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: Migrant Worker’s Cabin

This cabin, once occupied by a family of migrant workers employed by the Bond Pickle Company, is located at the property of Thomas and Jamie Sobush of Pensaukee, Wisconsin. The cabin was originally one of many other small cabins, clustered together at the Bond Village Migrant Camp on Van Hecke Avenue in Oconto, Wisconsin. The…

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: Lifesaving Medal

All along Wisconsin’s 820 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, storms could mean the difference between profit and financial ruin, survival and terrifying death. This lifesaving medal reminds us of the risks that sailors and Wisconsin’s maritime communities have routinely faced since the early 19th century, and it documents the personal bravery, dedication, and ingenuity of those who would rescue their fellows…

OBJECT HISTORY: Cherryland T-Shirt

In 1927, Marilyn Färdig’s grandparents, Andrew and Esther Färdig, purchased twenty acres of land in Ephraim, Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Image ID: 79142. Wisconsin, and started a cherry orchard. With the help of their seven children and workers from a variety of locations, including the southern United States, Mexico, and Jamaica, Andrew…

OBJECT HISTORY: CCC Pillow Sham

Created in 1933, this commemorative pillow sham was just one of a number of textiles created by second-generation Hungarian immigrant Rose Mary Drab to honor her brother Edward’s service in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Rose Mary appliquéd the black cotton sateen sham with a small cotton tent, a blue eagle and two small stars, and hills, pine…

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…