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Photos: Gallery | Colorado Springs Gazette, News

A Look Back

Images from Colorado Springs' past

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In 1944, Charles Swem Jr. of Colorado Springs is seated second from left on the deck of a troop transport ship in the South Pacific. Swem (1912-1986) served as a meteorologist in the Army Signal Corps in the India-Burma theater in World War II. RAY TURNER PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION, COURTESY OF PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT, 487-65

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A young George Birdsall (1876-1956) is pictured on a fishing excursion in 1904. Birdsall went on to be elected El Paso County sheriff, co-founder of an auto dealership, a Colorado Springs City Council member and eventually mayor. Because of his leadership on water resources and utilities expansion, the power plant operating today on North Nevada Avenue was named in his honor. MARGARETTA M. BOAS PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION, COURTESY OF PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT, 001-2305

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In 1914, three members of the Colorado Springs Police Department are shown; from left, John Rowan, Irvin B. Bruce and John Gast. “Dad” Bruce (1893-1960) began work with the CSPD in 1913 and was promoted to chief in 1941. During his career, he established a fingerprint unit at the CSPD and started the CSPD traffic bureau. IRVIN B. BRUCE COLLECTION, COURTESY OF PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT, 159-6131

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This undated photograph shows the home of Charles E. Emery (1899-1992), who was a noted local photographer in Colorado Springs. The house, at 1420 N. Nevada Ave. in Colorado Springs’ historic Old North End neighborhood, still is a residence, although the wraparound porch in the photo has been replaced with a smaller, front-facing porch. MARGARETTA M. BOAS PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION, COURTESY OF PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT, 001-9113

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In a 1922 photograph, Colorado Springs Police Chief Hugh D. Harper displays how to hold a Thompson submachine gun, or Tommy gun, while fellow Colorado Springs Police Department officer Irvin “Dad” Bruce looks on. The fully automatic Thompson had been invented only four years earlier, but it became famous during the Prohibition era. IRVIN B. BRUCE COLLECTION, COURTESY OF PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT, 159-6132

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Hugh D. Harper (1876-1944) was chief of police for Colorado Springs. He served from 1917 to 1941. According to a history of Prowers County, Harper helped solve one of the worst crimes in the history of the modern West. On May 23, 1928, a $238,000 holdup took place at the First National Bank of Lamar. Harper helped arrest three men in a 15-month manhunt, and they confessed to the crime. IRVIN B. BRUCE COLLECTION, COURTESY OF PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT, 159-6133

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In the year 1900, a woman poses on the trunk of a tree. The image is from the collection of James Olof Hermansen (1929-2008), a Colorado Springs firefighter and amateur historian who collected photographs of the Pikes Peak region. JAMES O. HERMANSEN PHOTOGRAPHIC COLLECTION, COURTESY OF PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT, 314-2360

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