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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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Stereoview of Limestone Quarry

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | July 25, 2017
Stereoview of Limestone Quarry

A stereoview photograph of a limestone quarry somewhere outside Red Wing, Minnesota in the 1880s.

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

We have a new website for all our blogs, Item of the Day and podcasts. Please visit the new site!

"First Men Called to Serve in Army and Guard Units" and " German Air Fleet in New Raid Fails to Reach London" - The Daily People's Press. July 24, 1917.

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | July 24, 2017

Benjamin Harrison Pendant

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | July 24, 2017

This small shield-shaped mother of pearl pendant was used during the 1888 United States presidential campaign promoting Benjamin Harrison and Levi Morton.

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

We have a new website for all our blogs, Item of the Day and podcasts. Please visit!

German Women's Participation Inquiry - July 23, 1917

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | July 23, 2017


An anonymous inquirer wrote to the Minneapolis Red Cross Headquarters through the Friends of the People column of the Minneapolis Tribune, to ask whether women born in Germany or who are of German parentage but born in the United States can serve as an American Red Cross nurse in Europe. The Red Cross later responded that women born in Germany and first generation Americans of German parentage are not eligible for service in Europe through the Red Cross, but their service is more than welcome domestically.


 


St. Peter, Minn.
July, 23, 1917.
The Friend of the People Dept.
Minneapolis, Minn.
Gentlemen;
Can women born in Germany or women born in this country of German Parentage now living in the U.S. qualify and serve as American Red Cross Nurses in Europe?
Inquirer.

Citation: American Red Cross, Northern Division, records, 1915-1921. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. [P781]

German Air Attacks Continue near David Backus's Ambulance Division - July 22, 1917

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | July 22, 2017


After the receipt of their Fourragere of the Médaille Militaire, David Backus’s ambulance unit experienced another week of action near the Western Front. On July 22, 1917, Backus wrote of German airplane attacks, which could be heard several kilometers behind the front line. One Boche airplane flew directly overhead at ten in the morning, and it was shelled by nearby troops. Due to the recent increase in military action, Backus’s division would no longer conduct operations in the highly dangerous Rouge Maison sector, but Backus noted that the Vailly sector was still considered sufficiently safe. The next day, Backus and a few other drivers attended bomb practice, threw a few explosives, and took pictures. Soon, they would relieve a French ambulance section that had recently lost four men.

 


Sunday July 22-17
Out 9. Slept OK. Slept & read all day. Wrote a couple of letters. We are going back to same Vailly Sector. have ceased going to Rouge Mason - too dangerous. There was a Boche attack this a.m. could hear the big boys way back here - 15 kilometers behind the lines, also a Boche avion went over about ten which they shelled. [...]
 

Citation: David Backus Collection. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. [123.D.10.5B]

"First 6,000 Will Include First Army" and "First Quota will be Drafted from First 3,000 Numbers Drawn; Completed List of Beltrami Co.'s First Draft" - The Bemidji Daily Pioneer. July 21, 1917.

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | July 21, 2017

That isn't a dump truck!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | July 21, 2017
Lumber truck overloaded

This is a photograph of an overloaded lumber truck on an icy December 1941 day.

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.

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

"These girls could do this" - July 20, 1917

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | July 20, 2017


In her letter to Mrs. Lowry of the Minneapolis Chapter of the American Red Cross, Mrs. Corell of the Women's Club inquires if a group of Camp Fire Girls could hem towels as she "wants them to work at something." Mrs. Corell would also like to get a group of women to make sheets and pillowcases. She requests information about fabric and prices so that she can get her groups started.
Mrs. Lowry responds that she thinks it would be fine to have the girls hem towels and the women make pillowcases and sheets and includes the prices for the material and recommendations for where to look for the material. She also encourages the idea of the children who may not be able to help with the towels paint pictures for the soldiers in the hospitals.

 

Front of letter
Back of letter


Dear Mrs. Lowry-
I wish to get a small club of Camp Fire Girls at work for Red Cross. I was wondering if they could not hem towels. I want them to work at something they can do & have it accepted. Will you please tell me what the material costs per doz. towels & where it can be gotten. Some where I heard, maybe in your lecture in St. Paul, before Public Safety Com that funny sayings & pictures pasted on paper and sent in to hospitals for soldiers was requested. if this is true, will you tell me the size of sheets required for pasting the scraps on. These girls could do this, they are too young to attempt much. [...] A club of women here want to get at some of the work at once. What do you say to them beginning with sheets & pillow slips? [...]
Sincerely,
Mrs. F.C. Corell
Big Falls
Minn
 

Citation: American Red Cross, Northern Division, records, 1915-1921. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. [P781]

Hardware Store Set

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | July 20, 2017
Hardware store toy set

This is a “My Merry Hardware Store” toy set, made by the Merry Manufacturing Company of Cincinnati, Ohio in 1959.

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

"Germans Expect Peace Before U.S. can Strike Hard" and "British in Russia Assist Slavs in New Offensive" - The Daily People's Press. July 19, 1917.

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | July 19, 2017

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