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

Ice Cream Freezer, 1930

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | July 17, 2018

This manually-operated ice cream freezer, consisting of a green wooden bucket with a galvanized steel insert for cream, is from 1930.
A crank handle turns an interior paddle.

See it in Collections Online.

Flower King, 1980

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | July 16, 2018

This print was made by Gary Egger for the Dayton's Bluff Print of the Month Club in 1980.  It is based on an historical photograph.

See it in Collections Online.

Aztecas Soccer Club, Minneapolis, 1972

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | July 13, 2018

In preparation for the finals of the World Cup this weekend, we share this photo of the Aztecas Soccer Club. It was taken at Bde Maka Ska, known at the time as Lake Calhoun, in 1972.

See it in Collections Online.

Potter's Tools, 1877 - 1967

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | July 12, 2018

These tools were used at Red Wing Potteries, Inc. as manufacturing equipment. The Pottery employees evidently were not required to use standardized tools for daily tasks as working the potter's wheel, crate packing, mixing and pouring glazes and clays into molds, and trimming clay. 

See these in Collections Online.

Washburn-Crosby flour advertisement card, ca. 1904

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

This paper advertisement from 1904 shows a miller moving a barrel of flour, a mill site, and flour containers. At one end is a coupon for a Gold Medal cookbook, which we likely have in the Library collection too.

See it in Collections Online.

Ralph Samuelson water skiing, 1925

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

This photo from 1925 is of Ralph Samuelson water skiing. He was known as the "father of water-skiing," which started with him on Lake Pepin in 1922.

See it in Collections Online.

Hmong story cloth, 1979

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | July 9, 2018

This is a piece of Hmong pa ndau (paj ntaub) textile art. It is a story cloth illustrating temples, animals, birds, people and spiritual figures. At the center are two temple representations with meditating monks. Within the border, figures include god of thunder, dragons, people on horseback and standing, bulls, trees, birds, and a boar.

Story cloths were made for sale by Hmong refugees in Thailand and were sold around the world. This one was made in Ban Vinai, Thailand and purchased in Saint Paul circa 1979.

See it in Collections Online.

Encampment on Fairy Lake, July, 1857

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | July 6, 2018

This color lithograph shows an exploring party in an encampment on Fairy Lake in July, 1857. It was made by Edwin Whitefield. 

A description of the scene: "Men are busy at an encampment on the bank of Fairy Lake. At left, standing in front of two tents situated between a grove of trees, a man is firing a gun. At center a man smoking a pipe watches another prepare food over a fire; a dog sits near them. At right, two men are rowing a boat on the lake. Tree-lined gently rolling hills make up the opposite bank of the lake."

See it in Collections Online.

A new map of part of the United States: exhibiting the North West, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois Territory ... London: J. Cary, 1819.

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | July 5, 2018

On this day in 1818, Congress extended the area of Michigan Territory, bringing present-day Minnesota under its domain. Things would remain thus until the creation of Wisconsin Territory in 1836. This map is from 1819.

See it in Collections Online.

Car decorated for 4th of July parade, 1913

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | July 4, 2018

This is a real photo postcard showing a car decorated for 4th of July parade in Kerkhoven, 1913. 

From left to right: Blanch Westerdahl, Blanch's father, Genevieve Negaard and John Rost; Merchant's Hotel at right

Not sure who the two costumed people are meant to represent: Lady Liberty and a good witch?

See it in Collections Online.

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