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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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Happy President's Day!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | February 21, 2022

While Minnesota has not (yet) given the country a President, we can still celebrate with one of our Vice President's along with a former President!
This photo is of Walter Mondale speaking to Gerald Ford on the day of Mondale's inauguration as Vice President, 1977.

Black History Month - Oscar Howard

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | February 18, 2022

Images:

Spice packet, Oscar Howard Frozen Foods, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota. Circa 1980


Meals On Wheels packaging machine
Invented by Oscar Howard
1960
Food sealer/packaging machine invented by donor to seal individual servings delivered by Meals on Wheels program, Minneapolis, Minnesota, during the late 20th century. Machine consists of a rectangular steel base with a vertical lever-operated mechanism to place and seal a clear plastic lid onto a rectangular aluminum dish.

 

This year’s Item of the Day theme for Black History Month celebrates food and food-related inventions.

Oscar Howard’s story is an inspiring one.  He gained experience feeding large groups of people through service in World War II and the Korean War. Despite facing discrimination both as a chef and buisnessman, he started a catering business out of the back of his car, which grew into a successful industrial catering business. 

Howard was always committed to the community. He used his catering knowledge to start the first Meals on Wheels program to feed the elderly and those in need, which became the national model. He also invented (and patented) the packing equipment and warming cabinets used to deliver those meals. In retirement, he continued to serve the community with seats on multiple boards; working with youth; and supporting minority entrepreneurs. 

MNHS is proud to house his manuscript collection as well as examples of his catering work.
Learn More: 
MNopedia:
https://www.mnopedia.org/person/howard-oscar-c-1914-2003

Oscar Howard Papers:
https://mnpals-mhs.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/fulldisplay?context=L&vid=01MNPALS_MHS:MHS&search_scope=MyInstitution&tab=LibraryCatalog&docid=alma990017148630104294

Jesse Diggins, Once and Current Olympian

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | February 17, 2022

With the Olympics coming to an end this weekend, we wanted to share this exciting new addition to our collection!
These three pieces of clothing were worn by Jessie Diggins, the great cross-country skier, at the 2018 Olympics. This includes a tshirt, headband, and jacket
The jacket is the very one she was wearing when she received her gold medal! 

Moorhead 1882

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | February 16, 2022

This is a bird's eye view of Moorhead, Minnesota in 1882. 
Many bird’s eye view of cities were created around this time period to show civic pride and encourage business and people to settle there.

1950s Day Dress

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | February 15, 2022

This is a ladies' blue cotton "Claire McCardell" street length dress. The bias cut dress fastens down the front with brass hooks and eyes; it is tapered at the top, flowing out to a full skirt.
It was purchased at Dayton's for $50.00 in 1955; that's about $520 in today's dollars!

Happy Valentine's Day!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | February 14, 2022

While Valentine’s Day is and should be a celebration of all forms of love, we could not resist this hilarious photo.
It shows a couple kissing while hooked up to a "Love Meter."

It appeared in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune in 1938, and forms part of Minneapolis and St. Paul Newspaper Negative Collection.

Anthony Brutus Cassius

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | February 11, 2022

This year’s Item of the Day theme for Black History Month celebrates food and food-related inventions.

Anthony Brutus Cassius was a labor activist who fought racially restrictive bank loans and politics to open his own restaurant: The Cassius Bar in downtown Minneapolis. He was the first Black person to get a liquor license in Minnesota. While a restaurant isn’t an invention in the same way as a refrigerated truck, it was an innovation.  Cassius created his place as a gathering spot for the Twin Cities Black community to eat, drink, organize, and connect. The Cassius Bar was that and more for the 47 years he operated it.

This panel painting is titled "Jackie Robinson -- A Historic Steal 1955 World Series." It hung in the Cassius Bar in Minneapolis in the 1960s and 70s.

Learn more about the extraordinary Anthony Brutus Cassius in the resources below.

MN History article: http://collections.mnhs.org/MNHistoryMagazine/articles/57/v57i08p418-434.pdf

Minneculture: https://www.mprnews.org/episode/2021/09/06/minneculture-the-godfather-of-black-space-in-minneapolis

Oral Histories: 

http://collections.mnhs.org/cms/display?irn=10362585&return=brand%3Dcms%26q%3DAnthony%2520Brutus%2520Cassius

 

http://collections.mnhs.org/cms/display?irn=10319504

 

Anthony Brutus Cassius

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | February 11, 2022

This year’s Item of the Day theme for Black History Month celebrates food and food-related inventions.

Anthony Brutus Cassius was a labor activist who fought racially restrictive bank loans and politics to open his own restaurant: The Cassius Bar in downtown Minneapolis. He was the first Black person to get a liquor license in Minnesota. While a restaurant isn’t an invention in the same way as a refrigerated truck, it was an innovation.  Cassius created his place as a gathering spot for the Twin Cities Black community to eat, drink, organize, and connect. The Cassius Bar was that and more for the 47 years he operated it.

This panel painting is titled "Jackie Robinson -- A Historic Steal 1955 World Series." It hung in the Cassius Bar in Minneapolis in the 1960s and 70s.

Learn more about the extraordinary Anthony Brutus Cassius in the resources below.

MN History article: http://collections.mnhs.org/MNHistoryMagazine/articles/57/v57i08p418-434.pdf

Minneculture: https://www.mprnews.org/episode/2021/09/06/minneculture-the-godfather-of-black-space-in-minneapolis

Oral Histories: 

http://collections.mnhs.org/cms/display?irn=10362585&return=brand%3Dcms%26q%3DAnthony%2520Brutus%2520Cassius

 

http://collections.mnhs.org/cms/display?irn=10319504

 

Italian Landscape

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | February 10, 2022

This is a lithograph, called "Italian Landscape," of a blurred landscape showing shrubs and fields in the foreground with trees and cloudy skies in the background. 
It was created by Adolph Dehn in 1965.

Curling

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | February 9, 2022

Just a reminder: we knew Curling before it was cool. 
This is a photo of a curling club in 1925 from the Minneapolis Journal.

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