History

Gettysburg Address

Image of one of five copies of Gettysburg Address, written by Abraham Lincoln.
This is one of only five surviving copies of the Gettysburg Address in Abraham Lincoln’s own hand. He originally gave it to Edward Everett soon after the Gettysburg National Cemetery dedication. Everett was the main speaker that day, giving a two-hour address.

Joseph Smith in Illinois

Image of note written by Joseph Smith.
This note was written by the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church), Joseph Smith, during his time in Nauvoo, Illinois.

Illinois’ First Newspaper

Image of Illinois Herald newspaper.
The Illinois Herald was the first newspaper published in the Illinois Territory and a key voice in pushing for statehood. Although it was based in the territorial capital at Kaskaskia from May 1814 to April 1816, only this December 13, 1814, issue survives.

Illinois Flag

Image of Illinois flag flown in Vietnam War.
This flag was flown over the tents and barracks of the 515th Transportation Company at Cam Rahn Bay from 1966-68 during the Vietnam War. It is signed by the 22 Illinois members of that company. The 515th, known as the Roadrunners, drove 5-ton trucks hauling supplies to the troops in 12 hour shifts around the clock, 365 days each year.

Model of Barbed Wire Fence

Image of patent model for barb fence.

H.M. Rose
1873
wire, wood
Gift of Lyman Rose, 1954.020.703447
ILLINOIS LEGACY COLLECTION –ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM

On May 13, 1873, farmer Henry M. Rose of Waterman was awarded a patent for a fence designed to keep livestock at bay. It consisted of sharp spikes protruding from a thin wooden rail. Rose displayed this patent model for his fence at the DeKalb County Fair that fall, where it caught the eye of three men. Rose’s patent inspired Joseph Glidden, Isaac Ellwood, and Jacob Haish to each try their hand at inventing barbed wire fencing.

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.

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