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

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)

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)

Historical Essay

Lottery Ball Drawing Machine

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ball drawing machine used by the Wisconsin Lottery for Daily Pick 3 and Daily Pick 4 games, 1992-2000. (Museum object #2001.83.16.1A-B)

Documented and Legendary Accounts of Lincoln's Visits to Wisconsin

Abraham Lincoln's visits to Wisconsin, documented and legendary.

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

United States Senate campaign banner for Milwaukee Socialist Congressman Victor L. Berger, April 1918. (Museum object #1992.168)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

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

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.

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)

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)
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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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