Threshing Oats, 1942

Note reads, "Threshing oats at home. November 1942." If you're in west-central Minnesota, go see this done live at Rollag starting today.

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Farmall F-20 Threshing, 1942.

Caption reads, "Threshing at our old home place. November 1942. That's Lawrence on the load." The thresher is stopped and not visible, behind the wagons. More detail tomorrow morning in another photo. The tractor pictured is a mid-1930s-era Farmall F-20 tractor.

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Two Men At Bridge, 1940s.

Two men standing at bridge. 1940s.

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4Hers At Roundup, 1961

4H members staying out of the sun during the 1961 Round-Up, a sort of 4H-only county fair held in Moorhead, Minnesota for Clay County members. From a 35mm slide.

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Farmhands, 1930s

Hired farmhands, 1940s (more)

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Baby Amongst The Roses

Baby dressed nicely, sitting in a rose garden; appears to be 1930s. (more here)

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Who's that behind the tree? Why, it's Mrs. Pfeiffer! Helene and her mother visited a nursery for a fine day outside, and that rapscallious Mrs. Pfeiffer brought levity to their day by composing very difficult riddles and singing scandalous bar-room tunes she learned from a set of Victrola records her husband borrowed from the Lodge and hid under his humidor. Or so I gather from two photos taken a hundred years ago -- I may be reading a bit too much into it.

I also enjoy this photo for the excellent white-birch bench surrounding the tree. The arm-rests are arranged as an 'x', allowing open seating on all sides. I can't see how it's fastened together, but it seems sturdy enough -- as a bench in a nursery, the raw-woo, bark and all, has a great beauty to partake, when walking through the gardens with your mother and that pernacious Mrs. Pfeiffer.

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Helene's Swamped Canoe

Don't look now, Helene, but your fishing excursion isn't going to get very far. Helene sent a copy of this photo to Marie (along with several others), probably because Marie was along on this girls-day-out. It's sure good she's near shore, though; unswamping a canoe in a long dress and snazzy hat would be quite difficult. Helene doesn't appear too nonplussed -- she's got a few other canoes behind her to pick from.

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Arrangement in Gray and Black: Melby's Mother

Whistler's Mother (otherwise known as Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1) is an iconic image in our culture, recalling a Victorian silence and respectability. Mrs. Melby's Mother, above, spent Halloween 1960 at a bowling alley. My, how times change is a little less than a century! Not quite as much as you may think, though -- the style of dress is similarly modest, although Mrs. Melby has gone stocking-free and is showing a little ankle. Her chair is similarly spartan, although anyone who attended a high school built earlier than 1960 is probably intimately familiar with such folding seats; many a small finger has been bit by those steel hinges while screwing around during an oh-so-important school assembly in the auditorium.

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Martin's Junk Truck

A well arranged photo of Martin and his buddies -- Martin, for whatever reason, had a bunch of junk to haul. Eagle-Eye Billy got to ride shotgun, literally. Probably taken in the 1940s, pulled from this set of rural Minnesota farm life.

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4H in Downtown Moorhead, Minnesota, 1961

This photo was taken, looking west, down Center Avenue in Moorhead Minnesota, in 1961. These floats, all from 4Hers around Clay County, were on their way to the 4H Roundup in town. Much of what's seen here is still around, despite the flurry of Urban Renewal a few years later (most of that happened just off to the right of the photo) -- in the distance, that tall sign is the FM Hotel, now an office building; the sign now has the US Bank logo. That building in the foreground, with the Anderson Pontiac sign, and the building next to it, are still around, but I'm not sure what's occupying them now.

see also: older Washington 4H parades * Cali 4H in the 20s * Moorhead Center Mall history

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Minnesota Kaiser - 1947

My great-uncle (not the guy in the picture) had a Kaiser Frazer -- he owned it until he needed to clear out his farmstead, at which time the Frazer moved out to my uncle's farm, where it has sat for almost twenty years now, progressively and slowly turning into a pile of rusty dust. Kaiser wasn't a big manufacturer, and there weren't a lot around, so I was rather surprised to turn up a whole bunch of pictures of another Kaiser taken within twenty miles of where my great-uncle lived. How'd that happen?

Grandpa Vernon, as always, had the answer: there was a Kaiser dealer out that way, so there was ample opportunity for local farmers to buy 'em. In the post-war booming, accompanied by REA, improved roads and transportation, and new farming techniques, farmers did pretty good for themselves, plenty enough to warrant spending a bit on a nice new car.

So, as you might have noticed, I've been scanning and uploading more of my Early 20th Century Minnesota Farmland series -- if I were more organized, I could point out the new ones better, but, sadly, there's just so many of them. New images are primarily the last 1/4 of the Black Album, and all of the Red Album.

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