The invention of moving walkways or sidewalks dates back to the late 1800s. An inventor named Albert Speer of New Jersey received the first patent for an “Endless-Traveling Sidewalk” in 1871. Speer planned to revolutionize transportation in New York City, but his idea was never adopted.
Scientific American, Jan. 16, 1892, p.1.
It wasn’t until the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago that one was built in the U.S. Continue reading
The Duluth Daily News of March 30, 1892, printed a letter offering an unpublished poem by Walt Whitman. The letter writer claims that Whitman had visited Duluth for his health the previous summer and had been so impressed with the Zenith City that he wrote a poem in praise of Duluth and had sent it to a friend in town. The poem, simply titled “Duluth,” follows:
As World War II continued into 1943, some U.S. industries were experiencing shortages of workers. In Minnesota, the pinch was felt especially acutely in agriculture, food processing, and logging. Women and even children often stepped up to help with the labor shortage in agriculture and food processing. One notable local example was 17-year-old Duluthian Shirley Armstrong, who appeared on the cover of the September 27, 1943, issue of Life magazine because she was working in corn fields near Fairmont, Minnesota. She and several other young women from Duluth were featured in an article about the Women’s Land Army.
Users of early elevators were responsible for opening and closing the doors manually, and sometimes the doors were left open, creating a hazardous situation with the shaft exposed. As Andreas Bernard writes in his 2006 history of elevators:
. . .in the 1880s, manually operated or hinged doors. . .on each floor still frequently misled careless passengers wishing to enter the cab into opening them and falling into the shaft. (Andreas Barnard, Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator, p.31)
Duluthian Alexander Miles helped solve this problem by inventing an improved mechanism for opening and closing elevator doors when the car arrives at or departs the floor. This is just one accomplishment of this successful and creative businessman who lived in Duluth in the late 1800s and was thought at the time to be the wealthiest black man in the Midwest.
At one time, you could find a corner store in just about any Duluth neighborhood. The 1973 Duluth City Directory lists 69 stores under the Groceries and Meats—Retail heading. The list includes a few large chain markets like Super Valu, National Food Stores, and Piggly Wiggly, but the vast majority at that time was one-of-a-kind family owned neighborhood shops. From east to west, smaller markets like Tonkin’s Grocery, London Road Market, Taran’s Food Market, Seventh Street Groceries, Plets Grocery, Tony’s Market, Ideal Market, and Mac’s Grocery dotted the map.
The Duluth Public Library, 520 West Superior Street, will sponsor a free showing of the movie “You’ll Like My Mother” on Saturday, November 3, at 1:00 p.m. in the library’s Green Room. This 1972 movie, which stars Patty Duke and Richard Thomas, was filmed in Duluth, mostly in the Congdon Mansion, and had its Duluth premiere in the NorShor Theater on November 4, 1972. Retired Duluth News Tribune editor and columnist Jim Heffernan will share some of his recollections of the filming in Duluth and of the premiere.
The Duluth Public Library doesn’t just collect books, it collects memories! Take a trip down Memory Lane by looking at some old yearbooks. Check out the fashions and relive your carefree youth.
We have yearbooks from Cathedral/Marshall, Central, Denfeld, East, Harbor International, Hermantown, Morgan Park, and Proctor. Be sure to check the catalog to see if we have your years. Click on the “Full Display” tab to see the years owned by the library.
Check out some of the local celebs who attended CATHEDRAL AND MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOLS.