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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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Ojibwe Bandolier Bag

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 17, 2017

An  Ojibwe black wool bandolier bag with loom-woven geometric beadwork panel sewn to the lower half of the front panel; the top half is black velvet with spot-stitched with a symmetric floral and leaf pattern of beads. Circa 1880.

See more bandolier bags in the new MNHS Press book by Marcia Anderson, A Bag Worth a Pony, coming out next month!

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

"U-Boat Fires on U.S. Destroyer" and "German Submarine 100 Miles off New York" - The Duluth Herald. April 17, 1917.

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | April 17, 2017

"Tired of Sitting Still"

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | April 16, 2017

Lucy Hallett, a junior in high school in Tracy, Minnesota, sent this letter to the Minneapolis branch of the Red Cross offering her services. As an eighteen-year-old, Hallett felt that she could not simply wait around for the raging war to end. She attained her parents’ consent and offered her transport to Minneapolis at the Red Cross’ convenience. This restlessness among young adults was not uncommon.

Tracy, Minn.
Apr. 16, '17.

Gentleman:
I am a girl, eighteen years of age and am in the Junior Class in High School. But I am tired of sitting still and letting some other girl take my place under, so I wish to enlist my services to aid Uncle Sam. I have my parents consent and can come to Minneapolis any time convenient.
Please answer by return and give me full particulars.
Yours respectfully
Lucy Hallett

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

Letter from the American Red Cross to Camp Fire Girls Representative

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | April 15, 2017


On April 13 this letter was sent by the Minneapolis branch of the American Red Cross to Miss Ruth Dale, the representative of a relatively new organization: the Camp Fire Girls. Founded in 1910, the Camp Fire Girls sought to serve and care for themselves, and their surroundings. Dale, who ran a group of Camp Fire Girls, ages 14-16, in Renville, Mesota, wrote a letter offering assistance to the Minneapolis branch of the American Red Cross. Instead of offering to send instructional pamphlets for making supplies, the Red Cross responded with a plea for two representatives of the Camp Fire Girls to attend a certificate program in bandage-making.

 


13 April 1917
Minneapolis, Minn.

Miss Ruth Dale,
Roseville, Minn.

My dear Miss Dale:
Thank you so much for your kind offer of assistance. We have no pamphlets or government bulletins for distribution, but we are instructing classes in teh art of bandage making, etc., at our headquarters in Minneapolis. This course consists of 8 lessons after which the pupil passes an examination and receives a certificate. These skilled workers are empowered to supervise work of others. I would suggest that you send one or two representatives of the Camp Fire girls to take this course.
In reply to your inquiry regarding materials, we prefer to have you raise the money for the same and let us buuy since we can purchase in larger quantities and to better advantage.
Yours very truly,
Secretary.

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

"Large Enrollment for Military Training Camp." and "An Appeal" - The Twin City Star. April 14, 1917

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | April 14, 2017

Skytop Lounge Car

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 14, 2017

A photograph of a couple looking at the new Milwaukee Rail Road "Skytop" lounge car in May, 1948.

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.

A Suggestion for How to Deal to German-Americans

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | April 13, 2017


For many German-Americans, the declaration of war with Germany was devastating news. Their German sympathy made many other Americans skeptical of German-American allegiance to the United States. One such skeptical individual was E.J. Lynch of the Treasury Department. In his letter to Senator Knute Nelson, Lynch explains that there are disloyal German-born Minnesotans that pose a threat to national security and morale. His suggestion for protection of the government is the confiscation of German-American property. He says the confiscation of land would be much more effective to “keep them in line,” and explains, “a great many of them would not particularly mind a jail sentence, but the loss of a house or farm would be an entirely different matter.”
 


Hon. Knute Nelson,
c/o United States Senate,
Washington, D.C.

My dear Senator,-
In these trying times, when the country is upon the brink of war with Germany, it is only natural that our German-American citizens should be distressed and grieved because of the fact that the United States has declared war upon the Fatherland. As a matter of fact, in some cases which have been brought to my attention, our German fellow-citizens are more than distressed and grieved. They are ugly and apparently not at all loyal to the country of their adoption.
As Congress is at this time enacting laws to protect the government from treason and sedition, I would suggest that one of the penalties imposed be confiscation of property. You are somewhat of a physiologist yourself and recognize the fact that the great majority of the German-American citizens are very thrifty. There is nothing that would tend to keep them in line to a greater extent than fear of losing their property. A great many of them would not particularly mind a jail sentence, but the loss of a house or farm would be an entierly different matter. I put this matter up to you for your consideration.
With best personal wishes, I am,
Very truly yours,
E.J. Lynch

 

Citiation: Knute Nelson Papers, 1861-1924.

Forest (noun)

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 13, 2017

An oil painting on curved and embossed board made by St. Paul artist Dan Bruggeman in 2001.

For more information about this item, please view this painting in our collections database.

Dr. and Mrs. Robbins Offer What They Have

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | April 12, 2017


Dr. and Mrs. Robbins of Minneapolis contacted the Minneapolis Branch of the American Red Cross offering to donate a work room between the hours of 1 and 5pm with electric sewing machines, tables, chairs, and other necessary supplies. The Robbins had already offered clinical and x-ray services to the Navy and Minnesota Infantry, and make it clear that they would happily provide any service that is needed and is in their power. The Red Cross responded in gratitude and appreciation that they will keep the offer in mind.

 


April 11, 1917
The Minneapolis Branch
The American Red Cross Society
Eighth Stree and Marquette Avenue
The City

To whom it may concern.
If it will be of service to the Minneapolis Branch it is my wish that acceptance be made of a work room equipped with two electric driven sewing machines, which Mrs. Robbins and I shall be glad to furnish, any make of machine together with work table, chairs, scissors and such other mechanical things as may be needed. [...] This is offered without cost to the Red Cross Society, providing the work be done between one o'clock and five. [...]
Very respectfully,
Mrs. & Dr. D.F. Robbins
Twenty Two Hundred Six
Hennepin Avenue
April the eleventh

 

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

Exhibition Pennant

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 12, 2017
Exhibition Pennant

A felt pennant from the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, a world's fair held in San Francisco, California, 1915. While this event was held to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914, it also highlighted San Francisco's recovery from the devastating earthquake of 1906, when approximately 3,000 people died and nearly 80% of the city was destroyed.

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

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