Item of the Day

collections up close Blog

Collecting pieces of Minnesota's past for the future

About

The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.

See Collections Up Close Blog Archive

All MNHS Blogs

Subscribe by e-mail:

 Subscribe in a reader

Item of the Day

Evening dress, 1917

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | October 6, 2017
Evening dress

This is an embroidered net evening dress of ecru lace and black tulle. It is a Paris model dress that retailed at the Helen shop, Dayton's Department Store, Minneapolis, circa 1917. Helen's was a women's specialty shop within Dayton's run by dressmaker Helen Gjertsen.

Sigurd Olson's Canoe Paddle

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | October 5, 2017
Paddle

This canoe paddle belonged to Minnesota Nature writer Sigurd Olson. It is a long hardwood stern paddle and is made of single piece of wood; it dates between 1900 - 1978.

Hennepin Tunnel Collapse, 1869

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | October 4, 2017
Hennepin Tunnel Collapse

On this day in 1869, a tunnel being built under Hennepin Island to provide waterpower for additional mills gave way. The 2,000-foot collapse threatened to divert water from the main falls and cut the power source for mills along the river. Local citizens worked to plug the hole until the river freezes, and then a dam was built to allow for more permanent measures. The repair job would require ten years to complete. - From the Minnesota Book of Days

Photograph by William Henry Illingworth. See the photo in Collections Online.

Twins button made during the 1987 World Series

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | October 3, 2017
Twins World Series button 1987

Who remembers this excellent series? This button commemorates the World Series thirty years ago in 1987 when the Twins played the St. Louis Cardinals. The Twins won that World Series; hopefully they will win tonight and on to this year's series! 

This button was manufactured by WinCraft of Winona, Minnesota.

See it in Collections Online.

"Teutons Fight with Great Desperation to Stop Progress of the British Line; Sense Another Big Drive Toward Belgium" and "Another Attack Made on London" - Rochester Daily Post and Record. October 2, 1917

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | October 2, 2017

Marine and a black dog taking a break in the grass, Vietnam

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | October 2, 2017
Soldier and dog in Vietnam

This photograph is of a Marine and a black dog taking a break in the grass in Vietnam, ca. 1969 – 1970. It forms part of Gary Moss Vietnam War photograph collection.

See more of the Moss collection here.

Book are Weapons in the War of Ideas, World War II poster, 1942

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | September 29, 2017
WWII poster

Book are Weapons in the War of Ideas, World War II poster, 1942

This is one of our favorite World War II posters. While the image of book burning is horrifying, the text on the giant book by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the tag line "Books are Weapons in the War of Idea" make for an effective poster.

Bird's Eye View of St. Peter 1870

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | September 29, 2017
St. Peter Bird's Eye

Bird's eye view of the city of Saint Peter, Nicollet County, Minnesota, 1870.

Bird’s eyes were created as a point of town pride in this era, as well as being a promotional piece to attract more businesses. They are useful for town research in addition to being beautiful works of art.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this bird's eye in our collections database.

 

Cat Trophy

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | September 28, 2017
Cat trophy

But what is the internet without cats?

"Hall of Fame Inductee" trophy from the 2013 Walker Art Center Internet Cat Video Festival held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It consists of a silver colored wood cat on a black pedestal base.

This item is on display currently in the Recent Acquisitions show in the Library Lobby through November 11, 2017.

 

"Food for Freedom"

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | September 27, 2017
patch

"Food for Freedom" was a slogan used during World War II; this patch was owned by Howard Andrus, a Minneapolis food inspector for the Federal Department of Agriculture, circa 1940s.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Item of the Day