What's New

This month we highlight two very different collections: Benjamin Mchie's weekly radio talk show collection and the Green Giant Company records.

Radio Talk Show Audio Collection

Benjamin Mchie ReelsRAP weekly radio talk show audio collection is a new addition to our sound and visual holdings at MNHS. RAP (Radio and People) was hosted and produced by Benjamin Mchie, a Minneapolis native. Mchie graduated from Minneapolis Central High School and has had a career in media as a radio announcer, camera operator, director, and producer. He is the founder of the African American Registry, an online database resource of worldwide African American heritage for teaching and learning.

RAP aired weekly on Sunday nights at 7:00pm on KQRS around 1975-1977. Mchie focused on diversity and the African American experience through interviews, poetry readings, speeches, discussion of current events, and historical biographies. The digitized collection includes a variety of guests such as local leader Gleason Glover, Miss Black Minnesota winners, high school and professional athletes, and well-known musicians Herbie Hancock, Roberta Davis, and many others. Speeches by Angela Davis and Mahmoud El-Kati are included as well as biographical sketches by Mchie of historical and contemporary figures. Listen to the whole collection here.

Green Giant Company Records

Also new to our manuscript holdings are the Green Giant Company Records. The company, for many years based in Le Sueur, Minnesota, had its beginnings in 1903 as the Minnesota Valley Canning Company. Its famous green giant advertising icon was created in reference to the company's large Prince of Wales peas, and his image was featured in advertisements and on can labels and packaging. In fact, the company's name was changed to Green Giant Company in 1950 owing to the success of the figure.

The green giant was introduced in the 1920s and was initially depicted as a full-color tough and scowling cave man dressed in a bear skin and holding an enormous pod of peas. In a few years the cave man had been colored completely green. In 1935 the giant received a makeover: the bear skin was replaced by a leafy green suit, and he was given a smile.

Among the Historical and Background files is a delightful color illustration showing the metamorphosis of the giant from the scowling cave man of 1928 to a smiling, jaunty giant of 1976, standing with his hands on his hips. Other pictures in the progression depict the green cave man (1930), a smiling green giant holding a huge ear of corn (1936), and a giant standing confidently and wearing a red scarf around his neck (1960).

An accompanying 1965 Forbes magazine article explains that Chicago advertising executive Leo Burnett, who for many years handled the Green Giant Company account, in 1935 gave the giant a haircut, a leafy leotard, and a big grin, giving him what Forbes described as "sex appeal for the housewife," which apparently was good for business.

In 1999 the Jolly Green Giant was judged one of the top ten advertising images of the twentieth century by AdAge magazine, in company with the Marlboro Man, Ronald McDonald, Betty Crocker, the Energizer Bunny, and the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Green Giant and How He's Grown

New and Updated Finding Aids - April 2018

Name/Abstract File No.
Mick Caouette: An Inventory of His Interviews From The Heart of Bassett Place Moving Image Collection sv000256
Video iconCollection includes interviews used to create the film The Heart of Bassett Place: W. Gertrude Brown and the Wheatley House. Interviews are with former employees and visitors to the house: W. Harry Davis, Jack Hyatt, Marian Majors McElroy, Lawrence Brown, and Dorothy Hall McFarland talking about their experiences at the Phyllis Wheatley Settlement House; memories of Mrs. Brown; and impressions of growing up as African Americans in Minnesota in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.

Includes digital content.
Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary: An Inventory of Its Records 00384
Eloise ButlerRecords documenting the history of the garden; its volunteer support organization, Friends of the Wild Flower Garden; its founder, Eloise Butler; and her successor, Martha Crone.

Includes digital content.
Clarence M. Forester: An Inventory of His Papers P1822
Interview with Jay G. HutchinsonPhotocopies of photographs, military documents, menus, and newspaper clippings of a Minnesota volunteer in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade of the Spanish Republican Army during the Spanish Civil War; and photographs and news clippings of a 1996 reunion of Brigade veterans in Spain.

