Milwaukee’s annual German Fest is happening this weekend! We wanted to share a few images from our George Brumder Collection to help celebrate.

Named for the most prominent of Milwaukee’s German-language publishers, the Brumder Collection contains a variety of books and related materials: Bibles, dictionaries, self-help books, fiction, biographies, children’s books, cook books, and newspapers. Currently, the collection has over 160 titles documenting all Milwaukee-German language imprints, including the Brumder Publishing Company. 

Pictured here are an advertisement for a family resort; two different Perlen, children’s storybooks, including Perlen: kleine Erzählungen für KinderEine Sammlung kleiner Erzählungen aus Schneeflocken und Tannenzweige, a book of Christmas stories; and Germania Heimathsklängea collection of German folk songs. The links provided take you to the catalog entry.

In 1923, Jack Mattes won the Wisconsin State Championship in automobile racing. Milwaukee photographer Roman Kwasniewski captured these images of Mattes posing with his family, his race car, and his championship trophy. Despite the victory, everybody in the photographs looks pretty dour!

Unfortunately, Mattes passed away in 1927 from injuries sustained when he crashed his car through a fence while racing at Wisconsin State Fair Park.

All images are taken from the Milwaukee Polonia Collection.



Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner! Here’s Mrs. Beeton’s recipe for baked beef, from the 1899 edition of her Book of Household Management:

Ingredients.—About 2 lbs. of cold roast beef, 2 small onions, 1 large carrot or two small ones, 1 turnip, a small bunch of savoury herbs, salt and pepper to taste, 4 tablespoonfuls of gravy, 3 tablespoonfuls of ale, crust or mashed potatoes.
Mode.— Cut the beef in slices, allowing a small amount of fat to each slice; place a layer of this in the bottom of a pie-dish, with a portion of the onions, carrots, and turnips, which must be sliced; mince the herbs, strew them over the meat, and season with pepper and salt. Then put another layer of meat, vegetables, and seasoning; and proceed in this manner until all the ingredients are used. Pour in the gravy and ale (water may be substituted for the former, but it is not so nice), cover with a crust or mashed potatoes, and bake for ½ hour, or rather longer.
Time.—Rather more than ½ hour.
Average cost, exclusive of the meat, 6d.
Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons.
Seasonable at any time.
Note.—It is as well to parboil the carrots and turnips before adding them to the meat, and to use some of the liquor in which they were boiled as a substitute for gravy ; that is to say, when there is no gravy at hand. Be particular to cut the onions in very thin slices.

(via Friday Food: Isabella Beeton’s Recipe for Baked Beef, 1861 | Scripta manent.)

We love vintage cookbooks!

The missing cannons of Koscuiszko Park

Current Milwaukee residents may recognize this monument, though the two cast iron cannons that originally flanked the statue are missing.  The monument sits in Koscuisko Park on Milwaukee’s’ Old South Side and honors Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a Polish hero from the Revolutionary War. 

What happened to the cannons? Research reveals that they were disassembled and melted down to supply armaments for the war effort in 1943.  It seems fitting that even as late as World War II, the spirit of Kosciuszko was still fighting for the United States.

Kosciuszko Monument in Kosciuszko Park in winter, 1928

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