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Wednesday, July 22, 2015 02:22 pm

Mobile homes, divorce and fancy fiddlin'

Highlights from the fifth-ever issue of Illinois Times

Housing is a big part of the human experience, but we rarely think about how much it affects our lives. A person's home says a lot about them, and mobile homes are no exception. The fifth-ever issue of Illinois Times on Oct. 16, 1975, explored the rise of the mobile home and its evolving place in society.

For someone born in the '80s (meaning myself), the mobile home has always been ubiquitous, but that hasn't always been the case. It began growing in popularity among new couples and the elderly in the '70s.

The article notes that the mobile home industry changed how they referred to their product as a marketing tactic to change the "gypsy" perception.

This photo depicts an almost idyllic lifestyle in the mobile home court.


Another story in the fifth issue stood out because it tackled the changing stigma surrounding divorce. 

What really struck me about the article is that the number of divorces per year doesn't seem to have increased since then. In fact, census data for Illinois shows the number of divorces was somewhere between about 35,000 and 37,000 in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available.

Also in the fifth issue was a history lesson on Lake Springfield. 

I just wrote about the plan to build a second lake, now commonly referred to as Hunter Lake. It's somewhat amusing to me that we're still talking about many of the same issues now, and not just regarding the lake.

Anyway, here's a neat picture, because people like neat pictures.


Most reporters have wrestled with this question at some point: "Should reporters vote?" Full disclosure:  I don't know the answer to that.

Here's a real throwback: in the '70s, the barcode was just beginning to become widespread. I can't imagine what a pain it was to remember every price on every product and type it into the cash register. We're pretty luck to live in the modern age.

 In the same vein, here's a piece on "videodisks," which seems laughably quaint in an era with thousands of videos available on demand with a few clicks of a mouse. 

Check out the slideshow below for larger versions of the photos and some extra tidbits. Prepare to chortle.


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