Tom and Jerry, not the cartoon characters

Meet some of the interesting characters that lived at Grandview Park in the early 1900’s: Tom and Jerry (Bob Cats) and Playful Punch, one of the Grandview Bears.

Tom and Jerry (bob cats)

Board of Park Commissioners Annual Report - 1905

Playful Punch - one of the Grandview bears

Board of Park Commissioners Annual Report - 1908

Historic Union Park Images

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For more historic Des Moines’ park images, go to our Flickr page.

Using a Dial Phone in Des Moines

A while back I was hunting for an item in our special collections room when I happened upon this nifty pamphlet from the early 1900s.  Are you ready for this?  It explains how to use the dial phone.  Moving to the dial phone was a major shift for the public.  Prior to this, callers would pick up the phone and speak with an operator who would connect them.  Click on the image at the left for a little phone instruction history.

Also, check out the Random Acts blog post on phone dialing.


Iowa College Football Facts

1890 Hawkeye Football Team, Courtesy University of Iowa Alumni Association

  • University of Iowa played its first intercollegiate football game on November 16, 1889, in Grinnell against Iowa College.  Above is the earliest team photo from 1890.
  • Kinnick Stadium is named after Nile Kinnick, the 1939 Heisman Trophy winner.  It will hold 70,585 fans.
  • The Hawkeyes have participated in 24 bowl games.

1895 Cyclone Football Team from Iowa State University

  • The first Iowa State team came together in 1892.

Iowa State became the Cyclones after they leveled Northwestern in 1895.  As the Chicago Tribune (9/29/1895) noted:

Struck by a Cyclone
It Comes from Iowa and Devastates Evanston Town
“Northwestern might as well have tried to play football with an Iowa cyclone as with the Iowa team it met yesterday.  At the end of 50 minutes’ play, the big husky farmers from Iowa’s Agricultural College had rolled up 36 points, while the 15 yard line was the nearest Northwestern got to Iowa’s goal.”  From Iowa State University Alumni Association

  • Jack Trice Stadium is named after the first African American football player at Iowa State.   It will hold 55,000 people.
  • The Cyclones have played 10 bowl games.

1895 Panthers from the UNI Special Collections, Rod Library

  • UNI’s first team was organized in 1895.
  • University of Northern Iowa adopted the “Panthers” in 1931 after a contest was held to replace the “Tutors.”
  • UNI has played two bowl games.

Football reads:

The Ironmen:  The 1939 Hawkeyes, Scott M. Fisher

Cyclone Memories:  100 years of Iowa State Football, Roger Steward, 1991

Nile, T. Lidd, 2008

Gridiron Glory:  100 Years of Iowa Football, University of Iowa

Football’s Fallen Hero:  The Jack Trice Story, Steven L. Jones, 2000


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