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Gifted: 1951

Gifted: 1951

"Bill, Emily & E.S. - Dec 25 1951." It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in this latest episode of Minnesota Kodachromes. Photo by Hubert Tuttle. Full size.

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Cut Bill A Break

Benefitsspecialist complained about Bill just standing there like a bump on a log.

There is a good possibility he spent some cold time cleaning snow off of the car and had the heater going so when it was time to back into the driveway the ladies were presented with a clean and warm car.

Even if he only went out to warm the car and back it into position he deserved a cup of hot coffee with maybe a wee shot of Seagram's 7.

Mercury Options

This car has the accessory rear-window wiper.

Mercury Mystery

The door handles are the pull type, early 1949.
The split rear window is 1949
Why the front fender trim is 1950 is a mystery.
Maybe replaced due to damage?
The sun visor is an aftermarket Fulton.

Makes you feel

Warm and cold at the same time. Brings back nice memories of living in the North, and how the ladies in my family always wore lovely long coats, and until I was big enough the way I found my mom in a store was by the coat she wore.

What a guy!

Bill stands with his hands in his pockets while the girls cart in all the stuff.

I am glad to see, however, that he had the sense to BACK into the driveway so the women could get out in the cleared path. I bet Emily suggested it, though.

1949 Mercury

The car has 1949 Mercury wheel covers, and the '49 also had Mercury written on the fender trim.

[Compare the lettering style and position between 1949 and 1950 - taken from Mercury brochures - and our car. -tterrace]

What is the correct model year?

The rear window on a 1950 Mercury has one piece of glass. The '49 has a three piece window with chrome dividers. This photo clearly shows those chrome dividers.

[And yet it also has the 1950 front fender trim; a mystery. -tterrace]

Ya, sure

stuart51, green bean casserole's in the bag, and jello salad in the bag.

jsmakbkr, thanks for the update on this charming Minnesota family.

Merry Christmas Shorpy fans, far and wide


And I'll bet the white bag with the round container holds a tin of home made Christmas baking, maybe cookies.

Merry Christmas to Shorpy and fans!

Thanks, Micaela

for your happy greetings across the Atlantic. Greets, love and light to you.

Happy even in the snow!

Love this photo! The classy car with suicide doors and the sun visor and fender skirts. Wonderful coats and hats on all three persons and they are happy. Merry Christmas!

Oh fun photos even for one living in MN

The rain killed what we should have as in the photo but the joy is still here because of greetings from far away from Micaela! Merry Christmas and Cheers all.

Muskrat, the other mink

My bet is the ladies are sporting muskrat coats which were very popular at that time. Muskrat could be trimmed and dyed to mimic mink. My mother had one about the same time period with a matching hat and muff. In the early 60's my father purchased her a black Persian lamb jacket which replaced the muskrat. As a kid my sister and I would love to stroke the muskrat to fulfill our "Lenny" urges. Happy Holidays to all the Shorpy fans.

Actually a '50

Yes, it has '49 wheelcovers, but the side trim with the "MERCURY" lettering over the front wheel opening, and the rear windows that wraps into the C-pillar show it to be a '50 model. The side trim on the '49 is plainer, and the "MERCURY" lettering is at the front of the trim.


Algona, Iowa, you say? Now you're getting close to home. I went to high school there, but it was in the '60s and I didn't know any Ringgenbergs.

The snow, the elm-lined streets, the style of houses - all very familiar to me from that part of the country.


I'm amazed that the young lady is wearing heels while walking in the snow. What we women go through for fashion's sake!

Hot Dish

is what Minnesootans call dem casserole thingies, ya know?

Ringgenbergs of Algona

These are likely Bill and Emily Ringgenberg and their only daughter, Emma Ringgenberg Lighter, all of Algona, Iowa (the next county seat south of Blue Earth). Ms. William Ringgenberg was identified in a 1960 Kossuth County Advance as a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Abe Tuttle of Blue Earth, who were then celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary. This would make her one of Hubert's sisters. The 1940 census provides her first name (Emily), and identifies her husband as Willard, and their fifteen-year-old daughter as Emma. Bill died in 1973, but Emily would see another half-century before her death in 2002, at age 96.

Christmas casseroles

I'll bet that's a covered dish of some kind, that she has covered with that brown paper bag! Scalloped potatoes, or baked beans? I wonder!

James Dean

... drove a similar 1949 Mercury in "Rebel Without a Cause." His was a two-door. This one has accessory fender skirts and sun visor. Letters on the wheelcovers and rounded rear window mark this as a '49. '50s had smooth wheelcovers and '51s had a larger rear window.

Keeping up with the Joneses, er, Swensens

A nice 1950 Mercury with sunshade and dual outside mirrors, and fur coats for the wives.

A joy of living that transcends decades and continents

Almost all the Minnesota Kodachromes convey such joy of living!
They really make you feel the happiness, which seems to have been preserved in a time capsule. Not so long had passed since the terrible WWII, so I believe people must have been elated at the thought the ordeal was over.

Anyway, this photo is so uplifting and all I can add is Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Romania to all Shorpy fans all over the world!

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