History

Moldboard Plow

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Moldboard plow (c. 1830 -1834), made in Connecticut. Illinois Legacy Collection, Gift of the Alan R. Smith family.

This iron moldboard plow was brought to LaSalle County from Connecticut by the Smith family in 1834. It was used to break the prairie on the Smith’s farm, twelve miles north of Ottawa.

Photoelectric Relay

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Photoelectric relay made at Yerkes Observatory, Williams Bay, Wisconsin, with the cooperation of the General Electric Co., and photoelectric cells by R. J. Cashman and W. S. Huxford, 1933.  Courtesy of the Adler Planetarium.

The Chicago Century of Progress Exposition of 1933-34 celebrated the alliance between science and industry, conveying a message of hope for a better future in times of depression. The most dramatic and anticipated moment of the opening ceremony in the evening of May 27, 1933, was when the illumination of the fair was turned on, unfolding as a spectacle of light and color.

Brass Tomahawk Pipe

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As European and Native American cultures mingled, new technologies blended with tradition to create new uses for everyday objects. The brass tomahawk pipe became a popular accessory, as it was useful in the field as a tool or as a weapon of war. During ceremonies, it was used as a pipe to smoke with friends or to cement agreements. Tobacco would be added to the metal bowl (opposite the blade) and smoked through the hardwood handle. Many similar tomahawks were manufactured by Europeans, cast of metals like brass or hammered out of old rifle barrels.

Brass Crucifix

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Brass crucifix LaSalle Co., ~ 300 years old

A harbinger of a changing world.  French explorers and voyageurs arrive in the late 17th century.  Their presence will transform Native American life and foretell of even more profound change to come.  The forces of colonization nearly extinguish Native American life in Illinois.

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