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

Pinky's Spacesuit!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 15, 2018

Today's item is the space suit worn by astronaut George 'Pinky' Nelson between 1983 and 1988. Nelson, of Willmar, Minnesota, was a veteran of three space flights, serving aboard STS-41-C (Challenger), STS-61C (Columbia) and STS-26 (Discovery). He wore this suit aboard STS-26 Discovery in September 1988, which was the first mission flown after the Challenger disaster in January 1986.

See it along with photos from Pinky's journeys into space in Collections Online.

Gardening class at Pipestone, 1910

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

This photo is of a gardening class at Pipestone in 1910.

See it in Collections Online.

Mother and Child

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 11, 2018

Happy Mother's Day Weekend!
This sculpture was created between 1935 - 1942 by Ingrid Edwards as part of the Minnesota Art Project of the Works Progress Administration. It came to MNHS from the Ah-Gwah-Ching Archive. 

See it in Collections Online.

Fishing, 1905

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | May 10, 2018

In honor of the fishing opener this weekend, we present this action shot of a group fishing in 1905. Hope he got it! And good luck to all the fishers out there!

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.

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