History

Typewriter, Underwood No. 5

Image of typewriter owned by Carl Sandburg.
This typewriter belonged to Illinois’ own Carl Sandburg, nationally known author, poet, and journalist, while he lived in Elmhurst from 1919 to 1930. Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois, in 1878 and eventually moved to the Chicago area to begin a career in journalism. He wrote for the Chicago Daily News, reviewing movies and covering labor news. The Sandburg family moved to Elmhurst in 1919, the same year he won his first of three Pulitzer Prizes.

Lakeside Classics

Image of Lakeside Classics book series.
Lakeside Classics are books published by R.R. Donnelley & Sons that feature first-person narratives of American history. Since 1903, the books have been released every Christmas, a practice that continues today. However, the books are not sold to the public but instead have been given to employees and others associated with the company.

Academy Staff Developing a Photographic Enlargement for a Diorama, c. 1915

Image of developoing a photographic enlargement for a diorama.
Until the beginning of the twentieth century, animal specimens were traditionally preserved as study skins or as crudely stuffed mounts. Then, in the early 1910s, a man named Carl Akeley pioneered new specimen preparation techniques that enabled him to create more realistic displays. The Chicago Academy of Sciences also began to experiment with these ideas and devised large, meticulously-detailed dioramas as a new way to represent local species and natural areas.

Chicago Academy of Sciences' Matthew Laflin Memorial Building, 1894

Image of Chicago Academy of Sciences' Laflin Building.
The Chicago Academy of Sciences has a long history in Chicago. Founded in 1857, the Academy opened Chicago’s first public museum in 1869. That building, located at Wabash and Van Buren in the downtown area, was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Following the fire, the scientific community and public rallied around the Academy.

Musket

Image of U.S. Model 1842 musket.

1843
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Gift of Mrs. Henry Delbridge, 1968.067.799057

Private Patrick Carroll carried this musket during the Civil War when he served in the 32nd Illinois Infantry Regiment. Carroll, a native of Ireland, was a 26-year-old blacksmith when he mustered into service at Camp Butler on December 31, 1861. He saw action at the battle of Shiloh and the siege of Corinth before being discharged for disability in August 1862. He returned home to Fayette County, married, fathered seven children, and died in 1901 at age 66.

Child’s Jumpsuit

Image of anti-war child's jumpsuit.

maker unknown
c. 1972
cotton
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Pickel, 1979.87.2
ILLINOIS LEGACY COLLECTION – ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM

Opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War began with small demonstrations on college campuses in 1964. By the end of the decade, anti-war sentiment had grown into a broad social movement that sparked a counterculture revolution.

Ration Books

Image of World War II ration books.

US Office of Price Administration
c. 1943-1945
Leather, paper.
Gift of Kent Smith, 2008.20.13
ILLINOIS LEGACY COLLECTION – ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM

America’s entry into World War II resulted in nationwide efforts to mobilize and equip the military in preparation for battle. Diversion of resources to the troops and Allies resulted in food shortages at home: processed and canned food was largely reserved for shipping overseas to the military and our Allies, transportation of fresh food was limited due to gasoline and tire rationing, and restrictions on imports limited the availability of products from abroad such as coffee and sugar. In 1942, the United States Office of Price Administration instituted food rationing to ensure the fair distribution of goods that were in short supply.

Parachute Wedding Dress

Image of parachute wedding dress.

1982
Illinois State Museum, Illinois Legacy Collection
Gift of Nancy Batchelder Fryxell, 2013.77

Nancy Batchelder wore this dress when she married David Fryxell on May 1, 1982. It was made from her father's World War II silk parachute. Walter Batchelder was hospitalized and unable to attend his daughter’s wedding, so Nancy made the dress as a tribute to him and as a way of having her father represented on her big day.

Canal Scrip

Image of canal script.

1840
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum, X-0883

This scrip was used to help fund one of Illinois’ earliest and most significant infrastructure projects, the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which joins the Chicago and Illinois Rivers and ultimately connects the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River.

Firemarks

Image of firemarks.

c. 1830s-1860s
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Transfer from the Illinois State Historical Library, 1997.195

These metal plates were recovered from the facades of pre-Civil War structures throughout Illinois. They were issued by fire insurance companies as a way for policy holders to publicly indicate that their buildings and possessions were insured against loss by fire.

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