The World War II era will live on in global infamy. It is the largest conflict in human history to date, and it is important that we do not forget what happened during this moment in time. The war changed everything, and people everywhere felt its effects. Luckily, these images have survived the 70-some years since they were taken for us to appreciate their historic value.
1. Engineers Are Trained, 1939
To this day, Iowa State University is renowned for its engineering program. While the mighty war machine loomed in Europe, this photograph was taken of a student performing experiments in an engineering laboratory.
2. First Tractors Are Used, 1940s
During this time period, farmers began switching from animal labor to using gas powered tractors to perform agricultural tasks. Tractors like the one seen pictured here were the first to be used.
3. Nile Kinnick Wins Heisman Trophy, 1939
University of Iowa football star Nile Kinnick won the Heisman Trophy in 1939, and he turned the U of I football franchise around. He would later join the war effort as a pilot, but unfortunately in 1943 he crash landed in the Caribbean Sea, where he was reportedly killed in action.
4. The Last Steam Locomotive, 1944
Steam Locomotive No. 844 was the last of its kind to be made. After this, it was only diesel or electric locomotives made in the United States, and engines like the one pictured here were finally pulled out of service in the 1980s. Until then, this train and ones like it ran right through Iowa transporting people and resources.
5. Death of the Sullivan Brothers, 1942
Tragedy struck the town of Waterloo, Iowa when the USS Juneau was sunk at sea. Iowa-born brothers Joseph, Albert, George, Madison, and Francis Sullivan were all killed, and the military henceforth issued a rule that restricted brothers from serving in the same company together. They can be seen pictured here, unaware of the grizzly fate the future holds for them.
6. University Of Iowa
There were those who came to Iowa City to receive a higher education during the war. Here is a University of Iowa student taking a look through a sextant, a tool used for determining altitudes and distances relative to a particular object.
7. Abandoned Railway Sweeper, 1939
This photo was taken at an abandoned train station in Clinton, Iowa. The station closed down during the Great Depression, and modified trains such as this one were used to sweep debris off of railroads.
8. Ottumwa Bridge, 1942
This bridge was primarily constructed to help transport coal across Iowa. Also known as Jefferson Street Bridge, it has been well maintained and can be seen still today.
9. Iowa City, 1940
A year before the United States would enter the conflict in Europe and Japan, a photographer snapped this shot on a drizzly Main Street in Iowa City.
These were 9 moments immortalized in the film they were captured on. Nobody thought much of them in their passing, but we are able to look back decades and appreciate how meaningful they are. The present is only the future’s history, what pictures from our time will we honor 40 years from now?
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.