Collage of historical images.

Wisconsin History Essays

Learn something new about the past and gain a deeper understanding of your world. Hundreds of essays tell the stories of the people, places and events that are Wisconsin history.

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Search by keyword below to find information on Wisconsin's history.

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Historical Essay

Gumball Slot Machine

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Trade stimulator gumball slot machine seized from a Shullsburg, Wisconsin tavern in 1945. (Museum object #2008.13.1A-B)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Inauguration gown worn by Wisconsin First Lady Sue Ann Thompson at her first inauguration ball, 1987. (Museum object #2003.61.1a-b)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Collage featuring likeness of civil rights activist Father James Edmund Groppi by artist Gloria Adair of Milwaukee, 1966. (Museum object #1993.37.1)

Historical Essay

Milwaukee Sewer Socialism

Read about the era in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Milwaukee became the first Socialist city in the United States.

Get to know Isaac P. Walker, the first Wisconsin resident to be a presidential candidate contender in 1850.

Historical Essay

CCC Trunk

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Trunk used by Werner Brunner while working on Civilian Conservation Corps projects in La Crosse County, Wisconsin, 1934-1935.(Museum object #1990.165.26,A)

Learn how Robert La Follette and the Progressive Movement reformed state government and the Republican Party in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Portrait of Lucius Fairchild by John Singer Sargent, 1887. (Museum object #1942.305)

Historical Essay

Ojibwe Presentation Pipe

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ojibwe pipe presented to Wisconsin territorial governor James Duane Doty, 1844. (Museum object #1955.399,A)
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