Skip to main content

The Minnesota Woolen Company Story film

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S3758

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of one 16mm film, approximately forty-five minutes in length. The film includes two separate productions. The first production is Wool O’ the West, about the Portland Woolen Mills of Portland, Oregon. It was filmed & produced by Dick Pfeiffer. The second production The Minnesota Woolen Company Story appears to be addressed to people who sell Minnesota Woolen Company products. A second section of the Minnesota Woolen production portrays a drawing attached to the company’s 1959 Sell-a-thon promotion, awarding prizes to customers and that customer's sales person.

This film has been digitized.


  • 1959


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

The Minnesota Woolen Company was founded in Duluth in 1916 by Nat G. and Abraham B. Polinsky. The company sold clothing throughout the United States through door-to-door sales. The company was the largest in the nation in sales of clothing on a direct to consumer basis. The brothers were partners until 1958, when A. B. Polinsky moved to San Diego. Nat G. died in 1964, A.B. Polinsky in 1983.

The company employed several hundred persons in its Duluth, Minnesota clothing manufacturing and distribution operations, as well as hundreds of salespersons in all states. It also operated a retail store, Minnesota Woolen, at 21 West Superior Street in Duluth.

The Mendenhall, Graham Company was purchased in 1946 by Minnesota Woolen Company which operated it as Minnesota Manufactoring Company with a plant at 514 West 1st Street. The company distributed clothing designed and manufactured in part at 131 West 1st Street through the national Fashion Wagon Party Plan introduced in 1962. Prior to 1962 products were distributed door-to-door.The last major expansion occurred in 1972 when the company moved the Fashion Wagon sample warehouse and shipping facility into a new building at 42nd Avenue West and Superior Street. The retail store closed in 1976, the manufacturing outlet in 1977.


1.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection consists of one 16mm film, which includes two separate productions: Wool O’ the West and The Minnesota Woolen Company Story.

Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.


This collection is part of the Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections, which are housed in the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives at the Kathryn A. Martin Library.

Guide to the The Minnesota Woolen Company Story film
Finding Aid Authors: Staff.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526