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Swan Turnblad: Wikis


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Swan J. Turnblad (October 7, 1860 - May 17, 1933) was an American newspaper publisher. Turnblad is most associated with Svenska Amerikanska Posten, a Swedish language newspaper once published in Minneapolis, Minnesota.



He was born Swan Johan Månsson in Tubbemåla, Visalanda parish, Kronsbergs lån, Småland, Sweden. His family were farmers but following a series of bad harvests decided to immigrate to the United States in 1868 when Turnblad was the age of 8. The family settled in Vasa Township, Goodhue County, Minnesota, where there was already a sizable community of Swedish immigrants. About 10 years later, he headed to Minneapolis, where he worked as a typesetter at several Swedish-language newspapers. Soon after arriving in the city he met another Swedish immigrant, Christina Nilsson. The couple married in 1883 and the following year Christina gave birth to her only child, Lillian.

Svenska Amerikanska Posten

Turnblad worked for the Svenska Amerikanska Posten and after ten years became the sole owner of the newspaper. Turnblad was very interested in new technology and was the first publisher of a Swedish language newspaper to use a Linotype machine. After acquiring a duplex rotary color printing press in 1903, Turnblad also included color illustrations. Under Turnblad's management circulation increased steadily. The success of Svenska Amerikanska Posten made Turnblad a wealthy man. His success in publishing together with his other investments eventually made his a millionaire.

American Swedish Institute

In 1903 Turnblad commissioned the building of a mansion in Park Avenue in Minneapolis. Turnblad had a firm design a 30-room mansion for him, his wife, and their daughter. Construction began in 1904 and the family moved into their new home in 1908. After Turnblad's wife died in 1929, he and his daughter moved across the street and turned their former home into a museum. Turnblad created the American Swedish Institute, which was housed in his former residence, as a place to preserve Swedish customs and culture.[1] [2]


  1. ^ Spartacus Educational
  2. ^ History of Hennepin County and The City of Minneapolis, 1881. Page 277. North Star Publishing

Other sources

  • Gump, Gertrude. The Story of Swan Johan Turnblad ( Minneapolis, MN. : American Swedish Institute. 1976)
  • Lewis, Anne Gillespie Turnblad's Castle (The American Swedish Institute. 1999)
  • Anderson , Philip J. & Blanck , Dag, editors Swedes in the Twin Cities (Minnesota Historical Society Press. 2000)

External links



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