in

Spectacular Vintage Photos Show What Minneapolis Looked Like in the 1930s

In the 1930s, Minneapolis was going through an economic downturn as the nation was facing the Great Depression. Industries were in decline, and the flour mills gradually began to shut down. Business and local industries had developed a national reputation for ethnic and labor conflict. The violent Teamsters Strike of 1934 resulted in laws acknowledging workers’ rights.

Gangsters and mobs ruled the underworld of the city. North Minneapolis was ruled by the Jews gangster led by Isadore Blumenfield also known as Kid Cann. Blumenfield was linked to assassinations, money laundering, and the destruction of the Minneapolis streetcar system, and political bribery.
Here below are some vintage photos of Minneapolis from the 1930s. These stunning historical photos show a whole different Minneapolis from the one we know today and they also offer a glimpse into everyday life. Vote your favorites and don’t forget to share.

If you go more into the past, then check out, what Minneapolis looked like in the early 1900s.

#1 Two men stand behind the bar at Schiek’s Cafe in Minneapolis, Minnesota. June 1, 1934.

#4 Pawnshops and secondhand stores in Gateway District, Minneapolis, 1930s.

#5 Flour mills along the river. Minneapolis, 1930s.

Flour mills along the river. Minneapolis, 1930s.

While most of the original flour mills have been destroyed and demolished, a few of the sites have been preserved in the Mill Ruins historic district.

#7 The driver and delivery van for Despatch Laundry in Minneapolis, 1937

#8 Rows of chairs at the School of Dentistry at the University of Minnesota, 1930.

#9 Shriner’s parade inside Coliseum featuring clown and drum from Zuhrah Drum Corps. Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1930.

#10 Spectators watching a Golf Tournament. Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1930.

Spectators watching a Golf Tournament. Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1930.

Bobby Jones putting while Jock Hutchinson watches in the 2nd round of play at the National Open tournament at Interlachen Course.

#12 Family of trucker waiting while truck is being loaded, Minneapolis, 1930s.

#13 Horse racing on lake of the Isles, Minneapolis, 1930s

#14 Picketing, Minneapolis, 1930s.

Picketing, Minneapolis, 1930s.

The strike ended a month later on August 22, 1934.

#15 Flour mills along the Mississippi River. Minneapolis, 1930s.

Flour mills along the Mississippi River. Minneapolis, 1930s.

Minneapolis is a historic center for the flour milling industry. Flour mills built along the Mississippi River processed and shipped huge volumes of flour in the 1930s.

#16 Kay Palmquist models a trousers suit in downtown Minneapolis, 1935.

#17 Keller Drug and Delivery Car in Minneapolis, 1936.

#18 Job seekers during the Great Depression have put signs on their car expressing their wish to work. Minneapolis, 1930.

#20 Bootblack’s stand, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1937

#21 Postal carrier Albert S. Dilley empties a mailbox on his downtown route. Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1930.

#22 Boston Block Department Store, 300 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, 27 December 1936

#24 Christmas decorations at 7th Street and Nicollet Avenue. Dayton department store on left, 1930s

#25 Christmas decorations at Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, 1930s

#26 Students at work in the offices of the ‘Minnesota Daily’, the campus newspaper of the University of Minnesota, 1932.

#27 Fight between teamsters and police, Minneapolis, June 1934

#29 Three Dunne brothers work during Labor Strike in Minneapolis, 1934.

Three Dunne brothers work during Labor Strike in Minneapolis, 1934.

(Left to right), Ray, Grant, and Myles Dunne are leading the truck drivers in their strike in Minneapolis. Myles Dunne is Secretary of the Truck Drivers Union.

#30 Gateway Park, the heart of skid row, Minneapolis, September 1939

#31 Gateway District, Minneapolis, 1930.

Gateway District, Minneapolis, 1930.

The Gateway District has always been a center of activity in the city, but it looked a whole lot different back then! Although it's still a core historical spot in the city, many of the original buildings were demolished in the 1950s as part of an urban renewal effort.

#32 Gateway Park, the heart of skid row; Minneapolis, Minnesota, 6 July 1937

#33 Goodwill store and Mission church, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1937

#34 Coffe shops, cafes and hotels in Gateway District, Minneapolis, 1930s.

#35 Hennepin Avenue at South Tenth Street, Minneapolis, 1934

#36 Barber College in Gateway District, Minneapolis, 1930s.

#37 Hennepin Avenue from Sixth Street looking north, Minneapolis, 1930s

#38 Child who lives on the other side of the tracks, Minneapolis, 1930s.

#40 Looking up Nicollet from Fourth Street south, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 14 January 1937

#42 Miller’s restaurant, 126 Washington Avenue south, Minneapolis, 1930s

#43 This billboard from 1937 advertises for the Minneapolis Journal newspaper.

#44 Minneapolis Mayor George E. Leach points out a good place to get run down by a car, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1930s

#45 Signs in the Gateway District, Minneapolis, 1937.

#46 Minneapolis women lining up to vote for the first time in a presidential election, 1930s

#49 Tourist camp in winter, Minneapolis, 1930s.

