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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.

All MNHS Blogs

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Can Opener

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

What surprising things can be found in collections...a wooden can opener? Sure!
This wooden can opener with a paddle end was used by the Green Giant Company and its predecessor, the Minnesota Valley Canning Company, in Le Sueur, Minnesota. 
It dates between 1903 - 1989, but was likely used on the earlier end of that timeframe.

Tax Day

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

Once again, it's Tax Day.
This photo shows Senator William L. Dietz working on a tax bill at the Minnesota State Capitol.  
It is from the St. Paul Daily News in 1937.
Find more photos in Collections Online on the subject of taxes and so much more! 
search.mnhs.org

Map of Minnesota, 1856

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

This rather truncated map of Minnesota was printed in 1856.
Its authors are C. Meyer and H. Von Minden.

"Titanium"

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 13, 2022

This painting, named "Titanium," is by Mary Jo Van Dell and was completed in 2008.
The oil on canvas depicts a flat, gray view of Lake Superior and is even more amazing in person. And it is now on view as part of the "Art Speaks" exhibit!
Learn more about the artist here: https://www.maryjovandell.com/

Dennis Banks and AIM

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 12, 2022

Today is the birthday of Dennis Banks, a co-founder of the American Indian Movement (AIM) which started in Minneapolis in 1968.
Learn more here: https://www.mnopedia.org/group/american-indian-movement-aim

1950s House

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 8, 2022

All this week we are celebrating the National Archives' release of the 1950 Federal Census by focusing on items from the 1950s in the MNHS collection!
This photo by Norton & Peel shows a new house built in Brooklyn Center, 1958.
Learn more about the census here: https://www.archives.gov/research/census/1950

1950s "Baby Day"

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 7, 2022

All this week we are celebrating the National Archives' release of the 1950 Federal Census by focusing on items from the 1950s in the MNHS collection!

This photo is labeled as "Baby Day," at Westminster Presbyterian Chinese Sunday School, Minneapolis, in 1950. It was taken by Bing Wong. 
To see a list of the names of people in the photo, visit:
http://collections.mnhs.org/cms/display?irn=10778557&return=brand%3Dmhs%26imagesonly%3Dyes%26q%3Dbaby%26yearrange%3D1950-1959
 

1950s Toy

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 6, 2022

All this week we are celebrating the National Archives' release of the 1950 Federal Census by focusing on items from the 1950s in the MNHS collection!
This pecking bird toy was purchased by Mark Stanley at the Little Sweden Resort in Cook, Minnesota between 1950 and 1959. 
The blue ball suspended from the bird's body can be used to move the bird's head up and down in imitation of a pecking motion.
Learn more about the census here: https://www.archives.gov/research/census/1950
 

1950s Car

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 5, 2022

All this week we are celebrating the National Archives' release of the 1950 Federal Census by focusing on items from the 1950s in the MNHS collection!

This photo shows Oscar Hagen, salesman for Investors Syndicate of America and Investors Mutual, standing by his automobile in 1952.

Learn more about the census here: https://www.archives.gov/research/census/1950

1950s Dress

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 4, 2022

All this week we are celebrating the National Archives' release of the 1950 Federal Census by focusing on items from the 1950s in the MNHS collection!
This red satin brocade evening dress was retailed by Harold, Inc. of Minneapolis and worn by Susan Okie, circa 1950s. The dress features a sweetheart neckline and cap sleeves.
Learn more about the census here: https://www.archives.gov/research/census/1950

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