Monday, October 24, 2011

Minneapolis Knitting Works

These are postcards advertising babies' underwear made by Minneapolis Knitting Works. These have verses based on well-known nursery rhymes: Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe; Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat; Jack and Jill; and Pat a Cake, Pat a Cake. There were also cards with Ba! Ba! Black Sheep and Mary Had a Little Lamb. The verses start out with the usual lines and end with something about the Minneapolis Knitting Works "M" products, for example:
Pat a cake, pat a cake, Baker's Man,
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Pat it and roll it and mark it "M.B."
Which stands for "M" Band for
Babies, you see.

Minneapolis Knitting Works began as the St. Paul Knitting Works. In 1891 St. Paul Knitting Works moved to Minneapolis and was reincorporated as Minneapolis Knitting Works. The company was located at 620-708 Bryant Avenue North for a long time.

The classified ad shown below is from a July 1920 Minneapolis Tribune and mentions a "new factory." The ad seems unusually long and makes the company sound like a great place to work. Among other things, it says: "In fact you will just smile away the hours, thinking of the good wages receive for such pleasant work, and go home happy and cheerful each day."

There are a number of old Minneapolis Knitting Works magazine ads shown on the web. One of my favorites is a colorful undated Halloween ad shown here. The latest ad that I saw was from 1953 and lists a Utica, New York address for the company instead of the Minneapolis address.

An article in the Utica Daily Press in January, 1952 announced that the manufacturing operations of the Minneapolis Knitting Works were to be transferred to Utica. The Minneapolis mill was described as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Utica Knitting Company. The Minneapolis line of children's and infants' garments was to supplement the Utica company's adult line. At that time, the Minneapolis label was not being replaced by the Utica label, and the Minneapolis comapny's offices were to remain in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Historical Society has a 1952 photo of the Minneapolis building here.

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