Tourist camp in winter, Minneapolis, 1930s.

Some tourist camps offered room rentals (similar to motels), while others just offered a spot for roadside camping.

#51 Newspaper row, Fourth Street south near Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1930s

#52 Orpheum Theater (still very much in use), 910 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 1933

#53 Packing flour at Pillsbury mill, Minneapolis, 1930s.

Packing flour at Pillsbury mill, Minneapolis, 1930s.

Pillsbury Mill was one of the largest in town. Here, an employee manages the packing and filling process.

#54 Passengers boarding a street car at Hennepin and 9th, Minneapolis, 1930s

#55 Grain samplers, Minnesota Grain Inspection Department. Minneapolis, 1930s

#56 Pawnshop in Gateway District, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 1939

#57 Grain inspector at state grain inspection deptartment, Minneapolis, 1930s.

Grain inspector at state grain inspection deptartment, Minneapolis, 1930s.

After passing the checks of the grain samplers, grain inspectors took a closer look.

#58 Pawnshops and secondhand stores, Minneapolis, 1939

#59 Minnesota state grain inspection department, Minneapolis, 1930s.

Minnesota state grain inspection department, Minneapolis, 1930s.

As the grain trade is so central to the state's economy, large inspection departments in the Twin Cities worked to ensure that both imported and exported products were of high quality.

#60 Policeman with boy at Thirty-Sixth Street and Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1930s

#61 Open grain market, Minneapolis Grain Exchange, Minneapolis, 1930s.

Open grain market, Minneapolis Grain Exchange, Minneapolis, 1930s.

The Open Grain Market provided a place for farmers to sell their products and for buyers to examine many different options for purchase.

#62 Sixth and Nicollet in the rain, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1930s

#63 Buyer examining sample of oats at open market, Minneapolis Grain Exchange, Minnesota, 1939.

#66 Snowplow owned by Jefferson Transportation Company, Minneapolis, 1930s

#67 Beer wagon, Minneapolis, 1930s.

Beer wagon, Minneapolis, 1930s.

Horse-drawn beer wagons, also a common sight in the late '30s, made deliveries to local businesses.

#68 South Sixth Street, near Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, 1930s

#69 Brewery, Minneapolis, 1930s.

Brewery, Minneapolis, 1930s.

Grain Belt Brewery, which was established in 1893, survived the Prohibition years by producing "near-beer" and sodas; however, the brewery has experienced tumultuous business since. The original brewery in Minneapolis was closed and operations were moved to a St. Paul location in 1976.

#70 Southwest corner of Snelling and University, St. Paul, Minneapolis, 1932

#71 Camp for Unemployed women in Minneapolis, 1930s.

Camp for Unemployed women in Minneapolis, 1930s.

Beginning in 1933, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration began opening Camps for Unemployed Women, also called She-She-She Camps, in response to the development of similar programs for men in the Civilian Conservation Corps.

#72 The heart of downtown, Seventh and Hennepin, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1930s

#73 Men sitting in the park, Gateway District, Minneapolis, 1930s.

#75 Gateway District, Minneapolis, 1930s.

Gateway District, Minneapolis, 1930s.

The Gateway District was a common retreat for those needing a break from the stress.

#76 Workers marching through Minneapolis Loop in observance of May Day chanting, 1937

#77 Playing shuffleboard in the park, Minneapolis, 1930s.

#78 A family feeding ducks in park on Saturday afternoon, Minneapolis, 1930s.

#79 Skyline with windmill company in foreground, Minneapolis, 1930s.

#80 Brawls between the unemployed and the police, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1934.

#81 National Guardsmen as they oil and clean machines guns, Minneapolis, 1934.

#82 The amateur hockey team from the Flour City Coal and Oil company pose on the ice with their coaches in 1934.

#83 Police intervene in a clash between striking truckers and the citizen’s army. Minneapolis. Minnesota. May 21st, 1934

#84 A truck driver’s strike turns into a riot on May 21, 1934 at the Minneapolis City Market.

#85 Group portrait of ‘Madame White’ cosmetics sales staff with car and signage for an event at the Capitol Theatre in Minneapolis, 1934.

#86 Christmas shoppers crowd Nicollet Avenue at Eighth Street in the 1930s.

#87 Students work on a cooking project in a Home Economics class in a Junior High School, 1935.

#88 Women sew denim overalls in the Lee Work Clothes factory in Minneapolis, 1935.

#89 A group of elderly women work on projects at the Phyllis Wheatley Settlement House in Minneapolis, 1936.

#90 Young men and women practice clerical skills in a classroom at the Minnesota Business College in May 1936.

#91 A milkman from the Johnson Bros in Minneapolis, 1936.

#92 Unemployed men in the gateway area of Minneapolis, 1939.

#93 Freightcars waiting in a train yard in the flour mill district of Minneapolis, 1939.

#94 78 and 33 rpm records fill the sales bins at a music store in Minneapolis, 1930.

78 and 33 rpm records fill the sales bins at a music store in Minneapolis, 1930.

-1 Points
Upvote Downvote
Avatar of Aung Budhh

Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 Comments

Load more comments