Item of the Day

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Collecting pieces of Minnesota's past for the future

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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.

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Item of the Day

Plains Moccasins

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 15, 2017

A pair of leather moccasins decorated with geometric beadwork. Made by Northern Plains Indians and dated to the early 20th century.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view these moccasins in our collections database.

Wiring a Bomber

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 12, 2017

This photograph shows a woman working on the wiring of a B-24 "Liberator" bomber in May, 1944.

This image forms part of our Minneapolis and St. Paul Newspaper Negative collection. Additional photographs in this series may be available in the library, please view the finding aid.

Tonka Tanker

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 11, 2017

This is a toy tanker with bright yellow steel cab with 'Tonka' decal on doors and a silver-colored plastic tanker with 'SHELL' [Shell Oil Company] & Shell logo on sides, in original cardboard packaging labeled 'Tonka/TANKER/...' model number 2635 made by Tonka Toys, Mound, Minnesota, 1978.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this toy in our collections database.

Railroad Rail and Spike

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 10, 2017

This segment of a railroad rail and an iron spike mounted to a wooden block is marked as being the first rail, St. Paul to Duluth, 1866-1942.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this rail and spike in our collections database.

“A” Mill Grain

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 9, 2017

A group of charred wheat grains collected after the explosion of the Washburn "A" Mill, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2, 1878.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this grain in our collections database.

ERA Scarf

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 8, 2017

A maroon and white silk scarf printed "ERA / ERA / ERA / ERA / ERA / JOAN" on one end with "ERA" repeated on the opposite end. The scarf demonstrates Joan Mondale's support for and involvement with efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. See references to this work in Joan Mondale's personal papers in the MNHS manuscripts collection.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this scarf in our collections database.

Roller Derby

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

A photograph of a Roller Derby race in progress on August 5, 1937.

This image forms part of our Minneapolis and St. Paul Newspaper Negative collection.

Additional photographs in this series may be available in the library, please view the finding aid.

Dakota Removal from Fort Snelling, 1863

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 4, 2017

In response to a federal law mandating that all Dakota be removed from the state as punishment for the U.S.-Dakota War, on this date in 1863 Dakota captives at Fort Snelling, mostly women and children, were loaded onto two steamboats to be transported to a reservation on Crow Creek in southeastern Dakota Territory. The total number of people removed was 1,310; many would die of disease and hunger soon after arriving at the reservation.

Water Skiing

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 3, 2017

This photograph is of a crowd at Lake City watching Ralph Samuelson water skiing behind a World War I era Curtis Flying Boat, 1925. Samuelson was known as the "father of water-skiing," which started with him on Lake Pepin in 1922.

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

DQ Sign

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

A promotional poster advertising "Dairy Queen Malts and Shakes". Manufactured by Dairy Queen National Development Company, 1959.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this sign in our collections database.

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