Historic Des Moines, Images of Des Moines, 1904 -1914
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From the Real to the Ideal; Images of Des Moines in the Progressive Era

The images reproduced here are from three sources covering the years 1904 through 1915. These were broad-shouldered robust years of growth and optimism in the future of America, our heritage, and of how American cities would transform themselves from places of industry and commerce to centers of culture and refinement. They envisioned that these new cities would not only metamorphize themselves, but by their melodious beauty bring about civic-minded harmony among its citizens of all walks of life and every class.

Our earliest source for images is Huebinger’s 1904 Atlas of Iowa. Six pages of Des Moines views depicted a city proud of its real...

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