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Mendota South

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

A woodcut print on paper titled “Mendota South” made by Alexander Masley in 1935.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this print 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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Winter One Hundred Years Ago

Friday, December 5th, 2014


We’ve been asked by The Huffington Post to start blogging on their site. This provides an exciting national platform for Minnesota history!

To see more images like the one below check out our newest post, Winter One Hundred Years Ago 2014-15!

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St. Paul Street Scene

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

An oil on masonite painting of a St. Paul street scene made by Minnesota artist Arthur Allie in the 1930s.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this painting 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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View of a River

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

An untitled oil on canvas painting made by Minnesota artist Alice Hugy.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this painting 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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Minnesota Territorial Seal, 1849

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

This is the official iron stamp of the Minnesota territorial seal showing a farmer plowing, a tree stump and ax, and an American Indian on horseback with lance in hand riding toward a setting sun. The motto above the design reads “Quo sursum velo videre”; this is a misprint of the intended Latin phrase “Quae sursum volo videre” (“I wish to see what is beyond”). Encircling the seal is “THE GREAT SEAL OF MINNESOTA. 1849.” The manufacturer’s trademark “D. O. HARE.W.C.” is stamped on the face of the seal and also on the rim.

The seal design (adopted in 1849) was from a sketch by Col. J. J. Albert and redesigned by Capt. Seth Eastman, as seen in this watercolor by Eastman.

Two other designs were considered by a special legislative committee for a new Great Seal of Minnesota upon achieving statehood in 1858.  However, it fell to Governor Sibley to have the state seal engraved, and he decided to stick with the original territorial seal (for which he was largely responsible) with minor modifications. Sibley got rid of the misspelled Latin and added “L’etoile du Nord” (“The North Star”); the direction of the American Indian and Farmer are reversed on the state seal; and it reads “The Great Seal of the State of Minnesota, 1858.”

In 1981, the original engraved state seal from 1858 was part of a Minnesota Statehood display in the Minnesota State Capitol. When the exhibit was deinstalled in 1984, the original 1858 seal was misplaced. The Society continues its efforts to find the seal, in hopes of restoring it to its place alongside the engraved territorial seal in the MNHS Collection.

Come see the Minnesota Territorial Seal and much more in our new Library Lobby display Icons of Minnesota, on view during Library open hours now through August 30, 2014!

We are fortunate to have so many great objects telling the early history of Minnesota in the Collections. To learn more, visit:

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Fleck’s Beer Salt and Pepper Set

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Fleck's Beer Salt and Pepper Set

Fleck’s Beer salt and pepper shaker set. Two deep brown glass miniature beer bottles with crown-type metal caps. Each has a neck band that read reads “Felsenkeller / FLECK’S Brau” with a tiny insignia for “FLECKS BEER.” The larger label shows wooden kegs, a circular insignia for “FLECKS / BEER” and the text “STRONG BEER / BREWED & BOTTLED BY / Ernst Fleckenstein Brewing Co. / FARIBAULT, MINN.” circa 1930-50.

For details, view this set 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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“Descriptive Study/Greg” by Jerry Rudquist

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

“Descriptive Study/Greg” by Jerry Rudquist

Large oil on board painting made by Minnesota artist Jerry Rudquist in 1990.

For details, view this painting in our collections database.

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Bob Hope in Minnesota

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Bob Hope in Minnesota

Bob Hope and some fans in town for the 1949 Aquatennial.

Captured by a Minneapolis newspaper photographer on July 22, 1949.

For details, view this photograph in our collections database.

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“Steel and Stone” by Robert Edwards

Monday, June 24th, 2013

“Steel and Stone” by Robert EdwardsSteel and Stone by Robert Edwards

Gouache on board painting of the Chicago Great Western Railway Bridge and the Robert Street Bridge in downtown St. Paul, 1987.

For details, view this painting in our collections database.

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Gopher Ordnance Works Patch

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Gopher Ordnance Works patch
Patch from Gopher Ordnance Works, Rosemount, Minnesota. In use during WWII.

For details, view this patch in our collections database.

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