Begin your adventure through Wisconsin’s history by exploring an exhibit of objects and stories from around the state.
The Babcock butterfat test, developed at the University of Wisconsin in 1890, transformed the US dairy industry and helped Wisconsin become the Dairy State.
A few nicks to the skin, a suction cup, and a syringe to draw your blood cured what ailed you in a mid-1800s Wisconsin doctor’s office.
In the 1890s, everyone from Annie Oakley to the Badger Wheelmen participated in Wisconsin’s cycling craze. The blue drop-tube safety bicycle represents two sides of Wisconsin’s bicycling story: bike manufacturing and recreational uses.
A tattered music recital poster sings songs of Milwaukee’s late-nineteenth century music scene, the women’s movement, and early Mexican immigration to Wisconsin.
A penguin-themed serving bowl dishes out stories about the aluminum industry, postwar consumer culture, and home entertainment in mid-twentieth century Wisconsin.
A bite of Door County history: a tourist souvenir from Ephraim, Wisconsin reminds visitors of the thriving cherry industry.
The collected Stories surrounding our Objects are another way to travel through Wisconsin’s history. Tags and Dates are additional means to unexpected ends. Here are a few paths to explore, you may be surprised where they lead you!
Founded in 1888, the Wisconsin Chair Company was perhaps the most important business in Ozaukee County in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
At the turn of the 20th century, new research in the field of astronomy saw the development of large telescopes like the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay.
While the 1890s bicycle craze was short-lived, contemporary cycling enthusiasts draw on their legacy as they advocate for better conditions on the road.
Wisconsin passed the nation’s first comprehensive worker’s compensation law in 1911, creating an entirely new insurance industry in the process.
Wisconsin 101 is a statewide, collaborative project exploring Wisconsin’s diverse, interconnected histories through objects.