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Agriculture and Environment

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 …

  • More Agriculture & Environment posts

Home and Daily Life

  • 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 …

  • More Home & Daily Life posts

Education

  • Group portraits of nine men in uniform before a boat.

    The Rescuers of the Tanner

    On September 10, 1875, six rescue boat volunteers were dispatched to aid the crew of the Tanner, a cargo ship foundering in Milwaukee Harbor after being struck by a powerful storm. All six of the rescue boat …

  • Map of Lake Geneva, WI, featuring Williams Bay.

    Williams Bay, WI

    Captain Israel Williams founded Williams Bay, Wisconsin, in 1835. Williams and his two sons originally traveled to Wisconsin from their Massachusetts home to look for good farmland. Williams Bay was later named in honor of …

  • An image of a nebula taken by the Yerkes Telescope

    Astronomy in the 1900s

    In the 1800s, astronomers valued telescope magnification to investigate planets and stars. In the 1900s, astronomers started to ask questions about the structure of our galaxy, the Milky Way, which lead to greater emphasis on …

  • black and white image of the Yerkes telescope and the half dome housing it

    Yerkes Telescope Construction and Use

    The construction of the 40-inch refracting telescope at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, was directed by George Hale, an astrophysicist at the University of Chicago, and funded by Charles Yerkes, a Chicago businessman. The telescope is made …

  • Children in Door Country line up to visit the bookmobile

    Creating the Door County Bookmobile

    Door County Library Bookmobile service began in 1950 through a Wisconsin Free Library Commission experiment called the Door-Kewaunee Regional Library Demonstration. The Demonstration was developed to explore the possibilities of providing library service to remote areas of the state. …

  • More Education posts

Government, Politics & Law

  • 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 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 …

  • 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 …

  • The 1911 Workman’s Compensation Act and the Birth of an Industry

    Wisconsin passed the nation’s first constitutionally upheld worker’s compensation law in 1911. It is one of the great successes of Progressive-era social legislation and a triumph of the Wisconsin Idea.[1] Previously, American workers toiling in industrialized workplaces …

  • More Government, Politics & Law posts

Military and War

  • What is a Point Blanket Coat?

    The practice of converting Hudson’s Bay Company blankets into coats began years before the company began mass-manufacturing point blanket coats in the twentieth century. During the fur trade, Native Americans hunters traded beaver pelts for …

  • Picture of Old Abe, the eagle, on the Case company logo

    Old Abe’s Visual Legacy

    Old Abe began his career as a real, live eagle, serving as a mascot during the Civil War. In the decades that followed, the Grand Army of the Republic brought the bird on tours around the country. In the many …

  • French map detail showing the Baye des Puans

    French Wisconsin at Fort la Baye

    French explorers, voyageurs (fur traders), Jesuit priests, and other settlers began arriving in the Upper Great Lakes region of North America in the mid-1600s. Jean Nicolet supposedly landed near present-day Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1634, naming the …

  • A hand-drawn map showing the Great Lakes used by french explorers

    French Cartography in the Great Lakes

    French mariners and explorers using the Le Maire Sundial Compass depended on both their own specialized navigational expertise and maps produced by French cartographers. Many such maps were created based on explorer accounts of the navigable waterways …

  • Dr. James T. Reeve

    The owner of this particular cupping kit was Dr. James T. Reeve. Dr. Reeve was born near Goshen, New York, on April 26, 1834. Despite losing his father at age five and his mother five days before …

  • More Military & War posts

Religion and Philosophy

  • 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 …

  • a diagram showing four color-coded squares representing the four humors of humoral medicine: a yellow square for fire, a black square for earth, a blue square for water, and a red square for air.

    Humoral Medicine and Cupping

    Humoral medicine began in Ancient Greece and continued in popularity until the late nineteenth century. Humoral theory was based on the belief that the body was composed of four humors/temperaments (black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, …

  • More Religion & Philosophy posts

Science and Technology

  • 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.

  • 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 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 …

  • More Science & Technology posts

Transportation

  • 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 black and white photo of the South Park, a whaleback ship

    Great Lakes Shipping and the SS Meteor

      The SS Meteor sailed the lakes longer than most ships of her day, and in her many reincarnations she offers a portrait of how some of the industries on the Great Lakes changed– and what those changes …

  • A map showing the twin ports of Duluth, MN and Superior, WI as well as the harbor and river between

    The American Steel Barge Company

    Duluth, MN and Superior, WI face each other across the Saint Louis Bay. In the mid-nineteenth century, as grain harvests of the northern plains expanded, logging grew, and as iron and copper mining developed in …

  • A color postcard showing a lighthouse and lifesaving station in wisconsin.

    Early Lifesaving Stations in Wisconsin

    A Slow Beginning As maritime commerce grew in the early 19th century, the loss of vessels and crews to shipwreck increased. In 1848, the federal government, through the United States Revenue Marine, established its first lifesaving …

  • More Transportation posts