Read more about the article James Duane Doty
William Cogswell’s Portrait of Doty ca. 1858. Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

James Duane Doty

As settlers continued moving westward during the nineteenth century, the United States was a mix of states and large territories.  From 1805-1837, Wisconsin was part of the Michigan territory. James Duane Doty spearheaded the movement to create  partitions in the Michigan territory, …

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OBJECT HISTORY: Old Abe, the Live War Eagle

A bald eagle stands guard over the State Assembly Chamber in Wisconsin’s Capitol building. Between two and three feet tall, the raptor has the characteristic white head and tail feathers, a brown body, and a yellow beak and talons. He sits atop a tree stump in front of a large mural called Wisconsin that represents the state’s…

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OBJECT HISTORY: Madison-Style Ice Boat Model

This miniature ice boat was originally built in Madison, Wisconsin about 1916-1917 by a member of the Bernard family. Carl Bernard grew up in the culture of ice boating and began making models of them at a young age. Creating models helped the Bernards try new innovative building techniques and were also raced for fun.

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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…

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OBJECT HISTORY: Babcock Butterfat Tester

The Babcock butterfat test, developed at the University of Wisconsin, provided a simple, accurate, and inexpensive way to assess milk quality and to pay farmers accordingly. By improving standards and rewarding the best milk producers, the Babcock butterfat test transformed the dairy industry in the United States and set Wisconsin firmly on the path to…

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