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

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

Woman Suffrage Tunic

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Parade tunic worn by Wisconsin suffrage supporter during Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois, 1916. (Museum object #1956.1450)

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)

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

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

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

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)

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

Historical Essay

La Follette Casket Flag

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

United States Flag used to drape the caskets of both Robert M. La Follette, Sr. and Jr. (Museum object #1951.187)

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)
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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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