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Victorian pop-up Christmas card

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Victorian pop-up Christmas card

Three-dimensional Christmas card depicting a rigged sailing ship (the name on its hull reads, “FORTUNA”).  Two flaps (one resembling a dock) fold outward to form a base for the fully-extended ship and its three-dimensional deck and hull.  The words, “A Merry Christmas!” are printed on the dock flap.   Printed circa 1880.

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

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Ice skates

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Ice skates

Steel blade ice skates with wood soles, brass upper support plates, and leather strap uppers with black-painted steel buckles.  The buckles rely on tension to secure them rather than on a tongue or prong, so there are no holes in the leather straps.  These skates were for use with a separate pair of shoes or boots.  A steel spike inside each heel supports and stabilizes the heel in the skate.  Patented by Douglas Rogers & Company of Northwich, Connecticut on March 17, 1882.

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

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Charles E. Furness

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Charles E. Furness

Charles Eliot Furness and a companion pose for a tintype photograph in 1873.  Furness married Marion Ramsey, daughter of Minnesota governor Alexander Ramsey, in 1875.  He died on January 22, 1907 in Rochester, Minnesota.

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

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Calling cards case

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Calling cards case

Silver calling cards case engraved with the name “Nellie” (for Nellie Cardozo, the cards’ owner).  The case fits in a plush box made by the jeweler George Rochat of St. Paul, Minnesota circa 1865.

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Silk mantle

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Silk mantle (front) Silk mantle (side)

Mantle owned and used during the 1880s 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 mantle is of brown silk with tan and taupe palm leaf designs on velvet.  It is lined in blue silk and features bobbled epaulettes on each shoulder as well as embroidered, winged sleeves.  Bobbles attach to the bottoms of the sleeve wings.

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1850s ambrotype

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

1850s ambrotype

Original ambrotype, made in 1859, of Everett H. Bailey and his sister, Catherine Bailey. Everett Bailey served as president of the First National Bank of St. Paul during the early 1900s.

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

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Hairwork brooch

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Hairwork brooch

Brooch with tubular braided hair cinched at four equidistant points with tubular gold-alloy mountings that attach the braid to a gold frame.  Attached to the top of the mounting is a heart-shaped shield from which is suspended an ornament of braided hair in heart-shaped gold mounting.  A horizontal stick pin protrudes from the back.  Part of a set with 8030.3.2-3. Made from the donor’s and donor’s sister’s hair when they were young children.

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

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Tortoise shell fan

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Tortoise shell fan

Tortoise shell folding fan used by the family of James J. Hill circa 1900.  Its sticks are constructed of true tortoise shell carved with floral designs and appliqued with silver and gold floral foil patterns.  The leaf is made of printed paper which has been hand-colored and gilded.  On the recto are multiple 17th century figures arranged in a court scene, with insets providing detail; on the verso is a pastoral courting scene.

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Rat trap

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

1880s rat trap

Metal rat trap patented in 1883 and manufactured in France.   Also known as “Marty’s French Trap,” this model consists of two compartments:  an introductor (the space where the rat enters, indicated by a spiral wire) and a collector (an inner compartment whose sealed exit traps the rat).  The trap was used in private homes and regarded as the medium or family size.

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Penny-farthing bicycle

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Penny-farthing bicycle

Columbia Ordinary penny-farthing bicycle made by the Pope Manufacturing Company of Boston, Massachusetts in the 1880s.  The front tire is 52 1/2 inches in diameter; the rear tire is 18 inches in diameter. The bicycle has a black steel frame, a hand-operated spoon brake, rubber hand grips, a leather seat, and straight-spoke wheels. The pedals are adjustable and attach to the front wheel hub.

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

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