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Historical Essay

Punch Card Voting Device

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Votomatic punch card voting device used in Walworth County, Wisconsin, until 2000. (Museum object #2006.24.1)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Giant knife presented to John Fox Potter by Missouri Republicans after his challenge to duel with a Virginia congressman, 1860. (Museum object #1957.112)

Read how Robert La Follette, the Wisconsin Republican Party and the Progressive Movement reformed state government in the early 20th century.

Historical Essay

State Capitol Spittoon

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ornamented bronze cuspidor (spittoon) used in the Wisconsin State Capitol, c. 1915-1955. (Museum object #1955.3600,A-B)

Learn about Robert M. La Follette's significant role in establishing the direct primary elections in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Badge worn to support William Jennings Bryan by Wisconsin delegate Charles Donohue at Democratic Convention, Denver, July 1908 (Museum object #1997.36.1)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

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

Brief biography of George H. Walker railroad promoter and politician who was twice mayor of Milwaukee (1851, 1853).

Brief biography of George H. Walker railroad promoter and politician who was twice mayor of Milwaukee (1851, 1853).

Historical Essay

Granger Gourd

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ceremonial container made from a gourd, presented to Wisconsin Governor William R. Taylor, 1874. (Museum object #1993.53)

Historical Essay

Nelson, Gaylord, 1916-2005

Founder of Earth Day

This Wisconsin Senator, best known as the founder of Earth Day, championed the preservation of the environment and natural resources.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Appointment book made of ivory, used by Wisconsin politician and businessman Cassius Fairchild of Madison, WI, during the 1850s. (Museum object #1971.19)

A Dishonest Democrat and a Radical Republican

Learn about the election that was so close that Wisconsin briefly had two governors until one was exposed for tampering with ballots.

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)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Pocket knife found on the corpse of Wisconsin Governor Louis P. Harvey after he drowned in the Tennessee River on April 19, 1862. (Museum object #1969.4)

Read a short biography about this U.S. Senator famous for his penny-pinching attitude toward government spending and his courage in taking unpopular stands

Historical Essay

Fugitive Slave Collar

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Iron collar removed from a fugitive slave by Wisconsin soldiers in 1862. (Museum object #1961.73)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Garnet velvet evening gown worn by Wisconsin First Lady Charlotte McAleer Kohler to President Eisenhower's 1953 Inauguration Ball. (Museum object #1960.211

This woman was the wife of "Fighting Bob" La Follette. Read about her influence in politics, specifically in the woman's suffrage and pacifist's movements.

Historical Essay

Mrs. Fairchild's Worth Gown

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Gown made by Charles Frederick Worth of Paris for Frances Fairchild of Madison, Wisconsin, 1880. (Museum object #1945.960,A)
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