OBJECT HISTORY: Potawatomi Beaded ‘Soldier Coat’

An elder spokesman for the Potawatomi Indians, Chief Simon Onanguisse Kahquados made a number of trips to Washington, D.C. in the early twentieth century in an effort to regain land that his people had lost through treaties with the United States government in the 1800s. Kahquados wore this coat on his last trip to Washington and also wore it on other important occasions, such as trips to the state capital in Madison where he often spent time researching and presenting information about his ancestry.


Before the 1850s, Wisconsin did not have roads, at least not ones you would recognize. As more people moved to Wisconsin, settlers cut thick prairies and forests into roads, but these were just dirt paths that were often quite muddy. As a solution, Wisconsinites decided to build plank roads which had a lot of advantages over the dirt ones.

OBJECT HISTORY: Piano and Song Recital Poster

Mr. Raphael Baez, a well-respected violinist, pianist, composer, and music professor, and his wife Mrs. Mary Schoen Baez, a noted vocalist, had performed together in various music halls in the city of Milwaukee since 1889. The Athenaeum, home of the Women’s Club of Wisconsin, had hosted Mr. Baez and his students throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth…

OBJECT HISTORY: Pauline Pottery Covered Jar

Between 1888 and 1909 the city of Edgerton, Wisconsin was home to six different companies producing nationally recognized ceramic art. The art potteries of Edgerton were part of a late nineteenth and early twentieth century trend known as the American Art Pottery movement. This covered jar, made at Pauline Pottery, represents one example of this broad movement in American ceramics.


The lead mining industry of the 1830s and 1840s brought miners from Cornwall, England to southwestern Wisconsin. The miners brought Cornish traditions like the pasty, a filling food for hungry miners. The availability of pasties today demonstrates the lasting traditions of early European immigrants in Wisconsin. Pasties are folded pastries filled with meat and vegetables.…

OBJECT HISTORY: Paramount Records 78

Created by the management of the Wisconsin Chair Company, a furniture making business based in Port Washington, Wisconsin, Paramount Records was initially incorporated to help sell phonographic cabinets in the late 1910s. Relying on resourceful talent recruiters and a relatively cheap production process, Paramount Records became one of the leading blues music record producers in the 1920s, and is today recognized by…