Fabric foundations 1930s

The world’s largest flag

In 1931, Minneapolis-based C.J. Hoigaard Co. set out to construct a one-of-a-kind U.S. flag. Measuring 90 feet by 175 feet, the “largest flag in the world” was displayed on the front of Donaldson’s department store in downtown Minneapolis.

Using 3,161 yards of imported English wool bunting, 3,300 feet of rope, 33 miles of thread and 1,600 feet of steel cable, the flag was displayed for 12 days without showing strain from the weather. Upon completion, the flag weighed 850 pounds. It took 45 people working around the clock for 16 days to complete.

Oddly enough, despite its size, the flag has disappeared
and attempts to find it have been unsuccessful.

1930

The 3M Company invents Scotch® Cellulose Tape. Later to be called “cellophane tape,” it is an attractive, moisture-proof way for grocers and bakers to seal packages. The tape helps people “make do” during the Great Depression—they made simple repairs to household items.

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1931

“The Star-Spangled Banner” is adopted by Congress as the national anthem for the United States. The lyrics come from a poem written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, after he witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British Navy ships during the War of 1812.

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1937

Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappear after taking off from New Guinea during Earhart’s attempt to become the first woman to fly around the world. Image Credit: Smithsonian Institution. 

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1938

Introduced in 1935 at a DuPont research facility, nylon’s first commercial use is a 1938 nylon-bristle toothbrush. Nylon was subsequently used as a replacement for silk in women’s stockings in 1940.

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-Jessica Bies