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Zinsmaster Baking Company records

Identifier: S6041

Scope and Contents

The collection contains four scrapbook volumes of newspaper clippings of company advertisements, bread industry advertisements, and related newspaper stories on Zinsmaster and its competitors (1919-1934). There are also black and white 8x10 photographs of the silver trophy and four wrapped loaves of Zinsmaster's bread (March 22, 1925), Duluth Zinsmaster Co. open house at the plant, one colored architect’s rendering of Zinsmaster plant (11X14), and one original architectural ink drawing of the Superior plant (not dated) in the volumes.

The collection also contains: 6 issues of the company's in-house employee publication "The Mixer" (vol. 1 ,no. 5 May 1925; vol. 2, no. 1, 2 January, February 1926) in the scrapbooks and loose in a folder (vol. 19 no. 1, 2 November and December 1949; vol. 20, no. 22 August 1951); illustrated booklets "Your Future with Zinsmaster" (c. 1940); "A Souvenir from Zinsmaster " (n.d.); "Recipes Issued by Home Economics Department of Zinsmaster" (n.d.); "Welcome Visitor to Home of Master Bread" (c. 1950); and an Honor Roll list of Zinsmaster employees serving in the U. S. Armed Forces (n.d.); one 16x6 photograph of families at the Master Bread and Club Picnic at Big Lake, July 25, 1930; one 8x10 image of the exterior of the Duluth building (Gallagher photographer); a 1922 snapshot of workers Tony Liberty, Ed Kaminski and Bert Ahlquist in front of a Zinsmaster open bed truck holding boxes; a card Season's Greetings, signed by Walt with a photograph of a man in uniform and a Master Bread delivery van.


  • 1919-1977
  • Majority of material found in 1919-1934


Biographical / Historical

The Zinsmaster Baking Company began in Duluth in 1913 as the Zinsmaster-Smith Bread Co, Harry W. Zinsmaster and R. F. Smith partners. The small local enterprise grew to one of national importance. Additional Zinsmaster companies were located in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Hibbing, and Superior, Wisconsin.

William Zinsmaster was born in Kaiserslautern, Germany and came to the United States in 1864 to teach school at Iowa Center, Iowa. He married Mary Anne Kirkman of that community in 1866, and lived on a nearby farm until moving to Des Moines in 1875 to own and operate the International Hotel until it was razed to make room for his first bakery. When he retired from active business in 1921, he left the bakery in Iowa under the management of his son Marcellus, who, in 1931 was president and general manager.

He founded The Des Moines Bakery Company in 1893. He retired from business in 1921. He died in Des Moines at age 89 on September 8, 1931. Mrs. Dissmore of the Christian Science church read the service. He was buried at Glendale Cemetery, Des Moines. His widow, two sons and five daughters survived him: Harry, Marcellus, Mrs. Frank Proctor and Mrs. Charles W. Dejarnette both of Des Moines; Mrs. Walter Emmons of Omaha; Mrs. Ralph of Philadelphia; and Mrs. Allen McFarlane of Charlottesville, VA.

Harry William Zinsmaster was born May 15, 1885, in Des Moines Iowa. He graduated from Amherst College in 1908. He was an advertising representative for J. Walter Thompson Co. until 1912, when he returned to Des Moines and joined his father's firm as vice president. He left the next year and was organizer and president, Zinsmaster-Smith Bread Co., Duluth in 1913. He subsequently formed and became president of Zinsmaster Baking Co. St. Paul, 1919; Zinsmaster Baking Co., Minneapolis, 1929; Zinsmaster Hol-Ry Co., Duluth, 1931. He married Josephine Hazel Van Dyne and had children Jane (October 11, 1919-2009) and William (June 18, 1922-?). Harry W. Zinsmaster died on June 14, 1977 as age 92. He is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale, California


4.00 Volumes

Language of Materials


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, and are on permanent loan from the St. Louis County Historical Society.
Guide to the Zinsmaster Baking Company records
Finding Aid Authors: P. Maus.
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