Old Omaha Photos

Vintage photos from the Omaha World-Herald archive. See more photos (old and new) at Omaha.com/viewfinder.


Back to
Old Omaha Photos

Old Omaha Photos

  • 411 Pins

Mrs. Bryce Miller purchases yellow oleo margarine in Hamburg, Iowa, in this World-Herald photo taken July 6, 1953. Newly passed legislation removed tax restrictions on oleo sold in Iowa and permitted stores to sell it with a yellow color. Before the law, grocers in Hamburg had to compete with Nebraska and Missouri stores, where customers could buy colored margarine. “I’ve always used oleo,” Miller said, “and now I think it’s wonderful that I can buy it — like I want it — right here in Hamburg.”

Pinned from
omaha.com

Smoke from dozens of stacks clouds downtown Omaha in this photo that ran in the February 16, 1967, edition of The World-Herald. It was shot Feb. 2 about 8 a.m. from the fifteenth floor of the Northern Natural Gas building, looking southeast. A photo caption at the time indicated that local officials were studying air pollution from industry, dumps and automobiles. THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

The arrival of the Peaches record “superstore” in Omaha, shown in this Aug. 20, 1979, photo, might have spelled doom for smaller stores. Instead, its presence seemed to be a shot in the arm for the local industry. “You can have one gas station on a corner and it does well, but if you have gas stations on all four corners, all of them do better,” said Bob Swan, chain buyer for electronics and records for Richman Gordman stores. Peaches opened May 25 of that year near 75th & Pacific Streets.

From the Archives: Peaches record 'superstore' opens in 1979

omaha.com

A story that ran in the April 11, 1982, edition of The World-Herald explored the trend of women taking apprenticeships in careers that were usually reserved for men. Equipment operator Sylvia Odvody was a mother of three who made quick work of learning how to operate bulldozers and payloaders. After all, the 39-year-old “was raised on a farm near Fremont and already knew how to drive a tractor.” THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: Apprentice mom makes quick work of learning how to operate bulldozers, payloaders

omaha.com

Folks loved their java jive in this Nov. 17, 1959, photo as a cold wave set a new low mark for the Omaha area. The mercury reached three above zero at 8:30 p.m. the night earlier, beating the previous record low for Nov. 16 of 5 above, set in 1955. The phrase “near zero” was used again and again as shoppers and others prepared to brave the cold. THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

Allen O’Donnell’s support of Sen. Ted Kennedy might have raised eyebrows in the months leading up to the 1980 presidential election. After all, the New York native who came to Nebraska about a decade earlier had previously encouraged residents to vote for incumbent Jimmy Carter. But the former national Democratic Party committeeman for Nebraska came to believe that Kennedy was the best fit for the White House. - Oct. 21, 1979. THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

Emmy Gifford and actresses Alison Teal, Ann Kennedy and Mary Campbell in costume for the Omaha Junior League’s production of “Grandmother’s Magic Clock” at the Joslyn Concert Hall. This photo of the performers ran April 18, 1954. Written by Omahan Val Teal, the play for youths delved into the city’s history through a family’s covered-wagon trip west. THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

Three local groups — the Omaha Women’s Club, and the North and South Side Women’s Clubs — bought this renovated bus to help take area youths from city parks to a day camp at Hummel Park. In this photo that ran May 22, 1951, shop foreman Ray Lee puts finishing touches on the exterior of the bus, which was designed to hold up to 50 children. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: Omaha women's clubs buy bus to get kids to day camp

omaha.com

On April 17, 1961, the elder citizens (issei) of the Japanese-American community were honored by their children (nisei) at a banquet at the A-Ri-Rang Club. Here, honored guest Joe Okuda, 67, dines with 3-year-old Pamela and 4-year-old Terry, the children of Harry Watanabe, another of the honored guests. Said Robert Nakadoi, chairman of the Omaha chapter of the Japanese-American Citizens League: “We do not forget their effort or what they have done.” THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: Japanese-American elders honored during 1961 banquet

omaha.com

The Omaha Benson bench explodes on March 7, 1957, when a victory over Fremont in the North Omaha Class AA Regional Basketball Tournament was cemented. The Bunnies, who had won two of 16 games going into the matchup, won 53-40 over Fremont, which was No. 1 in the state. “Benson’s crafty coach” Scotty Orcutt is at right. THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

They were the Races of the Century! On June 25, 1954, kids between 3½ and 6 years old raced their pedal cars and tricycles down Douglas between 15th and 16th Streets. Officials started the races with green and checkered flags and judged the finishes, and a loud speaker played sounds from the Indianapolis Speedway. But the kids provided all the entertainment. THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

