Last week, the University of Wisconsin Digital Library posted the content of all the state\’s Blue Books, dating back to 1853.  As you may know, the Blue Book is the official Wisconsin Almanac of all things political, industrial, agricultural, and social.  Needless to say, they are a gold mine of information about our history.

Most noticably, Blue Books carry really interesting historical information about Wisconsin\’s elected officials.  Naturally, photos are included.  Here are some photos from some notable and some not-so notable of Wisconsin\’s past representatives:

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In Wisconsin government, the early \’90s will best be known for school finance reform and horrific legislative hair – as evidenced by two neighboring Assembly representatives who went on to serve as Attorney General and Senate Majority leader, respectively:

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The 1944-50 period saw the introduction to the Legislature of two future heavyweights in Wisconsin politics, Warren Knowles and Gaylord Nelson:

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That time period also saw the introduction of a future Wisconsin Governor and a mother of a future Wisconsin Governor, who also happened to be the wife of a gubernatorial candidate. Patrick Lucey and Ruth Bachhuber Doyle represented adjacent Assembly districts in 1950:

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\”The Freshman Assembly Class of 1956 would like to welcome Fred Risser, who surely is well on his way to bigger and better things in the near future.\”

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Other photos of note:

Clement Zablocki isn\’t voting for your damn bill, and there\’s nothing you can say about it, hippie.

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In 1944, Senator Taylor Brown perfected the \”Gumby\” style of hairdo, which would be passed down to his namesake Bobby Brown in 1989:

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Progressive Representative William Foley wasn\’t afraid to represent how they rolled in Superior in 1944:

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In 1944, the Legislature was primarily a club for white men, as they had not started electing those pesky women and minorities.  One notable exception was Margaret Varda from Iron County – it appears in this series of photos that her two neighboring Assemblymen are actually looking at her and expressing their disdain.  Almost a \”who brought the woman to our poker game?\” type of look:

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All these photos and other tidbits can be found at the Blue Book archive list.  It\’s worth your time.

One thought on “Fun With Blue Books

  1. You offer Lautenschlager and Panzer as examples of bad hair, just beneath Thompson and Feingold? You might be wise in many ways, but as a judge of bad hair you are an utter failure.

    Thompson: The hair. The mustache. The sideburns. The eyebrows. Chin stubble. Totally Geico. Living proof that for some people power is the only aphrodesiac.

    Feingold: Then, a ‘do like that without bling got you nowhere. Now, bling only makes it worse.

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