for us all."

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