In June 1982, the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium donated most of its collection of mounted animal heads, horns and a few entire animal specimens to the University of Nebraska for display at the State Museum. The collection’s 102 pieces ranged in age from 30 to nearly 100 years old, and represented animals from all over the world. Said zoo Director Lee Simmons: “A zoo is not really the place for dead specimens.” Here, 4-year-old Karan Szatko of Ralston eyes the polar bear. THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

This road resurfacing crew found an oasis on Sept. 8, 1959, when three young girls began giving away coffee and soft drinks. Cynthia, 8, Kathleen Tollander, 7, and Linda Spain, 8, set up shop on the 6100 block of North 24th Street. Among their customers: Russ Fisher, left, laydown foreman, and Paul Craig, city inspector. “This type of thing doesn’t happen often,” Craig said, “but it certainly makes you feel good, and it’s appreciated.” THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

In this November 1989 photo, a workman, using hay bales as a ladder, cuts holes in the loft of the red barn at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. This was to allow the pigeons to come and go as they pleased during the winter months. THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

Barbara (Bobbi) Ohlhoff, a 24-year-old nurse from New York, gets a boost onto a horse from an 8-year-old cowboy, David. Bobbi and her sister, Anita, were venturing across the country to San Francisco in March 1963. While in Nebraska, they stopped at Y Lazy Y Ranch in Box Elder Canyon, where the pair saw their first cows, steers and calves. “This has just been perfect,” Bobbi said. “We just can’t get over how friendly and concerned everybody is in Nebraska to perfect strangers.” THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

Six-year-old Dee Dee Odorisio got a unique view of the March 7, 1970, partial solar eclipse by watching through a neighbor’s welding mask. The eclipse started around 11 a.m. and ended about 1:23 p.m., and its most noticeable meteorological effect was a dip in solar radiation. THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

Elsa Lundgren, a librarian at the Council Bluffs Public Library. An Oct. 19, 1954, story talks about the thousands of questions that pour into the library each year and the pace Lundgren must keep to find the books to answer them. Among the inquiries: How do you cook a raccoon? How do you cut down an upright piano? Where do holes in cheese come from? THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

Bill O’Hearn, a former Omaha swimming instructor, and several of his old students at a 10-year reunion of the Peony Park Swim Club, then known as the Fehrs Swim Club. About a dozen former star pupils on July 3, 1960, met O’Hearn, who had since moved to Houston, where he sold swimming pools and continued coaching swimming. Among those attending was Judy Macy Bendorf, who finished fifth in the 1957 world amateur standings for the 100-yard butterfly. THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

As part of the World’s Fair of Aviation, held in 1946 at Offutt Air Force Base, a 1912 airplane and a 1912 automobile offered a stark contrast with the “sleek, 600-mile-per-hour aircraft” on display at the fair. When the two 1912 models raced, the 60-mile-per-hour plane easily won. It was flown by Billy Parker, head of the Phillips Petroleum aviation department. This photo ran July 20, 1946. THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

Presidential hopeful George McGovern has young supporter in Omaha

Pinned from
omaha.com

This photo, published in the Omaha Bee News, shows the crowded streets of downtown Omaha in the early 1900s. THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

Maxine Stone, orchestra director for Beatrice Public Schools, was in an April 27, 1971, article called a triple threat: musician, psychologist and salesman. And she used all three to grow the Beatrice stringed instrumental music program from 20 students when she first started to 160. At the fifth annual “Orchestra Showcase — ’71,” held at Omaha’s City Auditorium, she was going to present three orchestras. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: Orchestra director kick-started Beatrice schools program

omaha.com

Fred L’arge, maitre d’ in the Red Lion dining room, prepares a flambé, a specialty of the restaurant. This Aug. 17, 1980, photo ran with a World-Herald story about the Red Lion Inn taking over the Hilton Hotel. Red Lion was put to the test early, hosting a national convention of 3,500 people within the first eight days of taking over. THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

No, the “Home Wanted” sign doesn’t apply to 5-year-old Bobby Manzer, but rather to the pup beside him. The young Omaha boy and his brother, Ralph, 8, visited the dog pound to “cheer up the homeless fellows there,” said the original caption. According to the Feb. 8, 1942, newspaper, a citywide canvass had begun a week earlier to sell tags for all the dogs in Omaha in an effort to reduce the number ending up at the pound. THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com

Michelle Zuerlein, 7, is the first in line to meet Peony the skunk, the newly unveiled mascot of the park at 78th and Cass Streets. According to The World-Herald story on March 18, 1974, park officials were looking for a symbol “a la Mickey Mouse for the Disneys.” The trademarked skunk costume was purchased for $1,100, and it was air conditioned using a portable unit that was developed for astronauts. Peony the skunk was to roam the park that summer spreading cheer. THE WORLD-HERALD

Pinned from
omaha.com