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

Cycling routes around the Twin Cities, 1899

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 9, 2018

This map was created by The St. Paul Cycle Path Association in 1899. Wouldn't be great fun to compare this map with our paths today?

See it in Collections Online.

Gypsy Trail Line Salt & Pepper Shakers

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 8, 2018

These salt and pepper shakers come from the second pattern of dinnerware introduced by Red Wing Potteries, produced from 1935 until the early 1940s. The pattern featured solid, bright colors in order to compete with what California potteries were doing at the time. 

See it in Collections Online.

Great Mill Disaster, 1878

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 7, 2018

This stereograph is of the Washburn A Mill ruins after the great mill disaster, Minneapolis 1878. The photographer is listed as Jacoby's Art Gallery.

See it in Collections Online.

8-track player

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 4, 2018

This Panasonic 8-track cartridge player was called the "Dynamite 8"; it was made circa 1975. To see a video about this classic number and to enter a contest, please check the MNHS Facebook page! 

See it in Collections Online.

Betty Crocker Easy Bake Oven

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 3, 2018
easy bake over photo

This 1969 Betty Crocker Easy-Bake oven came with its original box, three baking pans, cookie sheet, spatula, and knife. It was powered by two electric light bulbs enclosed in a blue plastic casing, resembling a range top and double oven. To see a video about this piece and to enter a contest, please check the MNHS Facebook page! 

See it in Collections Online.

Control Data 140 computer

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 2, 2018

This "Airborne & Space Vehicle Digital Computer" was manufactured by Control Data Corporation of Minneapolis in 1962. To see a video about this piece from the early computing era and to enter a contest, please check the MNHS Facebook page! 

See it in Collections Online.

Stylish Television

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 1, 2018

This is the 'Predicta' model of a Philco television set, created ca. 1958. To see a video about why this piece is so special and to enter a contest, please check the MNHS Facebook page! 

See it in Collections Online.

Hair dryer from Minneapolis beauty shop, 1950s - 1991

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 30, 2018

This hair dryer was used by Pauline Young & son John E. Young at the African American-owned & operated Satin Doll Beauty Shop in Minneapolis between 1950s-1991.To see a video about this piece, please check the MNHS Facebook page!

See it in Collections Online.

Metropolitan Stadium baseball base, 1981

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 27, 2018

Square white rubber base used at the Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota, where the Minnesota Twins played, 1980-81. The base was repainted after each game and was used during the last Twins game at the Metropolitan Stadium on September 30, 1981.

See it in Collections Online.

Police raid on an illegal still, 1925

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 26, 2018

On this date in 1924, a prohibition scandal took place in which two agents were arrested for stealing $100,000 in confiscated liquor that had been stored in a Minneapolis warehouse. Eventually, four agents are suspended and warrants are issued for seven others. This photo is from a police raid on an illegal still operation a year later in 1925.

See it in Collections Online.

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