History

Greeting Card, Doris K. Wylie Hoskins Archive

Image of greeting card.
The Doris K. Wylie Hoskins Archive for Cultural Diversity documents the African-American experience in Champaign County and east central Illinois. Doris Wylie Hoskins amassed this valuable resource throughout her life. This greeting card, published by the National Council of Negro Women, was sent to Doris’ daughter on her birthday in September 1995.

Champaign Real Estate Listing Magazine

Image of Champaign real estate listing magazine cover.
Published January 22, 1973, this magazine’s cover features a wintertime photo of the Busey mansion. Inside, it includes a description of the extravagant home and a brief history of the Busey family. The mansion was shortly thereafter demolished.

Wooden Cross Country Skis

Image of wooden cross country skis
Shown here is a pair of cross-country skis from 1915. Skiers used the leather straps to secure their boots to the skis. These skis were donated to the Museum of the Grand Prairie in 1968.

Advance Flyer and Exposition Flyer Train Collision in Naperville

Image of Advance Flyer and Exposition Flyer train collision in Naperville.
On April 25, 1946, the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad’s high-speed passenger train, the Exposition Flyer, rammed into the Advance Flyer in Naperville, Illinois. Forty-five people died, and 125 people were injured in the collision. Naperville residents, like the employees of Kroehler Furniture Factory and students from North Central College, volunteered to help the injured, while emergency workers traveled from neighboring communities to assist in recovery efforts.

Legal Documents from the Burch Divorce Case

Image of printed report of the Burch divorce case.
An Illinois divorce case made national headlines in early 1860. Isaac Howe Burch, a prominent Chicago banker and real estate investor, sued his wife Mary Weld Turner Burch on the grounds of adultery.

Kroehler and DuPont Miniature Room

Image of Kroeler Manufacturing Company furnature room model.
Illinois-based Kroehler Manufacturing Company was one of the largest upholstered furniture manufacturers in the world for 80 years. It had major influence on the buying habits of the American public. The Naperville company sponsored a traveling exhibit of twelve miniature rooms, “Four Generations of Furniture Fashion.” Commissioned by Kroehler and E.I. DuPont de Nemours in the mid 1960s, the exhibit traveled widely through the late 1970s to stores and shopping centers that carried Kroehler furniture.

Scrapbook of the World’s Columbian Exposition

Image of 1893 Chicago World's Columbian Exposition scapbook.
In 1893, Chicago hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition—an epic event that drew nearly 27 million attendees from around the world. The fair celebrated art, architecture, social issues, agriculture, and technology through various exhibitions and displays, providing visitors with both entertainment and educational opportunities.

Multimixer Model 9B

Image of Multimixer.
In the 1930s, Illinois fast food entrepreneurs Earl Prince and Walter Fredenhagen found that existing soda fountain machines were not up to the task of mixing their Prince Castle “One in a Million” malted milkshakes. A heavy-duty, centrally-mounted, motor-driven, individual mixing shaft solved the problem, and the Multimixer was born.

Lincoln’s Shaving Mirror

Image of Abraham Lincoln's shaving mirror.
This is Abraham Lincoln’s portable shaving mirror. He used it riding the 8th Illinois Judicial Circuit prior to his presidency. Made from stained oak, it could be folded and neatly tucked away in its self-contained wooden, rectangular case.

1818 Statehood Map

Image of 1818 Statehood Map.
There are only four surviving copies of this 1818 map of Illinois, which was printed in Philadelphia. John Melish produced it from surveys in the General Land Office and a few other sources. Produced only a few months before Illinois achieved statehood, the map reflects the priorities of early settlement, highlighting military bounty lands granted to War of 1812 veterans in color.

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