Thomas K. Gray & Co. Scrip, 1900

The bearer of this coupon would get $0.50 credit on a cash purchase of $10 at the Gray drugstore.  It is basically a 5% off coupon on a purchase of $1 or over.  Morphine, White Lead and Linseed Oil were excepted from the deal.

Thomas Kennedy Gray founded his drug store in 1858 with his brother John. They dealt in drugs, medicines, paints and oils.  They were located at 108 Bridge Square (108 Hennepin Avenue) and were the first drug store in Minneapolis proper.  John left the business in 1871.  Thomas Gray died in 1909. The drug store was run by his son Horace and widow Jullia Allen Gray until 1930.

T.K. Gray also published cookbooks and was known for his unique print and billboard marketing techniques, these were carried on by T.K. Gray Inc., a graphic arts company that was independent until 1994 when it was bought by Momentum which later became PrimeSource.

Doctors Memorial (Eitel) Hospital Fire, December 23, 1956 (Photo courtesy Minnesota Historical Society)
At 3 a.m. on December 23rd, 1956 “a gaily decorated Christmas tree ‘exploded’ at Doctors Memorial Hospital…setting off a flash fire that left [eight] dead. The fire lasted only 10 minutes…”- Minneapolis Tribune, December 24, 1956
There would have been more casualties if it hadn’t been for heroic staff such as the nurses on duty at the nursery, Cecilia Janick and Barbara Brassil.  The nurses put water soaked diapers on the faces of babies and closed the nursery door and opened the windows to keep fresh air in the room until firefighters could arrive.  The nurses and firefighters carried the babies out of the hospital and across the street to an apartment and put them on a bed.
Other city hospitals were banned from having lit trees the rest of that Christmas season. They were also asked to take the trees down as soon as possible after Christmas.  University Hospital had over 80 trees that season while St. Mary’s had none.
The Minneapolis fire chief later attributed the seven deaths due to asphyxiation to be caused by open fire doors within the hospital. One death was an incubator baby, 13 day old son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rassmussen, who died after he had to be moved from the incubator due to the fire.
"Other nurses on duty at the time of the fire, all of whom were praised highly by police and firemen, were: Mrs. Rose Carlson, 2304 Butler Place, relief night supervisor; Mrs. Beatrice Visger, 102 E. Nineteenth Street; Mrs. Lorraine Loomis, 6677 Olson Memorial Highway; Mrs. Helen Condry, 32 Spruce Place; and Shirley Gardner, 1365 Willow Street." - Minneapolis Star, December 24, 1956  High-res

Doctors Memorial (Eitel) Hospital Fire, December 23, 1956 (Photo courtesy Minnesota Historical Society)

At 3 a.m. on December 23rd, 1956 “a gaily decorated Christmas tree ‘exploded’ at Doctors Memorial Hospital…setting off a flash fire that left [eight] dead. The fire lasted only 10 minutes…”- Minneapolis Tribune, December 24, 1956

There would have been more casualties if it hadn’t been for heroic staff such as the nurses on duty at the nursery, Cecilia Janick and Barbara Brassil.  The nurses put water soaked diapers on the faces of babies and closed the nursery door and opened the windows to keep fresh air in the room until firefighters could arrive.  The nurses and firefighters carried the babies out of the hospital and across the street to an apartment and put them on a bed.

Other city hospitals were banned from having lit trees the rest of that Christmas season. They were also asked to take the trees down as soon as possible after Christmas.  University Hospital had over 80 trees that season while St. Mary’s had none.

The Minneapolis fire chief later attributed the seven deaths due to asphyxiation to be caused by open fire doors within the hospital. One death was an incubator baby, 13 day old son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rassmussen, who died after he had to be moved from the incubator due to the fire.

"Other nurses on duty at the time of the fire, all of whom were praised highly by police and firemen, were: Mrs. Rose Carlson, 2304 Butler Place, relief night supervisor; Mrs. Beatrice Visger, 102 E. Nineteenth Street; Mrs. Lorraine Loomis, 6677 Olson Memorial Highway; Mrs. Helen Condry, 32 Spruce Place; and Shirley Gardner, 1365 Willow Street." - Minneapolis Star, December 24, 1956 

Holiday Decorations on Nicollet Mall, 1970s

Some images from the Municipal Information Library slide collection that we are currently digitizing, look for more information about the collection in 2013.

usnatarchives:

Our press preview for the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation was packed!

The document will be displayed for just three days, from December 30, 2012, to January 1, 2013. Because of its fragile condition, it can only be displayed for a limited amount of time.

Learn more about the Emancipation Proclamation and the special festivities for the 150th anniversary: www.EP150.com

Image 1: The Preservation Lab was packed with press and their cameras. No flash or extra light was allowed because of the fragile condition of the document.

Image 2: Reginald Washington, archivist at the National Archives, talks about the creation and meaning of the Emancipation Proclamation. The documents are on the table to his right, with protective covers over them.

