Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune

Billy Newcomb extolls the benefits of a Kitchen Plus 2000.

Family has pitched slicers and dicers at the State Fair for generations

By Kim Ode, Star Tribune

Last update: June 03, 2008

Charles "Billy" Newcomb's family has pitched slicers and dicers at the Minnesota State Fair for generations. Now president of Syndicate Sales Corp. in Hopkins, Newcomb can also be found in the lower level of the grandstand touting food choppers and his famous salsa recipe. These are his words:

My family has been selling items at the State Fair since 1933. One of the original items was the Feemster Slicer. It was a vegetable slicer, and the farm ladies just loved it for their refrigerator pickles. It was very dangerous, and sold for a dollar.

My father was from Chicago. One time he was on the Boardwalk in Jersey, and a fellow was demonstrating items and making a dollar or two, so my father decided to give the business a whirl and it clicked.


Clyde Bellecourt, Dorothy Durand

Ancestral Mi-Ni-So-Ta

Paul Durand's life work unearthed hundreds of American Indian names for area landmarks. The work continues even after his death.

Photo left: Clyde Bellecourt, Dorothy Durand

Related Content

A sweet gift

Long ago, long before Minnesota was a state, the native people were gathering sap and making syrup - just as they still do today.

A houseful of history

Dorothy von Lehe

Dorothy von Lehe

Built the year after statehood, one modest home has housed two notable Minnesota families.

Bronko Nagurski

Minnesota sports stars

Some were born here, some just played here. But all were standouts in their field.

Photo left: Bronko Nagurski

Related Content

Videos: Memories of unique events to Minnesota

You need to upgrade your Flash Player to properly use this content.

Get FlashStart Update | Cancel

If you have reached this message in error, you can bypass the detection.

Interactive graphic

Drawing Minnesota's borders


The Land of 10,000 Lakes

With 10,000 lakes to our credit and still counting, it's little wonder that Minnesotans have embraced the outdoors, no matter the season.

One state, many people

Whether you call it a melting pot or a crazy quilt, our history is the sum of many, many histories.

The way we work

From Target to Toro, Minnesota's economy has ridden the waves as surely as the tankers that line Duluth's docks.

The games we play

Francis. Kirby. Lake Placid. Lindsay. You're four-for-four now, right?

The weather we endure

For Minnesotans, "Cold enough for ya?" isn't a lame attempt at conversation. We really want to know.

Politics in Minnesota

Our politicians have talked (Hubert Humphrey), made feminist history (Walter Mondale), rattled cages (Paul Wellstone), and rocked the world (Jesse Ventura).