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Copper Bookends

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Copper Bookends

Copper bookends made by the Handicraft Guild of Minneapolis, MN. Circa 1905-1918.

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

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Spoon?

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Spoon?

A 1910 postcard stating the obvious, “It’s no crime to spoon in Minneapolis”. Happy Valentine’s Day!

For details, view this card in our collections database.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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Auto Race

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Auto Race

Today I present one of my favorite photographs in the collection, showing a racecar in action during the 1916 Minnesota State Fair. The distortion you see was caused by the focal-plane shutter not being fast enough to capture the fast-moving car. This type of distortion is most famously seen in Jacque Henri Lartigue’s photograph of a racecar in 1912. A detailed explanation about what caused the distortion can be found here.

For details, view this photograph in our collections database.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

A mother poses with her eight daughters in this photograph taken by John Runk circa 1911.

For details, view the photograph in our online collections database.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 12, 2013.

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U.S. Army Soldier’s housewife

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

U.S. Army soldier's housewife

United States Army soldier’s homemade sewing kit or “housewife” carried during World War I by James Martineau of the U.S. Army Medical Corps. The corduroy kit is lined in a polished cloth and fastens closed with a dark brown ribbon with a snap sewn to each end. It is folded three times and opens to reveal three inside pockets and a handmade image of the Sacred Heart. Some of the contents may have been added after the kit’s original period of use.

For details, view the housewife in our online collections database.

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Gas mask

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

World War I gas mask

U.S. Army issue, World War I-era gas mask and carrying bag.  Also included are a metal canister of anti-dimming compound with application instructions printed on the canister, a waxed paper envelope containing an instruction card, and a split ring and pin. Worn by Corporal Frederick A. Berlin of the 3rd Pioneers, Company F.

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Bread baked during World War I

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Bread baked during World War I

Slice of black bread baked in Germany between 1914 and 1918. Black bread, a coarse, dark rye bread, was commonly given by Germans to their prisoners of war.

For details, view the bread in our online collections database.

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U.S. Army officer’s folding bed

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

U.S. Army officer's folding bed

U.S. Army officer's folding bed (detail)

United States Army officer’s folding bed (A) contained in a rectangular wood crate (B) painted black with “U.S.A. PATENTED” stamped onto its hinged lid. The folding bed has an angled iron frame with folding legs and a sprung wire sleeping surface with a handwritten label reading “Folding Officer’s Field Bed 1916″. The bed was used by either Harry Olson (possibly in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or ROTC) or by Carl Tofte.

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Model T fire truck

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Model T fire truck

1919 Ford Model T fire truck used by the Minnesota Forest Service and restored in 1986. The truck has a double front seat concealing a wooden box.  The box features outward-angling sideboards; a hinged drop-end gate with side pins; and oversize rubber tires with wooden rims.  A metal tool box with 16 tools  attaches to the passenger side truck box.    A detachable wooden sign attached to the truck’s rear reads, “Minn[esota] Forest Service / 1919 – First Unit.”

For details, view the truck in our online collections database.

To view more historical firefighting objects, and to learn about the dedication of the Minnesota Fallen Firefighter Memorial on September 30, 2012, watch our podcast Firefighting in Minnesota: A Salute to the Fallen.

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Navy seaman’s trinket box

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Navy seaman's trinket box

Ditty box owned by United States Navy Seaman Edward R. Stensrud.  The wooden box, originally painted red, white and blue, is now yellowed from varnish.  The box fastens with an iron clasp and contains a removable tray.  It also contains souvenirs relating to Stensrud’s WWI service and subsequent life; see 1976.28.B – 1976.28.S.  One of Stenrud’s dogtags (1976.28.S) is attached to the front of the box.  The brass hinged lid and side of the box are carved and painted with details of Stensrud’s military service, including: “E.R. / STENSRUD SK-2C / EASTLEIGH, ENG. AVN. / WORLD WAR I / 1917-1918″, “U.S. NAVY”, and  ”E.R. STENSRUD / U.S. NAVY / APRIL 19,1917 / OCT. 21, 1919 / SK 2C”.  Railway tags have been pasted on each end of the box.  One reads “London and South Western Ry / TO / GOSPORT”.

For details and additional images, view the box in our online collections database.

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