Image 3: The press is allowed right up to the table where the documents are on display. Conservation staff watch carefully!

Image 4: Pages 2 and 5 are the originals. Pages 1,3, and 4 are facsimiles and are clearly marked. We have facsimiles on display because the original Emancipation Proclamation was printed on two sides.

Image 5: Riley Temple, historian and board member of Foundation for the National Archives; David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States; A’Lelia Bundles,chair and president of the Foundation for the National Archives; Reginald Washington, archivist at the National Archives.David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States; A’Lelia Bundles, Reginald Washington, archivist at the National Archives.

The Huttner Abolitionist and Anti-Slavery Collection at Special Collections has some great primary resources on the Emancipation Proclamation.  We’ll be putting together an Emancipation Proclamation exhibit in January.

Powers Department Store, 1950s

The above image is of a 1950s Aquatennial parade on Nicollet Avenue. Recently notable as the home of the World Street Kitchen food truck, the former lot that was Powers Department store is being transformed into a new luxury apartment building by Opus Corporation.

S.S. Kresge opened a store at 415 Nicollet Avenue in 1919.  It transitioned to a check-out lane service in 1956, a foreshadowing of the company’s later K-Mart stores. By the late 1960s Kresge had abandoned its two downtown stores on Nicollet Mall including one that burned down in 1968 and was replaced by the IDS tower. The Kresge store building at 415 Nicollet Mall was razed in 1976 and replaced by a McDonalds (vacant building next to the parking ramp) which will also be razed for the apartment building. 

The S.E. Olson department store opened at 417 Nicollet Avenue in 1893.  By 1901 A.J. Powers assumed ownership of the department store and changed the name to Powers Mercantile Company. Donaldson’s, another downtown department store, bought Powers in 1985 and closed the 417 Nicollet Mall store in the fall of 1985. Opus bought the building and it housed the University of St. Thomas Minneapolis campus until 1991. The building was torn down in 1993 for a temporary parking lot (at the time there were rumors of a downtown Target on the site).

This color image is from a Municipal Information Library (the old City Hall library) slide collection we are in the process of digitizing.  We’ll be sharing more gems in the future.

mn70s:





Screen Shot of Early-Generation “Oregon Trail”
Don Rawitsch, a student teacher in North Minneapolis, was struggling to find a way to make the concept of westward expansion interesting to the kids in his history class. Then he hit on a radical idea: why not create a computer game in which the students could assume the role of a wagon leader guiding a party of settlers through the American West? (Remember, this was way back when computers were the size of Ford Pintos.) With help from a pair of fellow Carleton College students, he developed a game called “Oregon Trail,” and on December 3, 1971, he introduced it to his class. It was an instant hit. A couple years later, Rawitsch took a job with Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC), a state-funded developer of educational software. He uploaded “Oregon Trail” to MECC’s time-sharing network, and the game won a slew of new fans. When MECC made the jump to Apple II computers in 1978, “Oregon Trail” migrated to the new platform. It soon established itself as the premiere educational computer game, played by millions of kids worldwide.
Image via ENGL 278W





And City Pages did an article on the evolution of Oregon Trail in January, 2011.

mn70s:

Screen Shot of Early-Generation “Oregon Trail”

Don Rawitsch, a student teacher in North Minneapolis, was struggling to find a way to make the concept of westward expansion interesting to the kids in his history class. Then he hit on a radical idea: why not create a computer game in which the students could assume the role of a wagon leader guiding a party of settlers through the American West? (Remember, this was way back when computers were the size of Ford Pintos.) With help from a pair of fellow Carleton College students, he developed a game called “Oregon Trail,” and on December 3, 1971, he introduced it to his class. It was an instant hit. A couple years later, Rawitsch took a job with Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC), a state-funded developer of educational software. He uploaded “Oregon Trail” to MECC’s time-sharing network, and the game won a slew of new fans. When MECC made the jump to Apple II computers in 1978, “Oregon Trail” migrated to the new platform. It soon established itself as the premiere educational computer game, played by millions of kids worldwide.

Image via ENGL 278W

And City Pages did an article on the evolution of Oregon Trail in January, 2011.

Field Trip: Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, WI

While attending the Center the History of Print and Digital Culture conference I had a chance to do a little research at the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS).

The WHS has a great library (ceiling pictured above) and archives.  I went to the archives and requested some collections on the Wisconsin 22nd Infantry, trying to find a little more on my ancestor Knud Knudson.   All of the materials were handwritten (it was the 1860’s) and the organic ink was quite faded.  I did find there was a Typhoid fever outbreak in December 1862 that put many men of the regiment in the hospital.  Knud probably caught Typhoid fever and never really recovered until after his medical discharge in July 1863.

I also expanded my knowledge on zines and found out Barnard College has a zine library.  Special Collections is also interested in collecting zines from local zine publishers.  Please contact us if you are interested in donating your zine collection to us.