Includes digital content.
Green Giant Company: An Inventory of Its Records 01270
Green Giant and How He's GrownFinancial and payroll data, examples of advertising and product labels and packaging, and other records of a Le Sueur, Minnesota-based vegetable canning company established in 1903 as the Minnesota Valley Canning Company, and whose business lines eventually included frozen foods, garden centers, restaurants, and other ventures. The collection includes historical information about the company and related and predecessor firms, research and development activities, and about migrant agricultural laborers in the employ of the firm.
Health Department: An Inventory of Its Polio Vaccine Records gr01448
Files regarding medical studies conducted by the Health Department on oral polio vaccines which were tested on people in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, the University of Minnesota, Duluth, St. Louis Park, Meeker, Kandiyohi and Swift counties, and the St. Cloud Reformatory. Some of the files appear to be from Dr. Henry Bauer, who was the Deputy Executive Officer of the Health Department at the time and gave several presentations on the topic at conferences worldwide. The Health Department worked with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Cyanamid Company and Lederle Laboratories, and the World Health Organization, and correspondence from these organizations appear in the collection.
Joseph Sitter Road Map Collection: An Inventory of Maps, Atlases, and Miscellaneous Material lb00172
Contains road maps, atlases, and miscellaneous related material.
Koochiching County: International Falls: An Inventory of Its Birth and Death Records gr01450
Birth (1897-1914), and death (1897-1912) register, and birth (1908-1942) and death (1917-1949) certificate records. Includes indexes for the certificate records.
Lac qui Parle County: Agassiz Township: An Inventory of Its Birth and Death Records gr01451
Birth and death registers (1887-1913) and certificate records (1908-1952), and burial/removal permits (1907-1917).
Lac qui Parle County: Arena Township: An Inventory of Its Birth and Death Records gr01452
Birth (1880-1904) and death (1880-1893) register, and birth (1908-1950) and death (1919-1952) certificate records.
Lac qui Parle County: Baxter Township: An Inventory of Its Birth and Death Records gr01453
Birth and death registers (1872-1907, 1930-1952) and certificate records (1913-1938), and burial/removal permits (1922-1935).
Lac qui Parle County: Camp Release Township: An Inventory of Its Birth and Death Records gr01454
Birth and death registers (1872-1908, 1950) and certificate records (1908-1942), and burial/removal permits (1901-1938).
Lac qui Parle County: Cerro Gordo Township: An Inventory of Its Birth and Death Records gr01455
Birth and death registers (1872-1907) and certificate records (1908-1952).
Lac qui Parle County: Freeland Township: An Inventory of Its Birth and Death Records gr01456
Birth and death registers (1879-1949) and certificate record (1908-1921).
Lac qui Parle County: Garfield Township: An Inventory of Its Birth and Death Records gr01457
Birth and death registers (1881-1908) and certificate records (1907-1953).
Lac qui Parle County: Hamlin Township: An Inventory of Its Birth and Death Records gr01458
Birth and death register (1879-1900) and certificate records (1908-1952), and burial/removal permits (1918-1929).
Lac qui Parle County: Lac qui Parle Township: An Inventory of Its Birth and Death Records gr01459
Birth and death register (1873-1899) and certificate records (1907-1952), and burial/removal permits (1908-1947).
Legislature: House of Representatives: An Inventory of Its House Bills gr00119
The original house file of bills acted upon in the house; also includes bills for special sessions, resolutions, and concurrent resolutions. The bill files include any successive versions and engrossments.
Benjamin Edward Mchie: An Inventory of His RAP Weekly Radio Talk Show Audio Collection sv000255
Headphones iconAudio collection of RAP (Radio and People), a weekly radio talk show hosted and produced by Benjamin Mchie. The show aired weekly on Sunday nights at 7:00pm on KQRS. Mchie focused on diversity and the African American experience through interviews, poetry reading, speeches, discussion of current events, and historical biographies.

Includes digital content.
Northwestern Refining Co. (Saint Paul Park, Minn.): An Inventory of Its Records 01271
Northwestern Refining CompanyFinancial statements and audit reports, prospectuses, correspondence and memoranda, some photographs, and other records of a company owned by the Erickson family that established and operated an oil refinery at Saint Paul Park, Minnesota. Includes biographical information on members of the Erickson family, information on mergers and acquisitions, licenses, sales, liquidations, stock holdings, and pipelines; and files relating to affiliated and acquired companies and to the eventual sale of the firm to Ashland Oil, Inc.
Racing Commission: An Inventory of Its Records gr01449
Records documenting the activities and administration of the commission.
St. Louis County: Independent School District No. 709, Duluth: An Inventory of Its Records gr01447
Includes school censuses (1912-1967, 102 vols.); lists of subdistricts (referred to as "districts" in the records); annual reports (1884-1963); minutes of school board meetings (1975-1976); attendance registers (1870-1898); attendance reports (1892-1900); pupil registration book (1892-1893); superintendent's reports (1904-1906); term standing reports (1919-1929); Washington Junior High School yearbooks (1927, 1930-1931); and other records.

New and Updated Catalog Records

Ackerson School views.
Collection of black and white postcards of the teacher and students outside and inside the Ackerson School, Grant County School District No. 43 in Erdahl Township. Handwritten identification on the back.
Cosmic Ray research.
Collection documents high altitude cosmic ray research at the University of Minnesota in approximately 1960. Views include the interiors of labs where payloads were created, tested, and assembled, as well as the balloons and launches at Anoka County Airport.
Forest conservation projects photograph collection.
Collection documents various aspects of forest conservation projects in northern Minnesota. Images include machinery, people, and landscapes around the communities of Anderson, Bedmidji, Effie, Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Orr, Thistledew, and White Pine. Photographs were taken by an unnamed Canadian government official in the 1940s or 1950s.
Peterson, Thelma, 1911-1999, photographer. Photographs of Janet (Peterson) Lee.
Collection documents Janet (Peterson) Lee and her sister Joyce Diane (Peterson) Gallo in clothing and dance costumes circa 1950s. Photographs were taken by their mother, Thelma Peterson, who hand colored select images and made some of their dance outfits.
Scholl, Elaine, compiler. Elaine C. Scholl's Mille Lacs area photographs.
Collection of photographs related to Elaine Scholl's family's residence in the Mille Lacs area including images of Ojibwa in traditional dress. Scholl was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fritz Casper who taught at the Indian School at Mille Lacs Lake from 1930-1940. Some images are partially identified.

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