Library Postcards: Civic Pride in a Lost America

Milwaukee's Bookmobile Map

The State of Wisconsin has a different, Progressive philosophy towards funding its libraries. In short, every resident is entitled to a card. If you don't live within a district, you might wind up with two or more cards!

However, your local library may be open fewer than 40 hours per week, and may not even be open every weekday.

MPL steps in for southeastern Wisconsin, offering extensive library services plus a successful combination cafe and surplus bookstore in its flagship building.




Milwaukee Public Library

Milwaukee Public Library Milwaukee Public Library Milwaukee Public Library Milwaukee Public Library
Embossed postcard from the IPC&N Co. 'Gruss aus Milwaukee'
Pioneer Private Mailing Card
'Gruss aus Milwaukee'
Entire back card, also by C.N. Caspar
Pioneer private mailing card.
Milwaukee Public Library Milwaukee Public Library Milwaukee Public Library Milwaukee Public Library
C.B. Henschel Mfg. Co. Card, ca. 1907. 'Oeffentliche Bibliothek und Museum' Acmegraph card. Grand Ave. West from 8th Street, Milwaukee, Wis.
(Showing Public Library to the right.)
Milwaukee Public Library Milwaukee Public Library Milwaukee Public Library Milwaukee Public Library
Self-framed Suhling Co. card. V.O. Hammon card appropriated by the Goodrich Line Steamers; sent 1909. Made in Germany for S.L. & Co. Message in German mailed to Chicago in 1908. Lovely E.C. Kropp card, never mailed. One gets the impression that the artists really tried hard for their local library to look its very best.
Milwaukee Public Library Milwaukee Public Library Milwaukee Public Library Milwaukee Public Library
Night view, ca. 1914. Mailed 1911. S.H. Knox card, mailed in 1907. Mailed in 1908.
Wisconsin Avenue Milwaukee Public Library Milwaukee Public Library Milwaukee Public Library
Clear View brand card shows a streetcar stopping at the library. Dexter Press linen 'Colorcraft' card. This real photo card appears to date from the 1940s, judging from the autos. The Kropp postcard is a gussied-up version of the library.
Milwaukee Public Library, back view Wisconsin Avenue
Rear (1956) addition to the building.
1959 card shows trolley lines and a yellow stop sign.
Labeled as 'Wisconsin Ave. from Court of Honor.' I think it rather sums up Milwaukee during the nifty '50s.

According to a Milwaukee School of Engineering personal page, this library was built in 1897, designed by the architects Ferry and Clas. It moved into the building in 1898.

Many expansions have kept this facility in use. Featuring services including a liberal area-wide borrowing policy and a coffeeshop/surplus book store, Milwaukee Public Library is surprisingly vital.

 North Side Library

North Side Natatorium and Library

Plus, if you act now, a Natatorium.

Too late.

Built at North Avenue and 16th Street, replaced by a parking lot. However, the brick building at far right is now 'Mr. Park's Place.'

The early E.C. Kropp card was mailed in 1909.

© 2003 - 2011 Judy Aulik

Divided on 02 July 2008.
Divided 04 December 2011.
Non-Carnegie libraries, A - M.
Non-Carnegie libraries, N - Z.
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