An Iowa Album invites you to travel through sixty years of Iowa history and view the state in its turn-of-the-century glory. This engaging selection of more than 375 photographs, taken from the immense collection of the State Historical Society of Iowa, combined with the firsthand accounts that speak from the past, provides a portrait of Iowa from an era when small towns and rural communities dominated life in the state. The beauty and power of the historical images and the voices that continue to speak to us even today will be welcomed by all who are interested in Iowa history and the settlement of the Midwest and by those intrigued by Iowa's rich legacy of historical photographs.

"Fires and fire companies, schools, tornadoes, ice cutting, barns and barn-raisings, trains, hydro-electric dams, egg wagons, chicken coops, creameries, bicycles, threshing and threshing machines, button factories, parlors, nutting, canoeing, wash day, telephone operators, and balloon ascensions—photographers saw and recorded it all—what historians and novelists frequently scorned or ignored or forgot. This is the most palpable history of Iowa ever compiled, as well as a cultural history of American photography, Iowa and the camera having grown up together. Evocative excerpts from memoirs and oral histories fill out the pictures, explaining things like bang boards and the customs of pie socials. An Iowa Album belongs in every Iowa library, family room, and schoolroom.”—Robert F. Sayre
“A vital link between Iowans and their historical past.”—Des Moines Register
“This month's reviews are a potpourri of women's writings…a wonderful, nostalgic, important story of the people who settled in Iowa in the early years of the state's history.”—Today's Woman
“The beauty and power of the historical images, combined with firsthand accounts that speak from the past, evoke a strong sense of everyday life. An Iowa Album will be welcomed by all who are interested in …the settlement of the Midwest.”—Bookwatch
“A superbly edited book showing us what Iowa was like in the heyday our grandparents so fondly recall.”—Des Moines Register
“Bennett celebrates what some history books gloss over—the joy, the struggle, the simplicity of everyday life in early Iowa.”—Sioux City Journal

Chapter One. Indians and the Land
Chapter Two. The Countryside
Chapter Three. Building Main Street
Chapter Four. Town and Community Life
Chapter Five. Home and Family Life
Chapter Six. Coming of Age
Notes on the Photograph Collections

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Publication Details

Publication Date
344 pages
Trim size
8 1/2 x 11
377 photos