NEW: MInneapolis, 1920-2020

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Groceteria
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NEW: MInneapolis, 1920-2020

Post by Groceteria » 28 Jan 2020 20:22


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Andrew T.
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Re: NEW: MInneapolis, 1920-2020

Post by Andrew T. » 29 Jan 2020 15:01

This is great! As the gatherer of data, there are a few words and caveats I need to disclose...

* First: Most of the locations I've collated so far are limited to Minneapolis (the city) only. I still need to comb through my notes from the Minneapolis Suburb directories. Some suburban locations showed up in the "proper" Minneapolis directories (and thus, the spreadsheet) anyway; but there wasn't any real consistency about this. I also need to make sure that every suburban location is listed under the name of the town or city it actually geographically falls within, because I'm a stickler for such things.

* The Minneapolis city directories from the 1920s to the 1950s are exhausting to sift through. The city was (and is) enormous, and its grocery retailers were historically weighed more towards independents than chains...so I had to squint at tiny, hard-to-read text on dozens upon dozens of pages, without having much to glean from the effort. Worse, some chains in some years were omitted altogether from the classified listing sections: I'm missing National listings from 1930, for example.

* The day after I plugged in the first draft of the spreadsheet, I discovered errors from my initial round of data entry: Addresses keyed in as "3550" instead of "2440," locations in the wrong columns, stuff like that. I managed to catch the worst of it, but I won't rest easy about the accuracy of the data until I've double-checked every single location I keyed in! Argh.

* Minneapolis and its suburbs represent only half of the Twin Cities. What about St. Paul, and the suburbs that surround it? Unfortunately, St. Paul was not to be: I was pressed for time at the Minneapolis Central Library, and I wasn't able to review their collection of directories beyond the Minneapolis and Minneapolis Suburbs volumes on the open stacks. Researching the Twin Cities will have to be a long-term project.

That said...Minneapolis is a city of personal significance to me, and I nearly moved to live there on more than one occasion. And, it was fascinating to see how its grocery chains evolved!

There was a surprising amount of continuity between National, Applebaum's, and Rainbow Foods (Sid Applebaum's bio makes it clear as to why), and one ex-Del Farm store location on 1104 Lagoon Avenue evolved through all four brands! I suspect it was rebuilt at some point, though.

Applebaum's and Rainbow Foods also reoccupied a former Kroger store at 1808 NE University Ave; an artifact of that Ohio chain's short-lived and disastrous 1960s stab at the Twin Cities retail market. All the more ironic that Rainbow Foods was bought by Roundy's, which was bought by Kroger (sans Rainbow division, alas).
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

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Groceteria
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Re: NEW: MInneapolis, 1920-2020

Post by Groceteria » 29 Jan 2020 21:16

Andrew T. wrote: 29 Jan 2020 15:01Some suburban locations showed up in the "proper" Minneapolis directories (and thus, the spreadsheet) anyway; but there wasn't any real consistency about this. I also need to make sure that every suburban location is listed under the name of the town or city it actually geographically falls within, because I'm a stickler for such things.
Welcome to my world. This is a bigger issue in the northeast and midwest than elsewhere, and it makes the process much more labor-intensive, so thanks for tackling it!

I have access to the ProQuest Star-Tribune archives at least for a few more months if there's anything I can look up there for you.

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Re: NEW: MInneapolis, 1920-2020

Post by Groceteria » 29 Jan 2020 21:20

March_1,_1930_(Page_15_of_32).png
This (from 1930) pleased me when I did a quick query...

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