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)

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

Plaque commemorating the passage of the 1915 Seaman's Act. (Museum object #1942.530)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

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

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)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Engine fragment from the van used in the Sterling Hall bombing, 1970. (Museum object #1994.8)

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

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

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.
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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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