Sewing for the soldiers

Photo courtesy Hennepin History Museum

Volunteers from Zion Swedish Lutheran Church’s Red Cross unit turned out in full force in 1918 to assist with World War I efforts. The church’s women and girls knitted socks and sewed pajamas, sheets, napkins and handkerchiefs for soldiers; they also sewed clothing for wartime refuges. Their efforts were so prolific that the group moved out of the church’s main building at 31st & Pillsbury and into temporary dedicated space on the second floor of a commercial building at Lake & Nicollet. The office buzzed with activity; older women worked during the daytime hours, while younger girls in schools or with jobs came at night. Here, volunteers work while wearing protective face masks — a preventative measure against the deadly influenza pandemic that was spreading rapidly across the globe.

Photograph from Hennepin History Museum’s collection. Learn more about the museum and its offerings at or 870-1329.