This project was originally product of a larger project. As an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, I received a grant to work on The Encyclopedia of Milwaukee under one of my mentors, Amanda Seligman. The Encyclopedia of Milwaukee (EMKE), is an ongoing project scheduled for publication in print by Northern Illinois University Press and online through UWM in 2017. The audience for the project will include schoolchildren, scholars, the general public, genealogists, journalists, business, and government researchers. The project consists of A-Z entries about historical topics in the Milwaukee area, digitized primary sources, illustrations, maps, and public discussion forums.
Working with EMKE allowed me to grow as a historian and researcher. During my two years at EMKE, I focused on image research, primarily postcards and urban photography. While working with a local postcard collector doing image collection, she took time to share some of her own local history discoveries. One of which was of the Milwaukee Infant’s Fresh Air Pavilion. Not much was known of the pavilion outside of a few photos she had found in the Lake Park Archives in the Milwaukee Public Library Archives. Other than the label on the picture labeling the building as Babies Pavilion. The approximate location was easy to figure out thanks to the unique look of the North Point Water Tower on Milwaukee’s East Side, but other than these obvious clues , there was no indication as to the exact purpose the building and the suspended cribs . The project took on the title "Baby Hammocks."
A special feature of the Encyclopedia is the “Underbook,” which will include “Understories,” accounts written by researchers to share their experiences with readers and therefore teach the audience about how historical scholarship is produced.Stories that would normally be omitted, will have a chance to be explored in this feature. The Milwaukee Infant’s Fresh Air Pavilion will be come an Understory about not only the experience of research, but part of the forgotten history of children’s health at the turn of the century.
The purpose of this site is to learn more about research techniques used to find lost history, while learning a bit about Milwaukee, Tuberculosis, and the evolution of medicine in the process.
To view some of the postcards from my research, click the thumbnails to the right.
All postcard images are courtesy of a private collector.