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Published: Friday, 11/18/2005

Book tells Toledo's history in photos

Even the cover of a new pictorial history of Toledo evokes a story.

The photo shows pedestrians crowding sidewalks and hurrying across Adams and St. Clair streets, and it shows downtown when it was a retail merchandising hub, said local historian Fred Folger on The Editors television program.

Motor vehicles and the pedestrians were directed by whistle-blowing traffic police officers, and "the sound of his whistle was quite a typical thing of being downtown in those days," Mr. Folger said.

Landmarks in the street scene are familiar, as are many in the photos of Toledo, Our Life, Our Times, Our Town, a book just published by The Blade.

But particulars are new because the 300 photos of Toledo people and scenes from the 1800s through 1950 were privately donated, stored in personal collections for decades.

"The thing that makes this book unique and exciting is that [the photos have] never been seen before by the public," said John Husman, a manager of human resources at The Blade who is the book's editor. "So it's brand new historical documentation of what was going on in Toledo."

Some of the donors knew their photos' stories - although some facts got jumbled through years of family retelling, researchers found. Others were donated with the background unknown by family members. One such photo showed a scene outside a saloon that, researchers discovered, was in Luckey, Ohio.

Mr. Husman saw photos depicting landmarks now gone, although he was most impressed by all that remains.

"We need to treasure those [landmarks] and take care of those, and this book goes to that purpose," he said.

Mr. Husman and Mr. Folger were questioned by Marilou Johanek of The Blade editorial board.

The Editors will be broadcast at 9 tonight on WGTE-TV, Channel 30, and at 12:30 p.m. Sunday on WBGU-TV, Channel 27.

Mr. Husman also spoke last night at the official unveiling of the book at the Main Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, along with Joe Zerbey, vice president and general manager of The Blade, and James Marshall, manager of the library's local history and genealogy department.



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