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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Discover the connection between P.T. Barnum and the 1853 statewide referendum on liquor sales and why it failed.

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

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Desk used by Milwaukee Alder Vel Phillips, made by the Northwestern Furniture Company for Milwaukee City Hall, 1895. (Museum object #2007.16.1)

Historical Essay

Development of the Railroads

Read how the development of railroads spurred settlement and aided farmers and businesses in mid-19th-century Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

First Practical Typewriter

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Sholes & Glidden typewriter developed by Christopher Latham Sholes of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and marketed c. 1874. (Museum object #1964.31)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Schlitz "Sunshine Vitamin D" Beer Can featuring Continental Can Co.'s new crown top design, 1936. (Museum Object 2011.77.1)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Pouch obtained from an Oneida Indian at the 1997 Milwaukee River Front Pow-Wow. (Museum object #1999.40.1)

Historical Essay

World Series Welcome Sign

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

"Welcome" sign used to decorate lamp posts in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin during the 1957 World Series. (Museum object #2007.68.1)

Historical Essay

Governor Dreyfus's Red Vest

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Red velveteen vest worn by Wisconsin Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus, c. 1975. (Museum object #1982.450.15)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Milwaukee Light Guard coat worn by Captain John C. Starkweather, 1858-1861. (Museum object #1957.282)
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Have Questions?

If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.

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