History

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.

Wax Figurines

Image of wax figurines of outstanding Illinois women.

c. 1920s
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Transfer from the Illinois State Historical Library,1970.28

These three wax figurines are representatives from a collection of 129 figurines depicting outstanding women in Illinois history. They were created by Minna Schmidt and donated to the Illinois State Historical Library in 1929. Harriet Sanger Pullman, left, was a socialite who supported hospitals, libraries, and schools. Julia Dent Grant, center, was the loving wife of Ulysses S. Grant. Elizabeth Byerly Bragdon, right, was a patron of music and the arts.

The Joliet Prison Photographs: 1890 to 1930

Image of images of Joliet Prison life.
Richard Lawson was serving a sentence for marijuana possession in 1969 when he was assigned to serve as an inmate photographer at the Joliet Stateville Prison. During this time, he discovered a cache of glass plate negatives produced by inmates at about the turn of the century. Years later, when he became a professor at Southern Illinois University, he conserved and put together an exhibition of the images in 1981. So far, more than 100 images have been preserved and printed.

Photo of the Snow Bird Club

Image of "Snow Bird Club" members photo.

c. 1884
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Gift of the Sangamon State University Foundation, 1995.242.68

Those who survived the "winter of the deep snow” called themselves snow birds and considered themselves the true original settlers of Illinois. In 1882, a group of male snow birds formed a Snow Bird Club for the purpose of calling on old settler ladies every New Year’s Day. A copy of this photo, depicting the 23 members of the Club, was given to each lady they visited in 1884.

Senate Desk of John C. McKenzie

Image of original Illinois State Senate desk used by Jonh C. McKenzie.

original desk from the floor of the Illinois State Senate
This desk was from the original furniture purchased and used in the current Senate Chamber of the State Capitol Building in Springfield.
circa 1888 - 1900

John C. McKenzie (1860-1941) began his career as a lawyer in the small village of Elizabeth in northwestern Illinois. He served in the Illinois House from 1892 to 1896 and in the Illinois Senate from 1900 until 1911.  He used this desk until the State ordered new ones for both chambers.

Cradle Reaper

Image of cradle Reaper used on the Glenn Droegmiller family farm, near Elizabeth, Illinois.

Cradle Reaper used on the Glenn Droegmiller family farm.
used on their Snipe Hollow farm near Elizabeth in NW IL
late 1800s

A cradle reaper was used to cut crops such as wheat, oats, and hay and then rake the cut crop into a single row. Pitchforks would then be used to throw the harvested crop into a wagon to be hauled to the farmer's barn for storage. This particular cradle reaper was used on the Snipe Hollow Farm near Elizabeth, Illinois, sometime in the late 1800s. 

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