Minnesota Woman Working at the Twin Cities Ordnance Plant
Between 1941 and 1976 (with some pauses between WWII, Korea, and the Vietnam wars), the United States Army operated a munitions factory about half an hour from downtown Minneapolis, in New Brighton, MN. Originally the Twin Cities Ordnance Plant, renamed the Twin Cities Arsenal in 1946 and then finally as the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in 1963, its workers produced small arms ammunition. Unsurprisingly, it was at its most busy during World War II, when it was staffed almost exclusively by women. The women working there were indispensable to the war effort, not just in the munitions they produced, but in their likenesses.
All of the above photos were printed in Minneapolis newspapers in 1942 and 1943 both as simple reporting, but also as propaganda: the United States had resources, was producing munitions like mad, and the work was being done by strong, attractive women.
This post was researched and written by Special Collections Intern James Morrow. James spent the summer working on various components of the Minneapolis Historic Photo Collection in the Hennepin County Library Special Collections.
WEIRD FORMAT WEDNESDAYS: Opal Gospel
The Opal Gospel is a three dimensional book consisting of 9 American Indian poems illuminated by the neo-dadaist Robert Rauschenberg and published in 1971. The unique format consists of 10 hand silk screened transparent acrylic panels that are interchangeable in a slotted stand. Each panel is dedicated to a different Native American tribe. You can mix and match to create different poetry and imagery. Rauschenberg discusses the piece, stating:
"Spiritually and factually, [Native American] drawings improved the hunt and chronicled their history both generally and personally so that it could be understood by other tribes and other generations. It could be read or felt at one instant. [Art] should be a form of therapy."
Limited edition of 230 copies. Our copy is #20.
Kam Kasravi and Connie Dewitt wanted a modern cabin that wouldn’t disrupt the Redwoods on their property. First they considered prefabs, but quickly realized they wouldn’t fit up the narrow road to their land in the Santa Cruz mountains. So they convinced their friend, architect David Fenster, to design them a home made from shipping containers.
Built from recycled cargo containers hand-picked from the Port of Oakland, Six Oaks was built around the footprint of the land. The containers were building blocks that were cut and stacked to fit between Redwoods along a steep grade.
While the home was assembled in 6 hours, it took nearly a year to finish the interior since so much of it was custom. The unique materials meant some unique requirements: instead of carpenters, they used welders; a commercial roofer had to be hired, etc.
Acoording to Connie, it wasn’t “the cheapest way to build”, but It cost about $50 per square foot less than a more conventional custom home.
They didn’t aim to build an extreme home, but the couple feel confident their home will hold up well under extreme conditions- i.e. falling trees, forest fires.
David Fenster | MODULUS architects