Duluth helps Uncle Sam kick the Kaiser off the map

Kicking the Kaiser off the map

This photo was shot about a century ago, outside the American Exchange National Bank at 230 W. Superior St. in Duluth — where Wells Fargo Bank has its main Duluth branch today.

There is no date on the image, but the National Archives Catalog estimates it was taken between 1917 and 1918. It was filed in the archive on April 21, 1919, with the caption: “War activities in Duluth, Minnesota. Third Liberty Loan indicator.”

The American Exchange National Bank building was designed by Oliver Traphagen in the Romanesque design. It was demolished in 1955 and replaced with a new First American National Bank, which later became Norwest Bank and eventually Wells Fargo.

For more info on the bank, including interior photos, visit the Zenith City Online article “American Exchange Bank.”

Kicking the Kaiser off the map-details-up-close

Ben Harrison



about 7 years ago

Joke's on you, Uncle Sam. Germany is now (arguably) the leader of the Free World. And as for the Kaiser, well I'm still here. In all seriousness, I recommend the movie Sarajevo (on Netflix). It's a pretty accurate account of the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand and the REAL reasons the war started (hint -- same as always: there was money to be made).


about 7 years ago

Amidst all these rallies, police conducted several raids in Finntown, Slabtown and Proctor, sweeping up any men they could find who didn't have their draft papers on their person. And by "any men" I mean that, judging by the lists published in the newspaper, any Finns they could lay their hands on. (And generally speaking, it was just a matter of having those papers at hand--articles afterward exposed that most arrestees were too old/too young to serve or had registered.) 

After one such rally as above, a bunch of Duluth citizens  went down to Finntown and tried to start a riot, beating up a bunch of immigrants. In Proctor, German books were purged from the schools and burned in piles on the street. This time was as close to open fascism as this town has ever experienced. So far.


about 7 years ago

Thanks for the film recommendation, TimK.  It's on my Netflix list!


about 7 years ago

It looks to me like that sign probably had movement, the leg kicking out and maybe the "Kaiser" moving to the right? Seems like it would gather a bigger crowd that way. 

My last name is spelled it's current, non-German way because supposedly my grandfather's teacher  in this era told him it was "wrong" when he entered school, so he changed it. His brothers did not, leading to all sorts of family reunion/genealogical challenges.


about 7 years ago

This advertising flyer from some unknown time looks really similar ... 
The Magic Washer

Wonder if it was some sort of advertising promotion as well?

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