Rare Historical Photos Of Milwaukee, Wisconsin From the 20th Century

Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin state. In the mid-19th century, a large number of German, English, Irish, and Polish immigrants arrived to settle in the area. By the end of the 19th century, Germans had developed their society within Milwaukee, complete with German-language newspapers, schools, churches, singing societies, and political groups. The city became the center of metal-working industries, flour mills, heavy equipment manufacturing, and breweries. During the first half of the 20th century, Milwaukee was the hub of the socialist movement in the United States. The Great Depression disrupted progress and rapid development; over 50% of people lost their jobs, and 20% of residents needed direct relief from the government. The recovery began in the 1950s, and in the 1960s, Milwaukee had grown to become one of the largest cities in the United States. Traditional industries such as machinery, automobile, and brewing, managed to survive, but the business sector, such as health care, insurance, and banking sector, thrived.

Here below are some historical photos of Milwaukee that show street scenes, landmarks, cityscapes, and everyday life from the 20th century.

#2 House at 1629 North Ninth Street, Milwaukee, April 1936

#3 Junk, with living quarters close by, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 1936

#4 Jewell Halliday, her job is shuttling workers between two Midwest war plants for Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Co, Milwaukee, 1942

#5 Wisconsin Street and Pabst Building, Milwaukee, 1900. The city’s first sky­scraper, completed in 1891, demolished 1981.

#6 Chicago & Milwaukee tracks. Housing alongside electric railroad, April 1936

#7 Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “Houses at Detroit and Van Buren streets near the electric railroad, Milwaukee, April 1936

#8 Housing alongside Chicago and Milwaukee Railroad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 1936

#10 Group of houses in 600 block on East Detroit Street. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 1936

#11 House at 437 North Jackson Street. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 1936

#12 Exterior of house at 912 North 8th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 1936

#13 Boys watching Letter Carriers Convention Paradem, Milwaukee, September 1939

#15 Chicago & North Western Railway Station, Milwaukee circa 1899

#16 Blight – 1316 West Walnut Street, Milwaukee, April 1936

#17 Milwaukee Art Museum (War Memorial Center), Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1963

#18 War production workers at the Heil Co. making gasoline trailer tanks for the Army Air Corps, Milwaukee, February 1943

#20 Mrs. Mary Betchner measuring 105mm howitzers at the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 1943

#21 Lucille Mazurek, age 29, ex-housewife, husband going into the service, Milwaukee, February 1943

#22 View from living quarters at 730 West Winnebago Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 1936

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  1. the steeple from St. Patrick’s was removed because of structural damage. There’s an ongoing effort to raise 2 million for the necessary building repairs. I attended the Parochial school for St. Patrick’s while growing up, but unfortunately, it had to shut down due to low attendance after the last school year.

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