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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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"Shall I say it is wonderful? Yes!" - July 26, 1917

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | July 26, 2017


This letter of gratitude was sent from Curtis Sprogue to Mrs. Lowry of the Minneapolis Chapter of the American Red Cross. The Minneapolis Chapter had sent him socks and a vest, which he treasures, as a reminder of the work that women in the United States are doing to support soldiers, as well as the city of Minneapolis. "Shall I say it is wonderful? Yes!" He believed he spoke for many of the American soldiers in France who had received their gifts.

 

Letter to Mrs. Lowry
Letter to Mrs. Lowry
Letter to Mrs. Lowry


New York City.
July 25-17
Dear Mrs. Lowry-,
I wish most sincerely to thank you and your chapter for the vest and socks you sent me. This is the first opportunity I have had to express my appreciation of the wonderful work the women of this country are doing to ease the hardship and suffering of the soldiers at the front. Shall I say it is wonderful? Yes! But that does not half express it. You have risen nobly to the occasion and cheerfuly taken up your work, work which only woman with her sympathy and appreciation, or should I say understanding, can do. There is probably not a soldier at the front who has not some token to remind him that the women at home for whom he is fighting are also "doing their bit." I have mine and I know that on cold nights "Some where in France" that little vest will recall pleasant memory of Minneapolis and the thoughtful women who sent it to me.
Sincerely yours,
Curtiss W. Sprogue.

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

Gaytee Glass

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | July 26, 2017
Gaytee Stained Glass sample

A small rectangular polychromatic glass sample used by Gaytee Stained Glass Studios of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Probably from the 1960s.

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

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

Max Winkel's Draft Cards - July 25, 1917

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | July 25, 2017


As the Selective Service Act went into effect on May 18, 1917, young men between the ages of twenty-one and thirty were required to appear before their local draft boards to register. Max Winkel of St. Paul was only twenty years old when the Act was passed, but approximately one year later, he too registered for the draft. St. Paul’s Local Draft Board issued Winkel a registration card on June 5, 1918, and he was ordered to appear for a physical examination on the 24th of July. His “Notice to Appear for Physical Examination” warns him emphatically against dodging the draft, noting that failure to appear for his examination would be a misdemeanor, “punishable by not to exceed one year’s imprisonment” and potentially leading to “loss of valuable rights” and “immediate induction into military service.” At his examination, Max Winkel was found fit for military service, and he ultimately did serve overseas.

 

Draft card
Draft card
Draft card
Draft card

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.

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