William Best Hesseltine Award 2001-02 Winners Announced
The 36th annual William Best Hesseltine Award for the best article
volume 85 2001-02 is a tie. The award
is shared by Jim Draeger for his article, "Postal-Perfect:
My Pursuit of Mail-Order Homes in Wisconsin" and Gerry
Strey for her article, "The 'Oleo Wars': Wisconsin's
Fight over the Demon Spread." Both articles ran in the Autumn 2001
issue. The editors heartily praise this year's recipients, both of whom are also our colleagues.
Gerry Strey is an Oshkosh native who recieved her bachelor's and master's degreens from UW-Madison. She has worked at the Wisconsin Historical Society since 1983, dividing her time between the Society's map collection and the library reference department. Her interest in Wisconsin legislation was aroused by library patron asking for proof that it was once illegal to buy colored margarine in Wisconsin.
Jim Draeger researches and speaks on a wide range of Wisconsin topics, including mail-order houses, Depression-era architecture, Wisconsin resorts, and early Modernism. Drager has been the Wisconsin Historical Society's architectural historian for the past 14 years.
In "Postal Perfect: My Pursuit of Mail-order Homes in Wisconsin," Drager recounts his quest to visit and interview the owners of mail-order homes around Wisconsin. He also reviews 19th-century domestic architecture building techniques while describing late 1880s architectural trend of selling pattern books, plans, and packaged building materials, leading into the Mail-order homes of the early 1900s. Discussed in detail are George F. Barber, William A. Radford, Sears Roebuck and Co., Aladdin Homes of Bay City, Michigan, and W. J. and Otto Sovereign. Access our online archives of the Wisconsin Magazine of History in order to read the article online.
"The 'Oleo Wars:' Wisconsin's Fight over the Demon Spread" describes the century-long conflict between Wisconsin's dairy interests and the margarine industry. It examines market forces, state and federal legislation, and consumer behavior (including interstate smuggling) from the 1870s through 1960s. It discusses the Wisconsin Dairymen's Association, the first federal restrictions on margarine in 1886, and a 1902 bill whose prohibitions on margarine colored to resemble butter lasted for decades. Access our online archives of the Wisconsin Magazine of History in order to read the article online.
Established in memory of a past president of the Wisconsin
Historical Society and a distinguished University of Wisconsin
professor, the William Best Hesseltine Award honors an individual
article that appears in a four-issue volume of the Wisconsin Magazine
of History. Society members were asked to vote for the best article this year for
the first time in the history of the award.