Digitizing Milwaukee’s Polonia: Theaters and War Bonds

Digitization of the Roman Kwasniewski glass negatives continues at an astonishing pace (1,150 last week alone!). In the midst of all of this digitization, image processing, and metadata mapping, it’s important to stop and admire the images themselves, and take stock of why we’re working so feverishly to make this collection accessible. As we work toward that goal, we’ll highlight some of the most interesting, curious, or even typical images that we’ve captured in the past few months. This week, a movie theater and community life during wartime:

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The Lincoln Theater, built in 1910, was one of the oldest movie theaters in Milwaukee. It had seats for almost 500 people and served South Milwaukee for 45 years before closing in 1955. The building is still standing, at 1104 W. Lincoln Avenue, but no longer used as a theater.

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During World War II, the federal government promoted the purchase of war bonds to help finance the war, and many people purchased bonds through payroll savings plans. These women are pointing out that as of October 15, 1943, City of Milwaukee employees had purchased $670,131.70 worth of war bonds.

Ann Hanlon
Elizabeth Kaune

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