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1850s top hat

Friday, May 31st, 2013

1850s top hat

Black silk top hat retailed by G. J. Laage in Quincy, Illinois and bought by Peter Rusche of Saint Paul, Minnesota, circa 1859.

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The Rendezvous of the Hunt

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

The Rendezvous of the Hunt

Oil on canvas painting made by Pinky Marcius-Simons between 1880 and 1889.

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

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Silver spoons and pouch

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Silver spoons and pouch

Five coin silver spoons and a carrying pouch used by the family of writer William Watts Folwell and engraved with the family’s name. Four of the spoons were made by M.C. Haight and the fifth by J. Hollister, all circa 1857.

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

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Willcox & Gibbs sewing machine

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Willcox & Gibbs sewing machine

Noiseless automatic sewing machine designed by by the Willcox & Gibbs Sewing Machine Company in London, England in 1871. The chain-stitch machine is mounted on a wooden table with an iron base, a foot treadle, and three drawers. Used by Frederick Spangenberg and family in St. Paul, Minnesota.

For details, view the sewing machine in our online collections database.

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Stereoscope

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Stereoscope

Wood and brass viewfinder, or stereoscope, patented in 1866 and manufactured during the 1880s. Stereoscopes combine the twin images of stereoptical slides within one plane of vision, producing a three-dimensional effect. The viewfinder was grasped at the bottom and a slide inserted into the slot at one end, as shown in the picture below.

Example of a stereoscopic slide:

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

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Mary Hill’s comb

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Mary Hill's comb

Sterling silver comb owned and used by Mary T. Hill, wife of the railroad magnate and businessman James J. Hill, between 1860 and 1880. The comb is engraved with her name.

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Child’s dress

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Child's dress

Child’s size 2 printed cotton dress with a star and dot print made and worn during the 1860s. The dress has a plain bodice with a square, wide neckline, ruffled cap sleeves and a back button closure. The full skirt is gathered at the waist and the bodice is lined in white cotton. This was the first short dress worn by Genevieve Ives Schwarg of Dodge Center, Minnesota, a teacher and librarian active in the women’s suffrage movement.

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

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Victorian valentine

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Victorian valentine

Chromolithographed paper valentine created between 1890 and 1900.

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

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Lace-making pillow

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Lace-making pillow

Bobbin lace-making pillow and wooden stand.  Used during the 1890s by an Austrian immigrant to the United States.

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Victorian coat

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Late Victorian coat

Coat owned and worn during the 1890s by Martha Aurelia Langdon Truesdale, daughter of Minnesota engineer Robert Bruce Langdon (1826-1895) and wife of Arizona Territory Supreme Court Justice Hiram C. Truesdale (1860-1897).  The silk winter coat is lined with angora wool and features a paisley-like motif popular during the Aesthetic Movement.

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