Black and white portrait of Joseph Rolette as a young businessman and trader, c.1841.

Joseph Rolette

Joseph Rolette as a young businessman and trader, c.1841.

Black and white portrait of Joseph Rolette in the garb of a fur trader, c.1860.

Joseph Rolette

Joseph Rolette in the garb of a fur trader, c.1860.

Rolette, Joseph (1820–1871)

Joseph Rolette was a fur trader and politician during Minnesota's territorial period. A colorful character in his time, Rolette is remembered for the drastic action he took to assure that St. Paul would become Minnesota's state capital.

Field worker examining Wire Grass, c.1903.

Examining the grass

Field worker examining Wire Grass, c.1903. Originally published in a Crex Company furniture catalog. (New York: Andrew H. Kellog Co., 1903).

Black and white aerial photograph of the Crex Carpet Company, c.1928.

Crex Carpet Company, 509 Front, corner of Mackubin, St. Paul

Aerial photograph of the Crex Carpet Company at 509 Front Avenue in St. Paul. Photographed by F. Paul Wright c.1928.

Color illustration of the Crex Carpet Company office c.1901.

Crex Carpet Company office

Illustration of the Crex Carpet Company office c.1901. Originally reproduced in Herbert Myrick's Creating New Industries (Chicago: Orange Judd, 1901).

Color illustration of a field of wire grass during harvest time c.1901.

Harvest Scene in Color

Illustration of a field of wire grass during harvest time c.1901. Originally reproduced in Herbert Myrick's Creating New Industries (Chicago: Orange Judd, 1901).

Color illustration of three styles of rug manufactured by the Crex Carpet Company.

Crex Carpet Company rugs and hall runners

Illustration of three styles of rug manufactured by the Crex Carpet Company. Originally reproduced in a John H. Pray & Sons Company catalog (#30, page 38).

Color illustration of a Crex Carpet Company employee operating a carpet loom, c.1908.

Crex Carpet Company loom and employee

Illustration of a Crex Carpet Company employee operating a carpet loom. Originally reproduced in a Crex Carpet Company catalog (Chicago: Hollister Press, c.1908).

Crex Carpet Company

From 1898 to the early 1930s, St. Paul was the center of a national home furnishings industry based on wire grass, a plant that grew wild in the peat bogs of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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