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Archive for December, 2015

US Army Wings

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

United States Army aviator’s non-regulation “wings” badge (.1) in box (.2). The wings are hand-made of cast silver with a pin fastener on the back, which is stamped “STERLING / WING”. The box exterior is black leather, with black velvet interior. Worn by Major Harold Melville Clark of Saint Paul, Minnesota, for whom Clark Field in Luzon, Philippines is named. Circa 1918.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view these wings in our collections database.

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Prairie Coteau

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

A color photograph of prairie plants, one of six, made by Minnesota photographer Linda Gammell in 1998.

For more information on this item, view this photograph in our collections database.

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Headwaters Signpost

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

A monument formerly located in Itasca State Park, marking the origin of the Mississippi River at the outlet of Lake Itasca in Minnesota. The monument consists of a partial tree trunk with a flat rectangular surface cut out on one side. Carved into the flat surface, and painted brilliant orange yellow, is: “HERE 1475 FT / ABOVE / THE OCEAN / THE MIGHTY / MISSISSIPPI / BEGINS / TO FLOW / ON ITS / WINDING WAY / 2552 MILES / TO THE / GULF / OF MEXICO.” Circa 1975-1988.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this sign in our collections database.

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Sanborn Holster

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

Tooled leather open top revolver holster used by John B. Sanborn. Sanborn was a member of the Congressional-appointed Indian Peace Commission and served in both the Minnesota State House and the Senate. Probably from the 1870s.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this holster in our collections database.

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Christmas Party

Friday, December 25th, 2015

A photograph of the staff Christmas party at Duluth Brewing and Malting Company on December 20, 1947.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this photograph in our collections database.

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Tonka Truck

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

A toy truck manufactured by Tonka Toys of Mound, Minnesota during the 1950s. Pickup truck with a removable camper topper, known as the ‘Sportsman’ model.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this toy in our collections database.

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Robert St. Bridge

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

A watercolor on paper showing the Robert Street bridge and railroad tracks. Made by Minnesota artist Mike Lynch in 1984.

For more information on this item, view this painting in our collections database.

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Metrodome Home Plate

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

The last home plate used for baseball games at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota, before the stadium’s demolition. The plate was used during amateur and youth baseball games between 2010 and 2013. The professional baseball franchise, the Minnesota Twins, left the “Dome” for their new home at Target Field in 2010 and took their final home plate to the new ballpark.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this home plate in our collections database.

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Ojibwe Beaded Bag

Monday, December 21st, 2015

An Ojibwe beaded purse with floral design. Dated to the early 20th century.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this bag in our collections database.

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100th Anniversary of the Nonpartisan League!

Friday, December 18th, 2015

This year, 2015, is the centenary of the foundation of the Nonpartisan League (NPL). The NPL was founded in the American Midwest and arose out of the cooperative movement popular here. It was a farmer-based movement offering an alternate vision of capitalism, one in which the state would compete with the monopolies that were exploiting the small producers.

The NPL practically invented grass roots organizing, and would support candidates from either party who supported its platform (hence “nonpartisan”). The League advocated for economic reforms to help farmers who were being exploited by business interests, such as grain elevators, stockyards, and other middlemen. “We’ll stick” was the group’s rallying cry, as seen on the pennant below.

The NPL was in operation in 13 states as well as Canada, but it met with its greatest success in North Dakota and Minnesota. This is an image of Minnesota members in 1917.

Pamphlets and newspapers played a hugely important role in the development of the movement, leading to corresponding anti-NPL pamphlets. While not as immediate as our instant commentaries of today, these pamphlets were a quick way to make arguments heard. The rise of the NPL was also one of the earliest political movements to be heavily photographed; seen here are members with The Nonpartisan Leader.

World War I brought about suspicions of the potentially socialist nature of the NPL, which was followed by prosperity in the 1920s for farmers. These two occurrences took away much of the need for the NPL. It eventually developed into the Farmer-Labor party in Minnesota, which later merged with the Democrats. The Democratic Party in Minnesota is still known as the DFL.

Learn more at the Minnesota Historical Society Research Guides and MNopedia!

Come see NPL materials on display in the Library Lobby, on view until mid-January!

Lori Williamson, Acquisitions & Outreach Coordinator

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