Interested in writing for Wisconsin 101?
You can propose your own idea or scroll to choose from one of the objects in the gallery below.
We are also looking for proposals related to the following topics:
- Natural resources
- Civil rights
- The Conservation Movement
- Arts and culture
- Labor history
Dairyland Rat Poison
The discovery of the blood thinner Warferin by chemists at UW-Madison in dramatically influenced lives of Americans suffering from heart disease, but it also inspired new kinds of products, like this one: a rat poison produced in Milwaukee. Dig into the history of this object and find out about Wisconsin's history of invention and some of its unintended-- and surprising-- consequences!
Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID 100175
Dionne Quintuplets Fan
Lakeside dyeworks in Milwaukee printed this commemorative fan in 1936 to celebrate the Dionne quintuplets, the first quintuplets known to have survived infancy. Examining their lives and the way that Milwaukee celebrated their growth could tell you a great deal about childhood and health in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.
Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID 97815
Cranberry Harvesting Machine
This photo depicts a cranberry harvesting machine on the property of the Wisconsin Cranberry Sales Company in Wisconsin Rapids. Cranberries are an important Wisconsin crop and we seek contributions on cranberries, harvesters, or other related objects.
Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID 42534
Conservationist, forester, and the father of wildlife ecology, Aldo Leopold, invented this economic method for making simple benches. Leopold became famous after his death for writing The Sand County Almanac.
Image courtesy of Flickr, click image for attribution.
Ole Evinrude Outboard Motor
The first outboard motor had a crank that started to two-cycle engine propelling boats like the one pictured. Ole Evinrude invented the machine in Milwaukee going on to found the Evinrude Motor Company.
Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID 7859
Burt's Solar Compass
Every wonder why land in Wisconsin was laid out in a grid pattern? This compass can help you dive into that history. The Burt Solar Compass was used to survey land in Wisconsin in the 1840s and 50s.
Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID 99497
These brightly beaded moccasins were made around 1900 in a style typical of the Potawatomi and Menominee. Investigating the history of craftwork and clothing could help tell new stories about Native American cultural persistence in Wisconsin.
Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID 84027
Aluminum trees like this one were the thing to have in the 1960s, and Wisconsin-made Evergleam trees led the way. What can the history of Wisconsin's fake tree industry tell us about American holidays, agriculture, or invention?
Image courtesy of Kevin Trotman through Flickr.
Appleton Woolen Mill Fabric Sample
Did you know that in the 19th century it was impossible to make paper without woolen felt? As one of the only paper-makers' felt manufacturers west of Ohio, the fabric made at the Appleton Woolen Mill became an essential part of Wisconsin's logging and paper industries. What can these scraps of felt teach us about agriculture, logging, and manufacturing in Wisconsin?
Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID 108048
Like your AC in summer? Warren S. Johnson, a professor in Whitewater, WI, invented the first electric thermostat.
Image courtesy of wikimedia commons.
The Oscar Mayer Banjo-Ukulele
Richard Trentlage recorded the jingle "Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener..." on this banjo-ukulele in 1962. What could this object tell us about the meat industry in Wisconsin, advertising, or music in our state?
Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID 106251
A Birch Bark Canoe
Wisconsin is filled with rivers and lakes, and from the precolonial period to the twentieth century, birch bark canoes were an important way to navigate through the state-- and connecting the region to the Great Lakes, the Mississippi and beyond.
Christopher Sholes's Typewriter
In 1867, in a little shop in Milwaukee, Christopher Sholes invented the first typewriter. His successful trial sentence: "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party." His daughter, Lillian, is shown above at a prototype in 1872.
Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID 5125.
What is Wisconsin without cheese? If you travel to the Swiss Historical Village and Museum in New Glarus you will discover this giant cheesemaking vat. What could it tell us about agriculture, immigration, and cuisine in Wisconsin?