OBJECT HISTORY: Nash Car

By the beginning of the twentieth century, horses and wagons were quickly giving way to new horseless carriages, or automobiles—and the landscape of Wisconsin’s towns and roadways began to change as well. Wagon shops, once part of one of the largest industries in Wisconsin, began making automobile parts instead. By 1925, motor vehicle manufacture had…

OBJECT HISTORY: Mepps Fishing Lure

The classic Mepps fishing lure the Aglia, was invented in France in the 1930s and patented in 1938. (Mepps is a French acronym for Manufacturier d’ Engins de Precision pour Peches Sportives, translated as “Manufacture of Precision Equipment for Sport Fishing”.) It was introduced to northern Wisconsin, and to the U.S., by a G.I. returning from France.…

OBJECT HISTORY: Cassel Soda Bottle

This soda bottle was sold by the Cassel Soda Company in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, in the early 1900s. Conrad Cassel owned and managed the company from 1897-1917. The company, along with other Wisconsin soda companies during that time, made carbonated water, a beverage that would gain special significance during Prohibition. The Cassel Soda Company sold its soda to Whitefish…

OBJECT HISTORY: Babcock Ice Cream Carton

Ice cream has been a delicacy for hundreds of years, but in the last century, Wisconsin has come to be considered home to some of the world’s best ice cream. Babcock Hall, established in 1951, has contributed to this reputation, establishing ice cream as a symbol both of Wisconsin’s dairy farming past and its appeal…

OBJECT HISTORY: Vulcan Bowling Pin

This bowling pin was produced by the Vulcan Corporation in Antigo, Wisconsin, sometime in the late 1950s after Vulcan had introduced its patented “Nyl-Tuf Supreme” plastic coating (as indicated by the pin’s red label). The pin complies with American Bowling Congress (ABC) standards, and is currently owned by the Langlade County Historical Society. The Vulcan…

OBJECT HISTORY: Galena

Galena, the official state mineral of Wisconsin, is the raw material used to produce lead. During the Wisconsin “lead rush” of the 1820s-40s, lead was more valuable than gold. That is because just about everybody, rich or poor, used objects made of lead in their daily lives ­­– products that ranged from plumbing to toothpaste!…