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History Posts

Baseball at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

Dave Birdsall - The Old Man Babe Ruth Yankee Contract

On display at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Duluth through Aug. 31 is a stunning array of baseball history. At left: A 1866 baseball card featuring “The Old Man,” Dave Birdsall — considered to be the very first baseball card. At right: Babe Ruth’s 1922 contract with the New York Yankees.

Mystery Photos #22 – #32: UMD

1 Overlook

The University of Minnesota Duluth’s Alumni Association sent out an email featuring eleven old photos. The organization is collecting UMD memories for the upcoming Bridge magazine and is requesting help identifying memories and people from these heritage photographs.

Looking down Fifth Avenue West in Duluth

Fifth Avenue West 2015

The image above is from two weeks ago; the image below is from about 100 years ago.

Fifth Avenue West - Duluth

Souvenir Folder from the 1920s

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Select Images from the 1930 Denfeld Oracle

The Oracle 1930 Denfeld High SchoolWith graduation ceremonies taking place this week, we look back 85 years ago to see what the Denfeld class of 1930 looked like. That year the school’s Oracle strove to inspire students “with a steadfast purpose to build well upon the foundations of the past,” and was dedicated to “the spirit of industry and progress which has existed in the hearts and minds of the citizens of Western Duluth.” The inside folds of the book feature a “Decorative Map of Western Duluth, with which we begin this post.

The senior class held two successful paper sales, a Christmas card sale and a class play to fund the yearbook in 1930. The organizations that typically funded the Oracle instead gave money to the pipe organ fund; Denfeld’s pipe organ had been purchased in 1926 for $25,000.

Decorative Map of Western Duluth

Google updates satellite view, old things found in Duluth

Jay Cooke

In general I’m not too pleased with the new Google Maps, but the satellite view was very recently updated — with images from possibly just a few weeks ago — which is pleasing because there was no greenery, so you can more easily spot hidden gems that would normally be obscured from view in a more summer-like setting. Here are some of the things I’ve found and rediscovered:

Half an old railroad trestle in Jay Cooke State Park.
Ruins of old homes in Duluth.
An old abandoned road near Arrowhead Road.
A long abandoned logging railroad bed near the Duluth International Airport.

Note: on Internet Explorer, it activated some 3-D feature with the older satellite view and crude 3-D layout, not sure how to turn it off.

Duluth Milk Company

Duluth Milk Company

MPR News is running a series this week featuring photos by St. Paul native John Vachon, who worked for the Farm Service Administration and Office of War Information. From 1938 to 1943 he documented American life and how relief programs were helping those struggling through the Great Depression.

The image above is the only Duluth photo, but there are a few Iron Range and Beltrami County gems.

A look at Bunyan territory in 1939
Minneapolis’ milling history through John Vachon’s lens
Twin Cities streets at the end of the Depression
John Vachon captures Minnesota at work, 1939-1941
John Vachon captures Minnesota farm life at Depression’s end

Duluth in Stereoview

View in Duluth Harbor by P. B. Gaylord new

Ah, the stereograph — a nineteenth-century wonder in which almost identical photographs, side by side, can viewed with a stereoscope and appear three-dimensional. On a website they just appear silly and pointless, but in this case there’s some fairly fancy historical scenes to browse.

Lovit Soft Drinks from Fitger’s

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I read that Fitger’s made soft drinks during prohibition, but this wooden case I found doesn’t look all that old. Does anyone know when they stopped making soda?

Video Archive: Red Star Lounge opens in 2005

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32Ljdt5OALc

The footage above is from a party at the Red Star Lounge on April 20, 2005, celebrating the completion of construction and pending opening on April 22. Happy 10-year anniversary, Red Star! (Video by Starfire.)

When the geeks inherited the Earth

Ten years ago today the fourth iteration of Geek Prom was held at Pizza Lucé. The G4 cable network sent the Attack of the Show crew to Duluth to capture all the excitement.

Where should I get old photos copied?

Football_Guys

I stumbled across a great old photo of my grandfather. My siblings want copies. Where should I have it copied? I’m looking for someplace I can trust with an old and irreplaceable photo. Thanks for any advice!

In case anyone is wondering how we do things around here …

How we do things at Duluth

What happened to that poster from R. T. Quinlan’s men’s room?

Having spent several hours at R.T. Quinlan’s Saloon on Sunday, I was reminded of the framed poster that used to hang outside the toilet stall in the men’s room, next to the urinal. I thought there was a good chance an image of it might be available on the Internet somewhere, but my searches for “classic bathtubs, breasts” yielded only distractions.

Banner Photo Info: Where’s the Party?

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I found the graphic of all the banner photos, which was great fun to look at.  But I want to know: what’s going on in this photo?  Obviously a somber gathering, but what are the details? Of course, apologies if I just didn’t search well enough.