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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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Nurses at the Front

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | September 2, 2018


Red Cross nurse Marion Backus sent this undated letter from France to her mother. She mentions that she has been "in on the three big drives so far this year" and that she thinks she will be on another in the future. Because of this, Backus writes about being kept busy with a high amount of patients. Based on her letters, she seems to be enjoying her work and the thrill of being close to the action.
 


Dear Mother,
I just got your last three letters today you forgot to put the number of the hospital on some of them so they took longer to come the latest was written Aug 21. […] I think I will be in Paris next week for a few days to get my winter clothes. I am still on night duty but like it as well as ever in the fact four weeks we have handled something 2,500 patients gas and surgical so have kept fairly buisy (sic) you see we have a personal of about 200 we have 470 beds of course a good many of them did not stay longer than one night and then were shipped on to the base. I think I have been real fortunate for I have been in on the three big drives so far this year and if there is another think I will be there. […] I am in what is called the war zone and we are not supposed to mention names of places up here.[…]
Lots of love to you and daddy
Marion

Citation: Marion Backus Papers. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. P1356
 
 

"The English Take Mount Kemmel; Peronne is Surrounded by Allies" and "The English Make Good Progress on the Entire Flanders Line" - The Daily People's Press. September 1, 1918

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | September 1, 2018

"Call for Liberty Meeting Urges National Equal Rights" and "Home Guards to Uniform" - The Twin City Star. August 31, 1918

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | August 31, 2018

Apples!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | August 31, 2018

This photo shows teachers posing with apples at the State Fair on Childrens and Teachers Recognition Day in 1953.

See it in Collections Online.

"Clemenceau Visits Yanks in Battle of Chateau Thierry" and "Two Colored Draftees Ordered to Report: More Go Next Week" - Bemidji Daily Pioneer. August 30, 1918

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | August 30, 2018

State Fair Horticultural Exhibit, 1925

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | August 30, 2018

This photo is of the State Fair Horticultural Exhibit in 1925. This doesn't look so very different from today, does it?

See it in Collections Online.

Prize-winning Watermelon, 1895

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | August 29, 2018

W.L. Carlyle and Roger S. Mackintosh enjoying the award-winning watermelon from the 1895 State Fair. They seem to take this watermelon eating very seriously.

See it in Collections Online.

Pure Food Lunch Room Advertisement, 1907

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | August 28, 2018

This 1907 advertisement promises "a good lunch and quick service" in the Pure Food Lunch Room.  The themes of the various Fair days on the back are interesting as well. 

See it in Collections Online.

Milk Stand, State Fair, 1924

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

This photo from 1924 shows people enjoying the milk stand at the State Fair. The fashion and idea of milk as food makes this photo especially fun! Welcome to Fair Food week!

See it in Collections Online.

President Roosevelt at the Fair, 1901 and 1908

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

President Roosevelt visited the State Fair multiple times, inlcluding his "Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick" speech of 1901 (the date of the horseback photo) and again in 1908 (date of the speech photo).

See them in Collections Online using the links above.

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