The image below turned up in a box of Star and Tribune negatives in cold storage at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul. No caption was provided, but it was in an envelope marked “Aug. 26, 1937,” the first day of the Hennepin County Fair in Hopkins. Dozens of photos from the fair appeared in the Minneapolis newspapers that week, depicting prize-winning lambs, hogs, heifers, calves and chickens.
The rabbit photo didn’t make the cut. Which leaves us to wonder: How did the fluffy competitors fare? And who were the men handling them with such care?
Without reliable source material, a caption writer is left to riff away. Here goes:
If you can do better, please post a comment below.
UPDATE: As you can see from the comments below, a helpful and authoritative reader has identified the fellow at center as Ed Wouhlauf, a St. Paul rabbit breeder, judge and, well, butcher. Here’s an ad he placed in the 1930 American Rabbit & Cavy Guide Book (provided by buckfever):
Sample Minnesota newspaper articles, photos and ads dating back more than 140 years. Fresh items are posted weekly. Go here for tips on how to track down old newspaper articles on your own. Follow the blog on Twitter. Or check out "Minnesota Mysteries," a new book based on the blog.
Email your questions or suggestions to Ben Welter.
Have you read "Canoeing With the Cree," Eric Sevareid's engaging account of his 1930 canoe trip from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay? Sevareid, 17, and a 19-year-old friend paddled more than 2,200 miles that summer. A few decades earlier, another 17-year-old boy from Minneapolis and two friends set out on a canoe adventure that was nearly as ambitious.
The Minnesota State Fair has featured many unusual attractions in its 150-year history: death-defying aerial acts, colliding locomotives, freak shows, live animal births, the Minnesota Iceman and premature babies in incubators. Wait … what? The Minneapolis Morning Tribune was there:
"We're more popular than Jesus now," John Lennon told an British journalist in 1966. A year later, the Monkees' Mike Nesmith, in the Twin Cities for a show at the St. Paul Auditorium, humbly explained his band's place in the cosmic pecking order.
In a relentlessly antagonistic debate, Clinton denounced Trump Monday night for keeping his business dealings secret and peddling a "racist lie" about Obama. Trump cast Clinton as a "typical politician" as he sought to capitalize on Americans' frustration with Washington.