OBJECT HISTORY: Slate

Before chromebooks, iPads, and even lined paper, students still had to complete their assignments. In the past, students did most their schoolwork on a slate. A slate is a small, rectangular blackboard made from slate stone. They had two sides and the edges were wrapped in leather or wood to protect students’ hands. In the…

OBJECT HISTORY: Settlement Cook Book

The first edition of The Settlement Cook Book was published on April 1, 1901 with an original printing of 1,000 copies. Copies not distributed to the settlement’s cooking school students were sold at the Boston Store in Milwaukee for 50 cents each and sold out within the first year. Kander made notes on the recipe for Mocha…

OBJECT HISTORY: Yerkes Telescope

The 40-inch refracting telescope at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, contains the world’s largest refracting lenses. Built in 1895, the telescope contains two lenses, one made of crown glass, and one made of flint glass. The lenses are each 40 inches in diameter, weigh 500 pounds, and have a 62-foot focal length. The telescope and observatory…

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: Door County Bookmobile

The Door County Bookmobile was the rural public library. In 1950 when the Door-Kewaunee Regional Library Demonstration first brought bookmobiles to the Door Peninsula, nearly 23% of Wisconsinites did not have access to a free library. With many remote towns and islands, a low overall population, poor transportation, and low literacy rates, the Door Peninsula offered an opportunity…