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Posts about Minnesota History

Aug. 19, 1920: Baseball's intricacies too much for Romanian prince

Posted by: Ben Welter Updated: August 28, 2014 - 8:15 AM
Prince Carol, great-grandson of Queen Victoria and heir to the Romanian throne, toured the United States in the summer of 1920.  He was 26 years old and between marriages. During a stop in the Twin Cities, he took in a Saints doubleheader at St. Paul’s Lexington Park. At his side that day was 18-year-old Violet Oliver, “queen of California’s vineyard domain,” aka the raisin queen.

In a piece written exclusively for the Minneapolis Tribune, the sometime-actress described Carol as a “man’s man,” “a woman’s man,” a “bearcat” and, unlike the prince of Wales, whom she had met previously, “not a flirt.” “Prince Carol may flatter,” she wrote, “but he makes his eyes behave. That’s why I like him so.”

The future king and dictator had mixed luck with the ladies – and with governing his people. You can read about checkered career of the "royal rapscallion" herehere, here and here.

A Tribune reporter accompanied the prince to the ballpark and turned in a wonderful little piece that landed on page one. The raisin queen's personal account ran on the jump page.

‘Oh,’ Says Prince to Guide at First Ball Game,
Meaning, in Roumanian Slang, ‘I Don’t Get You’

Heir to European Throne Remains in Stand Until Last Man Is Out.
The St. Paul batter had two strikes called on him. The Indianapolis pitcher wound up and threw another. “Strike” said the umpire as the batter failed to swing, and the St. Paul player was called out. He had “fanned.”
“Well, now,” said Prince Carol of Roumania, who sat directly back of the catcher in a box seat at the ball game at St. Paul yesterday afternoon, “why didn’t that man strike at the ball?”
The prince lifted a cup or two of "soda pop" at the game. He pronounced it "wet."

The prince lifted a cup or two of "soda pop" at the game. He pronounced it "wet."

Thereby the prince displayed a keen analytical insight into the great American game, for that question of his probably was the same one Manager Mike Kelly of the St. Paul club was asking, only in more emphatic terms.
But there were many other intricacies of American baseball that were too much for the prince. He had never seen a ball game in this country before and [the] game was a revelation to him.
“You see,” patiently explained R.S. Bannerman, representative of the department of justice, who is conducting the prince’s tour of the country, “the pitcher threw the ball right over the plate.”
“Over the what?”
“The plate. The rubber thing in front of the batter. If the ball crosses the plate and the batter doesn’t hit it, it’s a strike.”
“Oh,” said the prince.
“Well now,” the prince broke in again a minute later, “why does that batter go to the base?”
“He was passed; he got a walk. The pitcher gave him four balls,” explained the patient Mr. Bannerman.
“He got a what?”
“A walk. When the pitcher fails to put four balls over the plate, the batter gets a walk.”
“Oh,” said the prince.
Another inning passed. An Indianapolis man was on second base and a batter hit a long fly ball to the outfield.
“That man should have run in,” commented the prince.
“Well, you see, he couldn’t,” Mr. Bannerman explained. “The fielder caught the fly.”
“He caught the what?”
“The fly; the ball; the runner had to stay on his base until it was caught.”
“Oh,” said the prince, and lit another cigarette.
“Despite his limited knowledge of what was going on, the prince was as enthusiastic as a schoolboy. He drank lemonade and pop, applauded every good hit and bit of fielding, and liked it so well he stayed for both games of the double-header.
One of the marvels to the prince was the excitement and wild cheering from the bleachers. And when one of the players almost came to blows with the umpire and the police had to interfere, he chuckled when he was told he had witnessed about all the frills to a baseball game.
“The poor umpire,” he sympathized. “He must have a hard job.”
And when someone told the prince the umpire was about as popular as Kaiser Wilhelm, he laughed uproariously.

