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:
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):
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Art Instruction Inc., once located just around the corner from the old Star and Tribune building on the edge of downtown Minneapolis, offered drawing courses by mail for more than a century. Here the Minneapolis Tribune profiles the commercial art school that trained the likes of Charles M. Schulz ("Peanuts") and Carlos de la Vega (who?).
Most of our readers in whose memory is still fresh the fact of the destruction by fire of the Merchants' Hotel, on the corner of State and Washington streets, on the morning of the 4th of the present month, will readily recall the particulars concerning the sad fate of the late Mr. R.A. Cook, of Joliet, who perished in the flames during that memorable conflagration.
Twenty irate office women appeared before the St. Paul city council today and demanded action. They said their nylons have been damaged by soot in the city's loop. William Parranto, commissioner of public safety, explained that such soot falls from the chimney at Saint Paul hotel. The hotel, he said, burns a Wyoming oil which contains a liberal percentage of sulphur.
It's no wonder that metro newspapers of the 1950s were extremely profitable: They had a virtual monopoly on classified ads, employed kids to deliver their product and had few if any skilled graphic artists on the payroll. Just try to make sense of this 1955 picture-graph from the Minneapolis Tribune. Appearing with a story headlined "Simple Guide to State School Finances," it's most likely a legislative handout hauled back to the newsroom by the beat writer and slapped directly into print.
Another in our series of Minneapolis Tribune stories that include the word "newspaporial."