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Ojibwe jingle dress

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Ojibwe jingle dressOjibwe jingle dress detail

Sleeveless velvet jingle dress made by Mary Bigwind of the White Earth Indian Reservation in northwestern Minnesota for her granddaughter, Madeline Boswell. Boswell wore the dress while dancing at pow-wows when she was a teenager in the mid-1930s. The dress is decorated at the neckline, waistline, and double hem with jingle cones made from tin snuff cans; beads; and satin ribbons trimmed with sequins.

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

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Debutante’s coat

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Debutante's coat

Coat of beige velvet and gold lame beaded with rhinestones and cut crystals and featuring a fur collar and cuffs. The coat was made by dressmaker Julia Tomasek of St. Paul, Minnesota and worn by Hazel Thompson, a St. Paul debutante, between 1905 and 1909.

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

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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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Wedding gown

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Wedding gown

Gown worn by Martha Victoria Emery (1843-1907) at her wedding to Hiram F. Emery of Pine Island, Minnesota in 1861.  The fully-lined, one-piece gown of brocaded silk has a high, close neckline and a fitted bodice. The set-in sleeves have a dropped shoulder and a full fan shape. The front of the sleeves feature pannier-type embellishments. The lower portions of the sleeves are ruffled, edged in pink and lined with white silk.

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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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Lace shawl

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Lace shawl

Triangular, machine-run black lace shawl with hand-run outlines made by Mrs. Gernet C. Dodge circa 1865.

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Charlotte Hill’s wedding gown

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Charlotte Hill's wedding gown

Two-piece satin wedding gown worn by Charlotte Hill, a daughter of railroad magnate James J. Hill, at her wedding to George T. Slade on October 9, 1901.  The gown’s top has a high lace neckline banded in satin and a pleated tulle bodice insert.  The fitted and boned bodice is lined in silk taffeta and has small lapels and back hooks.  The modified leg of mutton sleeves have wing cuffs with chiffon undersleeves.  A wide tucked band buttons at the elbow to form sleeve accents.   The skirt’s train is three and a half feet long, and a wide silk tulle ruffle trims the hem.  The entire gown is lined in silk taffeta.

For details, view the gown’s skirt and top in our online collections database.

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1850s bonnet exhibited at Minnesota State Fair

Friday, August 31st, 2012

1850s bonnet exhibited at the 1955 Minnesota State Fair

Today’s post concludes our series highlighting State Fair-related artifacts (although the Fair runs through Labor Day, September 3).  If you missed a post, you can browse our archive of the series, which showcased a painting, a pig, a trophy awarded to a team of horses, a 1965 postcard, a milk pail and a 1918 bread-baking demonstration.

Winter bonnet made by Lucretia Brush Pomroy circa 1858 and exhibited by Pomroy’s granddaughter, Alice Pomroy, at the 1955 Minnesota State Fair.  The channel-quilted  bonnet is of black and purple checked silk with quilted curtain and damask silk ribbon ties.

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

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Woman’s suit

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Woman's suit

Woman’s suit in a style made popular by Jackie Kennedy in the early 1960s and worn by a woman from White Bear Lake, Minnesota. The collarless, semi-fitted jacket has short, set-in sleeves, and ends just above the hips. The fitted skirt has an attached slip top matching the jacket lining.

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

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Thursday, May 24th, 2012


Long-line bra with whirlpool-style stitched cups, hook-and-eye adjustable back closure, and self fabric shoulder straps.  Made in 1950 by Hollywood Maxwell Company, which was acquired in 1958 by Munsingwear Incorporated, a company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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