Sept. 5, 1920: Two locomotives collide at the Minnesota State Fair

Posted by: Ben Welter Updated: August 26, 2014 - 7:56 AM
The 1920 edition of the Great Minnesota Get-Together was a fair to remember. It featured 10 tons of butter, 80 acres of farm machinery, “9-foot-5″ Jan Van Albert, speeches by presidential candidates Warren G. Harding and James M. Cox, and Ruth Law’s Flying Circus. The main attraction on opening day was a “Gigantic Locomotive Collision” at the grandstand, with two 160,000-pound engines slamming into each other at 60 mph. The collision was the top story on A1 the next morning in the Sunday Tribune. The fair staged three more locomotive collisions, in 1921, 1933 and 1934.

(Originally posted in August 2007; reposted to clean up design, update links, allow fresh comments and add this gratuitous link to one of the many train crashes depicted on "The Addams Family.")
  A Minnesota Historical Society photo shows the 1933 collision —
  or is it 1934? The caption on the back lists both years.

55,117 Defy Rain for Fair’s Opening

Locomotives Crash
on Schedule Time

Crowd Waits Three Hours for Spectacle That Divides Honors With Wilson’s Flying Stunts – Opening Day Is Record.

A great big good-natured crowd of 55,117 people, intent upon watching two engines meet at top speed for the first time in their experience, disregarded a steady drizzle descending unceasingly from an overcast sky yesterday, and gave emphatic impetus to hopes of State Fair officials to make this year’s attendance break the world record set by the Minnesota State Fair last year.

The first day crowd in 1919 was only 30,631, little more than half yesterday’s attendance, despite the unkind treatment of the weather man.

Crowd Out For Good Time.

The crowd was remarkably good-natured in the face of adversity. They were out for a good time, and were determined to have it, even if their best clothes did get soaked. For three hours in the afternoon, a solid mass of humanity sat in the sold-out grandstand, unprotected from the merciless drizzle.

Thrills a-plenty rewarded the afternoon crowd for its three hours’ wait in the dripping granstands, when Ruth Law’s flying circus, featuring Al Wilson, and the engine collision, occurred exactly on schedule time late in the afternoon.

Collision Missed by None.

Visitors who had preferred inspection of the exhibits in Fair buildings to the full program of circus features and races offered on the grandstand track could not resist the chance to see the rail collision. Without question this unique feature was the crowd-pulling event of the day.

Steaming slowly up and down the brief stretch of track, the engines, piloted by W.D. Carrington and Harry Tatum of Inver Grove, made several preliminary test trips.

Then, with a shill blast of their whistles, the engines concentrated the crowd’s attention on the last trip they were to make. Carrington opened wide the throttle of engine “573,” she started forward, almost immediately gaining her maximum speed. He jumped quickly, but not quite quickly enough. Landing heavily in the adjacent mudbank, he turned three complete somersaults, and struck his ankle against a boulder, spraining it.

Tatum Swings to Safety.

Meanwhile, Tatum had started No. 478 more slowly. But as he saw the other engine tearing down the track, he threw the throttle wide, and swung to safety. The two engines, rushing inevitably toward each other, met almost squarely in the center of the track. Ther was a terrific explosion and “478” crashed clean through the front of “573,” and halted dead.

Then the fun began. Determined to get a close view, grandstand, bleacher and Machinery Hill crowds decided at one and the same moment ot reach the scene of the collision. Wire fences, wooden barriers, policeman with wildly waving arms were no barriers whatever. Within two minutes the racetrack, the central oval, and the fields beyond the enginetrack, were black with people. Up and [d]own the track and over the adjoining fields the people ranged, hunting bits of wreckage for souvenirs. Soon there was little left that was not too heavy to carry away.

Al Wilson’s Feats Win Thrills.

The collision, although it was listed as the central attraction of the day, was not so successful in rousing thrills as the unparalleled feat of “Al” Wilson, the intrepid acrobat, with Ruth Law’s flying circus. This professional daredevil, half a mile in the air, stood on the top of a plane made slippery by the rain, poised part of the time on one leg, and when the second plane approached over his head, he seized it’s wing by one hand, and swung gracefully over. 

The rain-soaked plane, however, very nearly ended Wilson’s two-year career. While the planes were jockeying for position the first time they flew over the stands, Wilson temporarily lost his balance on top of the slippery plane and fell flat.

Minneapolis Pilot Participates.

Added daring was given to Wilson’s act yesterday through the fact that the lower plane, from which he swung, was driven by Ray Miller, a Minneapolis pilot who had never practiced the feat. Ray Goldsworthy, who ordinarily pilots the lower plane, was caught in a heavy rainstorm near Mason City, Iowa, and got here too late for the show.

Style Show Deferred.

Parts of the program deferred until Monday through first-day accidents invariably disappointed large crowds gathered.

Cream of the crop: An elaborate State Fair butter sculpture from about 1920. (Photo courtesy

Governor Cox has signified his intention of visiting the Fine Arts galleries tomorrow when he speaks before the grandstand.

Two Lost Boys Sought.

Police and hospital officials had little to do the first day of the Fair. Two lost boys, Robert Owens, Cathay, N.D., 14 years old, and George Esert, Gladstone, Minn., 12 years old, were reported to the police, and had not been found late last night. Not even a severe fainting spell was reported to the emergency hospital.

At the last minute, the night show was called off on account of rain. The announcement was deferred, because the Fair management hoped that it would be possible to stage the fireworks spectacle for the benefit of those out-of-town people who could not stay over until Monday evening.

Today, “Music Day,” will be a quiet Sunday of the Fair. No entertainment program of any kind has been arranged, and the Midway shows will not be open. There will be band concerts a-plenty, and the exhibition buildings will all be thrown open. The program arranged will be entirely educational.

Feb. 13, 1921: All Minneapolis men are vain

Posted by: Ben Welter Updated: August 18, 2014 - 12:34 PM
In January of my sophomore year at the University of Minnesota, I stopped at Leigh’s barbershop in Richfield for a haircut. Back then, before the genes on Mom’s side of the family took their toll, I had an almost full head of light brown hair, thin and straight, parted in the middle and long at the back and sides. I needed just a trim, really, but above the big mirror behind the barber chairs hung a photograph of a male model sporting a full-bodied cut, an appealing masculine wave.

I asked the barber about it.

“It’s a permanent,” he said, “and I think it would look good on you.”

“Not a permanent,” I protested, imagining with horror the tight curls of Greg’s later-seasons look on “The Brady Bunch.”

The barber assured me the permanent would a modest one. I think he called it a “semi-permanent.”

“Let’s do it, then,” I said, wanting to look like the guy in the photo.

Of course I left the barbershop looking like Greg Brady. No amount of shampooing could relax the curls, and I was the subject of merciless teasing from the high school hockey team I coached that year. Luckily it was winter, allowing me to hide it under a stocking cap much of the time. The curls eventually grew out, and by summer I was sporting a kind of journalism school mullet, copy editor in front, party in the back.

I wish I had read the story below before agreeing to get that perm in 1979. Nearly 60 years earlier, a “Cub Reporter” at the Minneapolis Tribune was asked to investigate rumors of men getting “marcel” waves at beauty parlors around town. She turned in a  fine piece of writing, accompanied by a half-dozen delightful illustrations by Coyle Tincher.
Gimme a marcel quick.

All Minneapolis Men are Vain
and Women Can Be Made So

Where Do All the Boys Get Those Cute Waves in Hair?
Buy 'Em at the Beauty Parlors, Just as the Girls Do, Say Those Who Earn a Living by Making Two Marcels Grow Where None Grew Before.

Cub Reporter a Sacrifice on Altar of Duty

Hair May Get Straight Again But Will Never Look the Same.
“THIS fellow Blackie said he had to have his hair marcelled because he was going to a dance.”
Miss Elizabeth Erickson, lady barber with a shop at Nicollet and Lake, was telling the Cub Reporter how if it wasn’t one thing it was another in the means of livelihood she had chosen.
“Blackie, that was what we called him because we didn’t know his real name, was a handsome young man with long blue-black hair that was broken in tis glossy smoothness by a deep wave. The girls always enjoyed shaving him because he had such a pleasant way with him.
“We hadn’t seen him for a month or more. Then he came in in a tearing hurry, jammed himself into a chair, and demanded: ‘Gimme a marcel quick.’ His hair was as straight as yours.
“ ‘What do you think this is, a beauty parlor?’ I asked him.
“ ‘Aw, have a heart,’ he begged like a child. ‘The place where I usually get it done is closed, and my girl never saw me with it straight. For the love of Mike, how can I take her to a dance like this?’
“I didn’t see what I could do, but one of the girls got a curling iron, and in half an hour he looked like himself again.”
It Would Surprise Women.
“As Mrs. Mary Dahl says – she’s a lady barber in the Allen hotel – women would be surprised if they knew how much time and money men spend to make themselves look nice.”
Miss Ida Marie, assistant lady barber at Miss Erickson’s shop, couldn't keep out of the conversation here.
“They’re just awful the way they fuss over how they look,” she told the Cub Reporter. And her dimples deepened as she smiled.
 “They come in and get a massage before they call on their girls, before they go to the theater, and before they go to a dance. And then they have the nerve to say they do it because it helps them in their business.
“Me vain? Sure I’m vain, if you mean do I care how I look. But after all women kind of have a right to feel that way, haven’t they? You expect something different from a man.”
The Cub Reporter, who had been a violent suffragist in the days when that was necessary, quoted sardonically, “We don’t want ’em to be our equals or our superiors.”
They Purr Like Kitten.
Miss Marie dimpled again. “They’re supposed to have something bigger on their minds. But they try to laugh it off. ‘Better sling some mud in my face, today,’ they’ll say. And then they sit there purring like a kitten, they’re so comfortable.”
Miss Erickson had finished arguing with a youth who wanted pure olive oil rubbed into his fair mane. She thought Vaseline would create a luxuriance that would make him look like a free verse poet, but he said that nothing gave the luster like olive oil, the olive oil from Greece.
She dusted him off maternally, and he went out slowly, peeking at himself in every mirror he passed.
Miss Erickson caught up Miss Marie’s word “comfortable.” “That’s it with the older men, I think. They like having somebody fussing over them to make them comfortable. You’d like it yourself, and a good massage would take that tired look off your face.”
“But men are vain,” insisted Miss Marie, and the other girls assented vigorously.
“Men are vain,” the Cub Reporter told the editor when she got back to the office.
“Other men,” said the Boss, absentmindedly. “I’ll never let the tailor press these trousers again.”
“And they get their hair marcelled.”
“I don’t know. A lady barber told me.” And the Cub Reporter told the whole story.
Job  for Cub Reporter.
The Girl Reporter winked at the Editor.
“Why not send the Cub around to the beauty parlors with an expense account? She can get marcelled herself the while she’s finding out where you folks get your manly locks curled.”
The editor looked hopeful. The Cub clutched the little knob of straight red hair, which to say it in the kindest way, was innocent of artifice.
“It won’t hurt you to lose it,” the Girl Reporter said cruelly. "It always looked like a doughnut slipping off a shelf.”
“Slipping’s the word,” the Boss continued the attack. “Here’s a sheaf of hairpins you spilled on me yesterday when I was conferring with you about that story. You go to the beauty parlors, and start today.”
“But,” the Cub Reporter quavered, “my nice straight hair, it’s never had an iron on it.”
“And never kept a hairpin,” spat the Girl Reporter. 
“Have you no devotion to the paper?” the Boss roared. “Go out and do what I tell you. You can wash the marcel out if you don’t like it. Now go out.”
“She can wash it out,” chortled the Girl Reporter.
And to the music of office laughter, the Cub Reporter went her way.
She Gets a “Facial.”
Is something the matter with the mirrors?


On the way down in the office elevator, she took a look in the mirror that was to have been a farewell to that nice straight hair. But she was puzzled to see on her lips a fatuous smile. Could it be?
“H’m, we’re all funny people,” mediated the Cub Reporter, picking up a hairpin.
Because of that smile, she didn’t dare have her hair done first; she stepped into a little shop on Nicollet, thoughtfully named the “Sanitary,” and demanded a massage.
“You mean a ‘facial’?” the girl asked a little contemptuously.
“Whatever you call it, I’m not up on modern slang.”
She was gently lowered into the chair, protected with dry towels and swathed in hot wet ones. She wondered wherein men found the comfort which the lady barbers had mentioned.
While she lay and steam-burned, the girl was sitting in a low rocker, embroidering on something that looked dainty and feminine. All around were screens with figures of happy children prancing and playing.  It was an exceedingly domestic shop in which to lie and suffer.
Men Barred – Keeps Place Nice.
“I have heard,” the Cub Reporter ventured, “that men come in to get their hair done.”
“We don’t take gentlemen,” the girl answered, rubbing great gobs of pink cold cream into the Cub Reporter’s skin. “Gentlemen muss up a place so, and we like to keep it nice here.”
She didn’t appear shocked at the idea of a man’s having his hair done. Only it mustn’t be in her shop. The Cub Reporter kept quiet for awhile during which the girl wiped off all the cream she had rubbed on, and with it perhaps a speck of dirt.
“Dear me,” she thought, “was that what my friends meant when they said I should powder to cover my deficiencies? I must find out if they knew that I was as dirty as I am. And I must continue the search for the marceller of males. Ouch.”
The vibrator was brought into play, and the Cub Reporter felt just like going to the dentist. But she got a peek at herself in the glass, and through the depths of grease she could still see that silly anticipatory smile on her face which she had first noticed in the elevator.
“Good Lord, am I that much of a fool or is there something the matter with the mirrors? Funny idea that about men getting themselves fixed up, isn’t it,” she asked the operator.
She felt very naked.


She Felt Very Naked.
But the girl didn’t answer until after she had adjusted a powerful light which showed through even the wads of cotton she put on the Cub’s eyes. She was evidently peering though a magnifying glass in a determined search for imperfections.
“She needn’t have done that,” thought the Cub Reporter resentfully, “there are enough right out on the surface.” And she felt very naked.
“Oh, my, yes, gentlemen are very careful of themselves. One of my friends says that some day she is going to start a beauty parlor in the Elks’ club or some place like that where gentlemen can go without the embarrassment of finding their wives go to the same place as they do. You’ve got a lot of blackheads, miss.
“My friend says that gentlemen would never think of letting the wrinkles get the best of them, the way women do. You must laugh a lot, miss, there’s so many crow’s feet around your eyes. It’s all right to be jolly, but you’ve got to think about how you look. Will you have a bleach?”
The Cub Reporter thought she’d better have everything going. So she was put into a sort of icy plaster cast and left to sit while the girl embroidered placidly.
“That smile’s out of way, anyhow,” she congratulated herself as she viewed her plastered features and shivered.
All things end. Denuded of the cast, she emerged, looking somewhat skinned. She stopped the girl who was trying to pluck her eyebrows, refused to have them blackened, and blushed as she was powdered and rouged a trifle.
The girl’s eyes were glued on the “doughnut and shelf” arrangement of her hair.
“Wouldn’t you like to have your hair dressed?”
But she didn’t know enough about the vanity of men, so she didn’t get the Cub’s trade.
It was too late then to go to another place, so the Cub went back to the office. She walked around the block twice before she had the courage to go in, and was then a little hurt because no one noticed the change in her.
She had an appointment with the dentists. By way of being entertaining and postponing the evil moment, she told the youngest dentist, a youth just out of college, about her quest. He flattered her with deep interest, then he drew her aside.
Oh No, They’re Not Vain.
“Say, if you find out how to grow new hair, let me know, will you? My mop’s getting thin, and a fellow kinda hates to feel that he’s getting on. Don’t say anything about this to anybody. I’ve tried barbers, but maybe they don’t take the interest that a woman would.”
While she was having her teeth overhauled she heard some high school girls chattering outside.
“Girls, I’m perfectly positive. I knew him in grade school, and he had hair as straight as anything then. And he hasn’t had a typhoid fever, either. Him with a wave you could lose your finger in. Humph!”
“Well, I know how he got it. I caught my brother trying to put one in the other night. They let their hair grow long; then when they go to bed, they tie tape around their heads under their chins, wet their hair, pull it out a little, and there they are with a water wave. Wouldn’t it make you sick?”
“You know Philip? He’s the one that used to cut his hair so short that it stuck up straight and sharp like a scrubbing brush, just like his brother’s. His brother went away, so’s now he can do what he pleases, and it’s long enough for him to braid. I s’pose his is too stiff to try the tape treatment on. Then they talk about us being foolish.”
A Man at Last.
A little gossip she heard on the car the next morning sent the Cub Reporter to Madame de Guile's beauty shop, where she asked for a shampoo.
“Would you mind,” she suggested to the attendant in the office, “giving me the most talkative girl you have?”
The astonished attendant raised her eyebrows.
“I just love being talked to,” she tried to explain, “I’m such a poor conversationalist myself.”
There were some more hot towels, a new stunt to the Cub, who had always thriftily washed her own hair. Vibrator and violet ray followed, to the deep astonishment of the subject, who was so excited she could scarcely remember what she was there for. The girl didn’t talk at all.
The Cub Reporter was trying to think of some way to open the subject of men in beauty parlors when one stalked majestically through the aisle between the lines of booths.
“What, a man in a beauty parlor?” she inquired, properly shocked.
“Oh, yes. We have many gentlemen come in here.” The girl’s tone was indifferent.
“What for?”
“Just what the women come in for, manicures, marcels, massages, and all that. That gentleman you saw just now, he’s rather elderly but he wants to be married. All the girls in the place are talking about him.
Nose Wart, His Bane.
The Cub Reporter lay back comfortably, enjoying the skillful fingers manipulating the skin of her scalp and listening to the flood of talk she had started.
“He’s got a big wart on his nose that makes him look like a, a, oh some sort of animal with a horn on its face that you see in the circus. There’s a girl in his office he’s crazy about; she’d marry him too, he’s rich enough. Only she can’t go the wart on his nose.
“So the poor goof’s coming up here to have madame take it off. Some job, taking off a horn like that.
“It’s kinda pitiful to hear him talk. Funny the way folks just naturally have to have somebody to slop over on, ain’t it. ‘Mary and Emma never seemed to mind it,’ he whines, ‘they both married me, and Mary, specially, never had a cross word on her tongue all day long.
Doesn't seem's if Josephine could really love me.


“ ‘Doesn’t seem’s if Josephine could really love me. But I guess girls are more finicky than they used to be when I was a young fellow. Mary and Emma were both good women, but they couldn’t hold a candle to Josephine.
“ ‘ Josie,’ and then the poor boob gets red, ‘Gotta stop sayin’ that,’ he says. ‘Josephine don’t like it. Ouch, damn.’ The electric needle does hurt a good deal, you know. ‘Josephine’s worth it.” Poor old goof.
Same Silly Smile.
“Your hair’s all dried now. Do you want me to dress it? Better have it marcelled, don’t you think? You’ve got beautiful hair; it’d be nice for a change. You’ve done it so simple.”
The heart of the Cub Reporter grew warm in her breast. “Shelf and doughnut” indeed. Here was somebody who appreciated her. As she nodded assent to the marcelling she caught sight of the same silly smile on her face.
“There can’t be three mirrors built wrong in the same way,” she reasoned. “It must be there. Well everybody said I’d be ruined for life if I started working on a newspaper and maybe it’s true.”
“Lots of old men come in to have their bald spots rubbed for hair. And they’re not so old, either. Funny what a lot of young fellows think they’re gettin’ bald. They don’t trust their barbers; barbers have bald heads themselves.
“Talkin’ about hair, did you know that men come in here by the dozen to get waves put into it?”
The Cub Reporter jumped so that the iron burned her ear.
“Not really?”
“I’ll tell the world they do. Say, you are an innocent if you think all the curls you see your men friends wearing are made by old Mother Nature.”
“What kind of men come in for curls?”
Even Newspaper Men Do It.
“About all the kind there are. Not so many old men, of course, because they haven’t enough to curl. That old goof with the wart I told you about was trying to make us think he’d heard of some new way of planting hair on a bald pate. Said a doctor told him about it. I’ll say the guy that invents a thing like that is going to have a good chance of dying too rich to get to Heaven. They’d come to us with bags of money.
“I was tellin’ you about fellows that come in for marcels. There’s a newspaper man, works on the (naming a prominent daily), writes poetry or something for it, he’s a regular customer. And men from the Symphony orchestra, lots of them. There’s one comes in that looks like a big black bear; his hair’s kinda curly already, so he gets a water wave.
“I never get surprised at anything that musicians or newspaper people do, though. You expect them geniuses to be sorta foolish, don’t you? But business men come, too. They wouldn’t be ashamed if they met their own wives.
“When I was a kid a boy that had curly hair was ashamed of it. Well, the world changes. Your hair’s hard to curl, miss, it’s so fine. I’ll have to try that wave again. I hope you’ve got lots of time, but you know after you’ve neglected your hair a long time, it’s bound to act this way.
There’s Much to Be Had.
“Your eyebrows ought to be plucked, they’re so thick. They ought to be blackened a little, too. Bein’ so light the way they are, you can’t see them ’less you look close. Your lashes are kinda long, ’s a pity they are so pale.
“I always say a woman owes it to herself to do the best she can for herself, and beauty counts more’n you’d think if you haven’t been out in the world.
“Where’d you say you work? Oh, in an office. Well, I bet you ain’t got any women friends in there that’d tell you what to do for yourself. You keep on getting’ your hair curled, and take my word for it something’s sure to happen.
“Want your hair inside or out? Well, maybe you’re right. It would be kind of hard for you to do yourself with it in.
“Do men come in here to get their eyebrows plucked? You tell ’em, funnybone, you made the hit. As far as I know there’s just one thing they don’t come for, and that’s the rejuveniler treatment that takes away wrinkles permanently. And they say that they get that in Chicago.
Men Are Vainest.
Ain't it awful how vain women are.


“Vain? Say, the vainest woman that ever lived couldn’t hold a candle to a man when he’s really got woke up to how he looks. The other day I was putting a marcel in an artist gentleman’s hair, and didn’t he go and say to me, right while I was working on him, ‘Ain’t it awful, dearie, how vain women are? I caught you lookin’ in the glass three times.’
 “Things like that kinda get a girl’s goat, and I said to him, right sharp, ‘If you hadn’t been lookin’ in the glass all the time yourself I guess you wouldn’t a seen me there,’ I says.
“But that don’t mean anything to him. You can’t phase a man with gall enough to have things done to him in a beauty parlor. Mostly I shut up when they kid me about women’s vanity, but sometimes it gets too much for me.
“There. Now, you do look nice. It won’t matter about the ear that’s burned because that’s under the hair anyway. Do come in again, you’re such a pleasant kind of conversationalist.”
The Cub Reporter looked at herself in a mirror. She was a mass of frizzes and bore some resemblance to a type of flapper she had never cared much about. Her sense of humor struggled with that new silly smile and won.
She Finds Whole Crew.
She went back to the office and walked the length of it defiantly.
But the hoots drove her into the street again.
She went back to the shop she had just left and had a manicure.
A number of men were having them at the same time, and she listened in on the conversations.
“Nobody cares about me at home; I’m only the guy that brings home the bacon, that’s all.”
Nobody cares about me at home.


“How you do go on. There, your wife will enjoy seeing you look so nice.”
And at another table.
“Just keep on talking, girlie, I don’t care what you say, but I like the sound of your voice. I’m tired, and if I go to sleep just wake me up when it’s closing time.”
“Funny thing,” the girl who was doing the Cub’s nails said, “but the guys that come in to have their hands gone over, do it ’cause they’re lonesome more’n because they’re vain. They want somebody to make a fuss over them, as the old song said. That’s our experience here. No, not exactly flirtatious, though I guess maybe they would be if we’d encourage ’em a little.”
And the Cub Reporter was so excited and so anxious to get back to the office with the news that she forgot to look at her back hair, and so betrayed to the hairdresser that she was not quite what she seemed to be.
“All men are vain,” she announced to the Boss.
“Other men,” said the Boss, looking at the crease in his trousers. “I must get another tailor.”
“And women can be made so,” said the Cub Reporter, burying her fingers in the crest of her marcel.

