OBJECT HISTORY: Mepps Fishing Lure

The classic Mepps fishing lure the Aglia, was invented in France in the 1930s and patented in 1938. (Mepps is a French acronym for Manufacturier d’ Engins de Precision pour Peches Sportives, translated as “Manufacture of Precision Equipment for Sport Fishing”.) It was introduced to northern Wisconsin, and to the U.S., by a G.I. returning from France.…

OBJECT HISTORY: Lifesaving Medal

All along Wisconsin’s 820 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, storms could mean the difference between profit and financial ruin, survival and terrifying death. This lifesaving medal reminds us of the risks that sailors and Wisconsin’s maritime communities have routinely faced since the early 19th century, and it documents the personal bravery, dedication, and ingenuity of those who would rescue their fellows…

OBJECT HISTORY: Aztalan Fishing Weir

Fishing can take a lot of patience. A person could sit with their fishing pole for hours before they get a bite! Fishing weirs are time-saving technologies built in the water to trap fish. This fishing weir was created by the people who lived in the Early Mississippian settlement, Aztalan, sometime between the 10th and…

OBJECT HISTORY: The SS Meteor

The SS Meteor was launched as the SS Frank Rockefeller in Superior, Wisconsin by the American Steel Barge Company in 1896. The last remaining of only 44 “whaleback” ships ever built, she was designed by a Scottish immigrant named Alexander McDougall. She is 380 feet long, 45 feet wide and 26 feet deep. You may notice that the SS Meteor looks somewhat different…