Home / Collections / Podcast & Blog » 2011 » February

Collections

Collections Up Close

Archive for February, 2011

Black satin shoes

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Black satin shoes

A pair of heels perfect for holiday parties. From the Society’s footwear collection, these black satin pumps are embellished with glimmering silver leather. Worn at the debut of the donor’s mother, Hazel Thompson Power, in St. Paul in 1911. The fan and evening coat worn with these shoes at the debut ball are also in the collection. Size 2 1/2 or 3. Circa 1911.

Bookmark and Share

“Make Money on Muskrats”

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Make Money on Muskrats

“Become a fur farmer without giving a minute of your time to the business,” states this broadside from National Forest Fur Farms Inc. of Deer River, Minnesota. Promoting stock in muskrat farming, this advertisement is likely from the 1920’s when “get rich quick” investments like this one were commonplace. F.W. Williams, the President and Managing Director of the company, owned a ranch near Cut Foot Sioux Lake that also dealt in elk, buffalo, deer, bear, fox, lynx, beaver, fisher, mink, skunk, marmot, monkeys, squirrels and mountain lions. A part of the lake known as “Williams Narrows” was named after him, along with the “Williams Narrows Lodge,” the road that leads to the lodge, and the self-proclaimed “Williams Strain” of extra large dark northern muskrats.

Bookmark and Share

Toaster Shaped Salt and Pepper shaker

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Toaster Shaped Salt and Pepper shaker

Salt and pepper shaker set modeled as electric toaster with bread slices, one yellow for salt and one brown for pepper. The handle on the side ejects the slices. Circa 1960-70.

Bookmark and Share

Valentine’s Day postcards

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Valentine's Day cardsValentine's Day cards

Above left: Yes Mam Hook, Line and Sinker I’m your valentine.
Above right: My Valentine: May Cupid as Motorman rightly guide And bring you quickly to my side.

See more examples of historic Valentine cards and send your own e-cards from the MNHS Collections.

Bookmark and Share

Smoothbore Percussion Pistol

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Smoothbore Percussion Pistol

Single shot smoothbore percussion pistol, circa 1858. In 1885, Grosvenor D. McCubrey of Moorhead, later a Minnesota senator and president of the Clay County Historical Society, took the pistol from a “tramp” (a traveling vagrant) on a Great Northern freight train between Barnesville and Sabin in Clay County, Minnesota.

Bookmark and Share

Moose Lake mass grave photo

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Moose Lake mass grave photo

In October 1918 vast fires devastated the Moose Lake and Cloquet area, with hundred of people burned to death. This photo of a mass grave near Moose Lake is from a collection of photographs of the Conservation Department/Forestry Division recently added to the State Archives of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Bookmark and Share

Carved canoe paddle

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Carved canoe paddle

The donor of this wooden canoe paddle stated that it was found near the current location of Stillwater, Minnesota  around 1840. The paddle contains a long slim tapering blade, a concave indention at the base of the grip, and elaborate carving on the remainder of the flat grip. The carved design include a cross, a shield under a diamond and scroll band, and diamond shapes filled in with cross-hatching. It is purported to be a Voyageur paddle.

Carved canoe paddle - detail

Close up of handle

Bookmark and Share

Guy Noir Bobblehead Doll

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Guy Noir Bobblehead Doll

Bobblehead in the likeness of Garrison Keillor dressed as private investigator Guy Noir, a character from Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” radio show.  Made by VisABILITY, circa 2000.

Bookmark and Share

There is no squeal

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Pig shaped cutting board

Laminated pine cutting board in shape of pig with advertisement for Red River California Pine from the South Side Lumber Co. of Minneapolis. Circa 1940.

Bookmark and Share

Minnesota Breweriana

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Minnesota has a long and proud history in the brewing industry. From the first breweries opened by early German immigrants to Surly Brewing’s latest concoction, the history of brewing in Minnesota is well represented by objects in the Minnesota Historical Society’s collections.  Brewing memorabilia, or “breweriana” as it is called by collectors, takes the form of many types of objects including advertising signs, beer bottles and can openers. Beginning in the 1950s, Minnesota brewers such a Hamm’s pioneered the use of breweriana to widely advertise their products.

The Theodore Hamm Brewing Company was founded in 1865 and emerged from prohibition as one of the top ten brewers in the U.S.  Hamm’s Beer items are among the most numerous in the Society’s collection, but this electric advertising sign is a real highlight.

Hamm's promo

The sign, from the early 1960s, makes the most of Hamm’s famous tag line, “From the Land of Sky Blue Waters,” by depicting a “North-Woods” style cabin with a night scene of a tree-lined lake that lights up from behind and shows twinkling stars, the Hamm’s logo and as seen above, four beer glasses flowing across the sky. (See video of the sign in action.)

Yoerg's BeerThe first commercial brewery in Minnesota was the Yoerg Brewing Company of St. Paul.  Anthony Yoerg moved to Minnesota from Germany in 1848 and quickly started a brewery.  The company survived prohibition by producing soft drinks, but it could not survive a devastating fire in 1958.

This early Yoerg Brewing Company can from the collection is called a “cone top.”  This style of can was invented, in three variations, by several companies to compete with the traditional flat top can and to allow brewers to use their normal bottle caps.Fleck's promos

Before reliable refrigeration, beer was made and consumed locally.  This was true in Minnesota where at one time there were over 200 breweries spread throughout nearly every county in the state.  These salt and pepper shakers were marketing items from the Fleckenstein (Fleck’s) Brewery of Faribault.

A recent casualty in the Minnesota brewing scene is the Gluek’s beer brand.  This recipe card box and set of recipe cards are promotional objects from Minneapolis based Gluek’s.  Made in the early 1960s, the cards feature many different ideas and recipes for cooking with beer, including desserts!  The Gluek Brewing Company and Brand, founded in 1857, was sold to Heileman Brewing of Wisconsin in 1964.  In 1997, Cold Spring Brewing, near St. Cloud, bought the brand, but in late 2010, they decided to retire the name, ending the nearly 150 year history of this Minnesota beer brand.

Gluek's promo

Summit EPASummit Brewing Company is one of Minnesota’s most successful breweries and now sells its beer all over the Upper Midwest.  Started in 1986 by Mark Stutrud, Summit is represented by a wide variety of objects in the collection including this early Extra Pale Ale tap handle given to the Society in 1988.

There are so many items in the collection that it was hard to choose only five, but these are representative examples of large/small, outstate/Twin Cities, and old/new Minnesota breweries.

Jason Onerheim, Collections Assistant

Learn More:

For more information on brewing in Minnesota, see Doug Hoverson’s fantastic book Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota available in the Minnesota History Center Museum Store.

A collection of historic photographs of Minnesota breweries can be found online on the Visual Resources Database.

Minnesota brewed

Bookmark and Share


An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs