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Yesterday's News

Sample Minnesota's rich history, courtesy of a microfilm archive

April 25, 1875: In Stillwater, a clock bedeviled

Another in our series of Minneapolis Tribune stories that include the word "newspaporial":

That Clock.


The Stillwater department has a clock. Its frame is a compound affair, containing, as it does, a thermometer and barometer, as well as a time-piece, which surmounts the whole. Altogether it has a sea-going face. Gazing upon it, visions of Capt. Cuttle, the Wooden Midshipman, Jack Bunsby, Paul Jones, Midshipman Easy, and a hundred other nautical heroes flit through the imagination. Then it has, withal, a staid sort of an air. Its every tick seems to say: “You may depend upon me forever. The sun and moon may vary, but I never will." Its appearance, its declarations and its associations had gained for it the reportorial bosom confidence, which had been further heightened by the test of experience. It had never been known to fail at 4:15 p.m. of each day. It was always on time.

But the devil got into that clock on Friday, and by its agency played a scurvy trick on the Faberian Knight. In fancied security, he closed his package for Saturday’s Tribune as the hands of that fickle – yet trusted – monitor pointed to 4:01. It was earlier by some 14 minutes than that daily operation is generally performed, so he did it leisurely, and with equal unconcern stepped quietly over to the depot and found the train skimming the curve by the State Prison on its outward passage to Minneapolis. That reporter did not roar. He was too sad for that. But he solemnly reflected upon the many times he had been made the victim of misplaced confidence during his chequered career. He went to bed, thinking of the absence, next day in The Tribune, of the Stillwater news. He dreamed of newspaper scoops. He caught a night mare, in which a barometrical thermometrical horologue played such hellish tricks that the cold perspiration exuded from every pore, and finally plunged him into a sea of inky newspaporial oblivion. Then calmness succeeded. Gentle angels whispered peace and fanned that throbbing brow with snow-white wings. He awoke refreshed, and pushed the minute-hand of that clock forward 20 minutes.

Stillwater, 1874: Looking southeast from the corner of Third and Myrtle. (Photo courtesy

Oct. 9, 1947: TV arrives in the Twin Cities

RCA Victor's Television Caravan rolled into downtown Minneapolis in October 1947. Several hundred spectators flocked to Donaldson’s department store on Nicollet Avenue to see demonstrations of the new technology. The account below is from the Minneapolis Star, which sent a photographer but apparently didn't have room to run the photo. The next year, KSTP became the first TV station in Minnesota to broadcast regularly, beaming 12 to 14 hours of programming a week to about 2,500 television sets in the metro area.
Irine Petroff, who just might have been America's first TV camerawoman, shot a commercial for a fashion magazine during the 1947 demonstration at Donaldson's. On the other side of the camera were Irene Murphy, left, and Lygia Jarantow. Both had experience with early television in New York City, Murphy as host of "Woman's Club" and Jarantow as an announcer.

Television Caravan Goes on Display at Loop Store

“Fade music, cue the action!” echoed throughout the third floor of the L.S. Donaldson Company store.
The RCA Victor Television Caravan was ready to show before several hundred spectators.
The caravan, which whistled up to the store’s main entrance Wednesday in six jeeps with police escort, had demonstrated television in 21 major cities.
Under direction of Louis A. Sposa, a leading television technician, nine members of the caravan, including actresses and engineers, staged animated commercials demonstrating the 11 products and magazines sponsoring the show.
In a fashion magazine commercial, two secretaries have a discussion over a typewriter, when the boss is out for lunch.
The scene then fades to a magazine cover of which they are talking. Various pages of the issue are shown on the screen, and explained by the secretaries’ conversation.
Queries of “how can I get on the air?” from members of the crowd swamped Randy Merriman of KSTP, whose “Fun for Your Money” show opened the Wednesday program, reproduced on television sets throughout the store.
Reason for the clamor: Merriman’s show doled out baby orchids and rosebuds for clever answers to his questions. 
In addition to Merriman’s show, KSTP’s Rock Ulmer and Jimmy Valentine are included on the program.
All day today until the store closing time at 8:45 p.m. and all day Friday, starting at 11 a.m., the television caravan and KSTP will present varied performances which will be visible to customers  throughout the store on television receivers.