All Objects

  • Feed Grinder with corn colettes coming out

    The Flakall Corporation

    In Beloit, Clair Matthews, Earl Baker, Clarence Shwebke, and Harry Adams formed the Flakall Corporation in 1933. Flakall would go on to patent several machine designs used in the production of snack foods - the most famous being the Korn Kurl.

  • Korn Kurl bag from a 1949 advertisement

    From Cow Feed to Korn Kurl

    By the mid-1930s, the Flakall Corporation was trying to build up a customer base for its machine, a version of the feed grinder initially designed and built by Clair Matthews. But, as it turned out, the machine would end up being more useful for snack food manufacturers than farmers.

  • The facade of the Emigranten newspaper office in downtown Madison

    The Emigranten and Other Norwegian-Language Papers

    Throughout the 19th century, Wisconsin was home to dozens of foreign-language newspapers representing cultures from throughout Europe. These papers provided opportunities to create connections in America, maintain homeland networks, and keep current with news in their native language.

  • A Norwegian girl in traditional dress holding a basket

    Norwegian Women Immigrants

    Norwegian women played a vital role in the agricultural and social lives of rural communities. Spurred by a cultural acceptance of work, women on the farm took on both domestic chores and contributed to the family’s economy through production of food and material goods.

  • People posing in front of the Norwegian Luthern Church in Juneau

    Norwegian Communities in Wisconsin

    When Norwegian immigrants like Kristian Magelssen came to Wisconsin in the 1860s, they found an incredibly active Norwegian Lutheran Church. Comprised of fourteen distinct synods often divided by theology, these institutions provided a foundational compass …

  • Wisconsin’s Ancient History in the Kickapoo Valley

    If you look closely, the landscapes around us tell stories about the past. Sometimes in the curve of a road, a line of trees, or stretch of prairie careful observers can find evidence of the …

  • a color photo showing a swiss style bank barn painted white with a lean-to on one side

    The Evolution of a Swiss Barn

    The expansion of Wisconsin’s dairy industry in the 20th century not only altered the economy of the state, but it also influenced the structure of the very barns that housed the bovine champions of the …

  • A group of women posing with bicycles

    The 1890s Bicycle Craze in Wisconsin

    Bicycles entered the United States on the East Coast from Europe in 1869. By 1880, bicycling in the U.S. had become so popular that the League of American Wheelmen (LAW) was founded. One of LAW’s …

  • A man hauling pipes in a wagon over deeply rutted and muddy roads

    Wisconsin Road Conditions

    One of the biggest impediments to the progress of the popularity of bicycling in the late 19th century was bad roads. Wisconsin roads in the 1880s were “plagued by mud, poor signage, and crumbling bridges …

  • A group photo showing a gathering of men behind an American and a Swiss flag

    The Swiss Roots of America’s “Dairyland”

    When the wheat crop failures of the late nineteenth century jeopardized the incomes of many of Wisconsin’s immigrant farmers, the region’s Swiss population transitioned to a trade that they knew from the Old World: dairying …

  • An Ojibwe man and woman on a boat in a marsh harvesting wild rice in 1966 near Ashland, WI

    When Lake Koshkonong was a Marsh

    Maintaining practices like an annual visit to Lake Koshkanong to hunt and harvest food is an important way for indigenous knowledge and culture to be passed-on to the next generation.

  • Slavery in Wisconsin

    It may come as a surprise to learn that during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries slavery existed in the region that would become the state of Wisconsin. Over this period, thousands of enslaved African …

  • Portrait of Louis Armstrong with his Trumpet.

    Recruiting Talent

    With a roster that included Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and Ethel Waters, Paramount Record became perhaps the most important blues recording company of the 1920s. Their success was dependent on their ability to recruit …

  • A disc cutting lathe from the 1930s

    The Record Production Process

    Paramount Record’s parent company, the United Phonographic Corporation, decided to begin recording and pressing records to include with their phonograph cabinets in the early 1920s. Paramount initially recorded in studios throughout the United States. They …

  • Paramount Records

    The Wisconsin Chair Company’s (WCC) decision to enter the record label industry was an economic one. With the United Phonographic Corporation (UPC) picking up steam, management at the WCC began pressing records. The UPC’s first …

  • an illustration of an infant reaching for a bottle of malted milk

    Malted Milk and Infant Nutrition

    Although known today mostly as a flavoring for milk shakes and chocolate-covered malt balls, malted milk made its first appearance in the 1880s as a substitute for human breast milk.  At that time, breastfeeding babies …

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