Records of a family-owned manufacturing firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, best known for kitchenware products, including the Bundt Pan and Micro-Go-Round. In 1946, the year he returned from Navy service in the Pacific, H. David (Dave) Dalquist (1918-2005) joined his brother Mark to launch a new manufacturing firm, Plastics for Industry. In 1950, the brothers bought Northland Aluminum Products, a small firm with a line of "Nordic Ware" products including griddles and steak platters. The same year, Dave Dalquist created a cast aluminum, fluted cake pan at the request of two local women, members of the Hadassah organization. Northland Aluminum registered the trademark "Bundt" for the new product and began to sell it to local department stores. During the 1960s, Nordic Ware grew slowly, gradually increasing its product line to include specialty baking and cookware items and stove-top cookware. The company also expanded its production capacity and built its sales and marketing capabilities, including a national network of sales representatives working on commission. Dorothy Dalquist, Dave's wife, played a vital role in the company's growth. Although the Bundt Pan was only one of many Nordic Ware products, it became a national celebrity in 1966 when a Texas woman used it for her prize-winning Tunnel of Fudge Cake in the immensely popular Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest. In response to the spread of microwave technology in the 1970s, Nordic Ware developed many new products including the very successful Micro-Go-Round. David Dalquist , son of Dave Dalquist, succeeded his father as head of the firm in the 1980s.
The collection richly documents the entrepreneurial spirit of the Minnesota firm and its history of product innovation through engineering files, marketing materials, administrative and financial records, and company histories. Topics of special interest include the dual marketing arrangements with Pillsbury, the protection of the trademarked "Bundt" term, and the technical development of several of Nordic Ware's innovative products, including the Micro-Go-Round and Oven-Aire. The collection includes extensive files of product catalogs, price lists, product guides for sales representatives, and recipes and cookbooks produced by Nordic Ware for use with its products.
The records include correspondence with consumers (and replies), photographs, financial records, product engineering files, design drawings, product catalogs and price lists, publicity and public relations files, legal records, cookbooks and other printed materials; and documents pertaining to the Pillsbury Company, including correspondence and other documents relating to their dual promotional relationship.
Nordic Ware Collection, 1942-2006, Archives Center, National Museum of American History