Densmore, Frances (1867–1957)

From the 1890s through the 1950s, Frances Densmore researched and recorded the music of American Indians. Through more than twenty books, 200 articles, and some 2,500 Graphophone recordings, she preserved important cultural traditions that might otherwise have been lost. She received honors from Macalester College in St. Paul and the Minnesota Historical Society in the last years of her life.

portrait photograph of Elsa Peterson

Elsa Peterson

Elsa Peterson, 1880s. Oleson Portrait Studio, Minneapolis.

photograph of motorette operating streetcar

Elizabeth Pederson at the controls of a streetcar

Motorette Elizabeth Pederson at the controls of a streetcar at East Side Station, University Avenue and First Avenue NE, Minneapolis, December 4, 1950. Pederson retired in 1973.

Photograph of motorette boarding a streetcar

Motorette Helen Murphy

Motorette Helen Murphy, St. Paul, 1946.

photograph of three uniformed motorettes

Motorettes Marie Hagen, Bernice Nelson, and Verna Fox

Motorettes Marie Hagen (left), Bernice Nelson, and Verna Fox at Lake Street Station, Twenty-first Avenue South and Lake Street, Minneapolis, 1945.

photograph of a streetcar at a station

Motorette operating a streetcar, c. 1945

A streetcar operated by a motorette in Willernie, c.1945.

photograph of uniformed motorette

Motorette Helen Murphy

Motorette Helen Murphy at the Snelling Station, Snelling and University Avenues, St. Paul, about 1945.

motorette newspaper advertisement

World War II motorette advertisement

A newspaper ad recruiting women to operate streetcars, 1944.

photograph of a group of uniformed streetcar conductresses

Duluth streetcar conductresses

The Duluth Street Railway hired twenty-one women as streetcar conductors (or "conductresses," as they termed them) in 1918. Some of them posed outside the streetcar barn at Twenty-sixth Avenue West and Superior Street for this photo taken June 21, 1918.

World War II motorettes

Three of the first motorettes report for work at Nicollet Station, Thirty-first Street and Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, 1943.

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