Aug. 7, 1914: First years of life are never pleasant

Posted by: Ben Welter Updated: August 6, 2014 - 9:26 AM
From the Minneapolis Tribune:

Childhood Called Tragedy

Osteopath Says First Ten Years of Life Are Never Pleasant.
Philadelphia, Aug. 6. – (Special.) – Modern childhood is one continual tragedy, according to Dr. R.W. Ford of Seattle, speaking before the eighteenth annual convention of the American Osteopathic association. He said the first 10 years of life were far from happy for any child, who is subject to the whim, command and convenience of parents, grandparents, relatives and teachers.
He spoke particularly of the girl of 12 and her many problems and hardships. He said as a result she generally grew into a neurasthenic woman, unfit to be a wife or mother. He thought childhood should be endowed with more leisure.
Registration of all cases of so-called social disease and their strict supervision by boards of health was advocated in resolutions which the convention adopted.
The tango and debutante slouch, hobble skirts, tight clothes and high heels daily are incapacitating thousands of young women, according to Dr. Marian E. Clark. She told how the spine was affected by much tangoing.

July 16, 1914: Lake Harriet queen candidate aims for 3rd place

Posted by: Ben Welter Updated: July 21, 2014 - 10:27 PM
In 1914, the Lake Harriet Commercial Club – “an organization that does things” – held a midsummer jubilee to celebrate the club’s success and raise money to pay down debt on its new building at 2718 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis. A “vote contest” was held to select a jubilee queen. Three prizes were offered: a diamond ring for the winner, a trip to Niagara Falls for second place and a fully equipped canoe for third. Fifteen-year-old Mercedes Isabelle Nolan, who lived a few blocks from the club, coveted only the canoe. She entered the contest and campaigned vigorously … for third place. Her father, William I. Nolan, a state legislator and future congressman, must have been mystified by her political instincts.

From the Minneapolis Tribune:

She Wants That Canoe

Miss Mercedes Nolan After Third Prize in Harriet Club’s Queen Contest.
  Mercedes Nolan in 1914
Miss Mercedes Nolan, one of the eight daughters of W.I. Nolan, the Forty-third district legislator, is out for the third prize in the “queen” contest of the Lake Harriet Commercial club’s midsummer jubilee. Miss Nolan doesn’t care for the first prize or the second; she is going to campaign for the third, which is a canoe with all the equipments that a well-appointed canoe should have.
The diamond ring and the trip to Niagara Falls, the first two prizes, tempt her not at all. If she should run strong in the race so as to be uncomfortably close to the top she will have to strive to get her vote down to keep in the neighborhood of that canoe. Miss Nolan is an expert canoeist, and she is going to paddle hard between now and Aug. 3, when the jubilee week opens.
There are now four entrants in the “queen” contest. Mrs. A.C. Wakefield of 4308 Alden drive has entered and threatens to make all the unmarried contestants do some speeding. The other two entrants are not to be announced yet, as they have not turned in any votes, but they are understood to be ready to break in with a large number to their credit.
In early returns – the voting method is unclear, but it appears that a penny had to accompany each vote submitted to the club – Miss Nolan was in third place. But as more women jumped into the fray, she fell behind and in the end finished seventh. Esther Mackey won the diamond ring, Artha Anderson won the trip and Anna Giroux paddled off with the canoe.

But the “vote contest” story was neither the first nor the last time that Mercedes Nolan’s name appeared in the Minneapolis Tribune. The previous summer, she played the role of a “feminine negro servant character” in a well-received church production of “A Virginia Heroine,” a three-act comedy drama, at the Lake Harriet Commercial Club. In November 1914, she displayed quick thinking and bravery when a fire raced through the family home, 2014 W. 40th St. “Groping through the smoke,” the Tribune reported in a page one story, Nolan carried her 3-year-old sister Patty to safety, then returned and alerted another sister to the fire.

After graduating from West High, newspaper records show, Nolan worked at two banks and served on the State Bonus Board in St. Paul. In January 1920, she landed a job as booking agent for the Midland Lyceum bureau in Des Moines. Later that year, I’m sorry to report, she and two friends were killed in a car accident near Excelsior. The driver of the small roadster was unable to negotiate a tight turn on a Minneapolis & St. Louis railroad trestle. The vehicle plunged through a railing and fell bottom-side up on the road below. “Besides her father,” the Tribune’s account of the accident concluded, “Miss Nolan is survived by her mother and seven sisters, of which she was second oldest. The sisters are Genevieve, Agnes, Edwina, Wilhelmina, Theodora, Germaine and Patty.”  


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