David Beard Posts

Northeastern Minnesota Book Award Winners for 2023

An old fire tower in the north woods, a busy Duluth harbor on the day tall ships arrive, and an 1894 murder on Minnesota Point are just some of the settings for books honored in this year’s Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards.

Sherlockiana at the Book Sale: Barry Day and Val Andrews

There was an entire bookcase of books about Sherlock Holmes at Friends of the Library Book Sale at the Superior Public Library. I took home two full shelves.

Minnesota Humanities Center grants for community programs

he Minnesota Humanities Center, an independent nonprofit that is an affiliate with the National Endowment for the Humanities, has recently received funding from the Minnesota Legislature to provide grants to individuals, museums and organizations. I love it when state money flows from the Twin Cities to Duluth. Apply!

Zombie Media at the Superior Public Library Sale

During the Friends of the Library Book Sale at the Superior Public Library, I saw many things I’ve never seen before. I saw someone come by and buy all of the VHS tapes. (Luckily, I saw them before he did — there was nothing I liked.) I understand that there is a collector market for VHS, as movies that were never issued to DVD and will likely not be streaming are only found on that medium.

Duluth artist exhibits at Minnesota State Fair

Duluth artist Pat Hagen leapt a huge hurdle to exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair — producing some of the best work in the state. (Photos via Pat.)

New book by Duluthians about Agatha Christie

This book, by some undercelebrated authors from Duluth, looks really promising. They have cranked out six books together, I think.

A Fun Time with PJ’s Rescue

These youth I know spent the afternoon with PJ’s Rescue at the Lincoln Park Resource Center & Garden. It was a kind of life-saving joy.

Literary History: Duluth Manuscript Club

As I’m exhuming? excavating? exploring? the literary history of Duluth (largely by scooping up books from thrift stores and picking up connections with people wherever I can find them) I find the weirdest things, like books published by the Duluth Manuscript Club.

Whither the Depot Foundation?

As there is such a tussle coming about the Depot, I wondered — what is the role of the Depot Foundation in keeping the Depot afloat?

Watson Silver and Lift Bridge Spoons

Ad for Watson Silver

As I read some of the magazines I purchased from the Duluth Public Library, I am impressed by a sense that the library bought magazines to suit the aspirations of the Zenith city. Magazines celebrating the fancy life might feel a little out of place in a public library today, but Duluth in the 1920s was a city that had some millionaires and wanted the world to think it had more.

We can see that in the ad above, taken from an interior design magazine, for Watson Silverware.

Record Collection from Gabriel’s

In the past, I’ve written about the used records, bound in old-school albums, I have found at Gabriel’s, the thrift-bookshop in Lakeside. Because the records are donated, they are a real crapshoot, as the ruffians say. Often they come from estates, from families that don’t want to sell things piecemeal and are grateful someone will just take the whole collection all off their hands.

Nostalgia for My Great-Grandparents’ Time: Cyclone Fence

A recent sale at the Duluth Public Library means that I picked up stacks of vintage magazines for cheap, and I’ve loved looking at some artful old advertisements. I especially love the ones that are in old, illustration style.

Historical Research by Accident: Nostalgic Newsstand Sale Adverts and Fisk Tire

Here is another advert from my collection of now-recycled magazines from the Duluth Public Library’s Nostalgic Newsstand Sale.

Advertisements from the Nostalgic Newsstand Sale: Buying a Franklin

Here is another advert from my collection of now-recycled magazines from the Duluth Public Library’s Nostalgic Newsstand Sale.

Advertisements from the Nostalgic Newsstand Sale: Almond Truffles

Here is another advert from my collection of now-recycled magazines from the Duluth Public Library’s Nostalgic Newsstand Sale. This one is too much of stretch, maybe. Norris Candies was housed in Atlanta, Ga. I love the flapper art, the art deco (or is it art nouveau) style of the ad and the fashion.

If I wanted an almond truffle today, I would visit Hepzibah’s in Canal Park, Rocky Mountain, or Duluth Candy. In Superior, I would visit Sweeden Sweets. Did I miss any source?