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

Pond Skating Painting

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

This watercolor by Orabel Thortvedt is part of the series "11 Watercolors of Pioneer Life," done between 1910 - 1953. This painting features children skating on a frozen pond next to railroad tracks while a train goes by.

Wooden Sled, 1925

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

The sled has two sets of steel runners, two handrails, and a "steerable" front end. The manufacturer was Sherwood and they sold this model for $30.00 per dozen in 1916.

Hmong Christmas Story Cloth

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 25, 2018

This Hmong story cloth consists of images from the story of Jesus’ birth. It was made for sale by Hmong refugees in Ban Vinai, Thailand, circa 1991.

Family opening presents around tree, 1957

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 24, 2018

This photograph taken in 1957 shows a family opening presents around the Christmas tree.

Small Santa

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 21, 2018

This photograph is of school children dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus in Minneapolis, 1937.

Scotch Tape, 1960 - 1963

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 20, 2018

This green cellophane 'Scotch Gift Tape' with holly leaves on the dispenser was made by 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing) in St. Paul, between 1960-1963.

The Season's Greetings window card

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 19, 2018

This Season's Greetings window card was created by the Minnesota Milk Company. Sadly, it is undated. The Minnesota Milk Company started in 1913 and was bought by Old Home in 1956.

Poppin' Fresh Christmas placemat, 1998

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 18, 2018

This Poppin' Fresh Christmas placemat dates from 1998.

Holiday Bake Sale, 1959

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 17, 2018

Jacqueline Heinichs and Mrs. Joe LaVasseur are seen here making cookies for the St. Louis Home and School Association Christmas bake sale in 1959.

Wire wrap ball ornament

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 14, 2018

This is a Christmas tree ornament of painted blown glass covered in wire wrap, as was the style. The manufacturer is unknown, but it was created circa 1870-1939.

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