|JOHNSON COUNTY IAGenWeb Project|
By Bob Hibbs
Saturday April 10, 2004
$4.15 receipt issued in 1871 on a green cardstock form survives today in the
Hibbs collection of local historic ephemera.
It’s globally dirty with a nasty stain down one edge as shows at left above.
The digitally restored version at right was created by the author on a home computer.
April first 133 years ago Julia Greulich received a “Matriculation Ticket”
evidencing payment of $4.15 to St. Joseph’s School which existed along Iowa
Avenue downtown from 1865 through 1872.
receipt permitted her to continue at the parochial institution of higher
learning, or for graduation. It’s a green card about the size of a modern
credit card, acquired at a local shop some time ago for two bucks.
in nasty condition; printed askew, worn by grimy hands, its ink faded, dirty
and bearing what appears to be blackened syrup. The penmanship evidences
haste, perhaps as others waited in line to pay fees, yet exhibits the crisp
strokes of a quill dipped in ink.
scanning into a home computer, the image was straightened; then the wear,
greasy spots and dirt were painstakingly obliterated using an inexpensive
program called Adobe Photoshop, a remarkable tool originally developed to
create movie special effects.
stain is too deep to be removed, so the obscured material had to be
reestablished. First the Greulich name was confirmed as it easily could be
misread; then, school data was researched.
Mary’s Roman Catholic Church opened St. Joseph’s School in 1865, operating
it in an existing building along Iowa Avenue into 1872. Then, renamed St.
Joseph’s Institute, it was moved into an existing structure along the north
face of Jefferson Street a quarter-block east of Clinton.
enrollment peaked at nearly 300 students, it ultimately could not compete with
the local state-funded university as had been its intended purpose.
was closed in 1892 and St. Mary’s elementary was opened the next year in a
new building on the site.
“ink” notation in the lower left corner of the card remains a mystery;
perhaps a needed item; or, it might refer to a type of diploma the student
preferred, being ink on a form, rather than the added cost of printing the
the meaning of “catch” at the top center is unknown.
restoration, a new computer-generated card looks like it was carefully
preserved for all 133 years.
done entirely in cyber space; that is, by massaging electronic zeros and ones
(or digits, actually switches either on or off) existing within the
electromagnetic world of a computer hard drive. If that makes no sense, just
ask a youngster. They’re being raised to comprehend a world that didn’t
exist a few decades ago.
modern home computer has thousands of times more computing capability than was
available to astronauts traveling to the moon in 1969. And, today’s computer
is hooked by wires and satellites to myriad computers located on every
continent via linkage called “the internet,” which was developed initially
for use by the American military.
buying equipment for as little as $700 and renting server access for $10 to
$45 monthly depending on speed and time purchased, then sending and receiving
material anywhere in the world costs only one’s time.
note to a grandson in England carries no additional cost and is available to
his machine within seconds after sent from the comfort of an Iowa City home.
software coupled with fire-walls keep out intruders, although sometimes it
doesn’t work. A mail merge worm in the author’s programming recently was
discovered by a son who resides in Iowa City. He earned an information
management systems degree from Iowa State University in Ames.
another thing that didn’t exist just a few years ago; the degree in computer
wizardry, that is. Iowa State dates to the State Agricultural College and
Model Farm established in 1858, facts just retrieved from the ISU website on
the internet. Oh, my!
Next Saturday: Pushball at Iowa City Park.
Bob Hibbs collects local postcards and other historic ephemera and researches history related to them.