A new Ball State University Archives and Special Collections exhibit celebrates Muncie’s 150 year history through the scope of the Middletown studies that were conducted in the early twentieth century. From Magic City to Middletown: 150 Years of Muncie’s History runs from July 6, 2015 to September 30, 2015 on the second floor of Bracken Library.
Though the industrial revolution is an era consistently associated with the late eighteen and early nineteen century, it took time for its concepts to spread to smaller cities. For Muncie, this came in 1886 with the beginning of the Gas Boom era. Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture (1929) was a study that examined sociological changes in Muncie from 1890 to 1925. “Middletown” was the descriptive pseudonym given to Muncie, suggesting its selection was due to its “normalcy” as a typical small city representative of “contemporary American life.”
An exhibit of the collection entitled From Magic City to Middletown premiered on August 5, 2015 in Archives and Special Collections, Bracken Library Room 210. The exhibit runs through September 30, 2015. Photos below are from the exhibit opening.