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Curators' Favorites: Science & Medicine

Schlitz 'Sunshine Vitamin D Beer Can'

Schlitz "Sunshine Vitamin D" Beer Can featuring Continental Can Co.'s new crown top design, 1936. (Museum Object 2011.77.1) This can of Schlitz "Sunshine Vitamin D" beer, documents the American fascination with vitamins that began shortly after they were discovered in...
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Posted April 2, 2012



Dairyland Rat Poison

Dairyland Rat Poison container made for the Wisconsin Pharmacal Co. of Milwaukee, 1955-1965. (Museum object #1999.143.34) The same substance that can save your life can also kill you. This is emphatically the case for the compound dicumarol, developed in the...
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Posted June 26, 2008



Vitamin-Finding Feces Bucket

Sheetmetal bucket with wooden handle used to collect cow manure during nutrition experiments at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, 1907-1911. (Museum object #1992.103) It may be hard to believe, but this rather plain looking (and perhaps once malodorous) feces...
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Posted May 29, 2008



Asbestos Baby Bottle Warmer

Automobile baby bottle warmer lined with asbestos, made by the Hankscraft Company, Reedsburg, Wisconsin, c. 1955. (Museum object #1979.316.21) At the height of the Baby Boom, convenience items like this Hankscraft brand automobile baby bottle warmer proved popular for many...
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Posted May 8, 2008



Skunk Grease Medicine

Skunk grease made by Henry Blumer as a home health remedy for Adolph Strahm of Green County, Wisconsin, c. 1920. (Museum object #2006.1.1A-B) Henry "Hank" Blumer, a farmer living near New Glarus, Wisconsin, made this jar of skunk grease medicine...
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Posted November 29, 2007



Babcock's Revolutionary Dairy Invention

Babcock butterfat tester set used in Adams County, Wisconsin, c. 1895. (Museum Object #1948.589; donated to WHS by Elsie Schieber Patrick) Wisconsin will always be known as America's Dairyland, but there is more to the moniker than just catchy slogan...
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Posted May 31, 2007



Bull Semen Parachute

Parachute used by the University of Wisconsin to deliver fresh bull semen to farmers in rural areas, 1944-1947. (Museum object #1993.7) Even though nearly 60 percent of all cattle today are born to cows that have never had actual contact...
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Posted April 19, 2007



Burt's Solar Compass

Solar Compass used to survey lands in Wisconsin and surrounding areas during the 1840s and 1850s. (Museum object #1962.60.2,A) In 1834, while surveying and subdividing the layout of thirteen townships in land that would one day become northern Wisconsin, government...
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Posted March 8, 2007



Lice Comb from Fort Crawford

Bone lice comb from site of first Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, 1816-1829. (Museum object #1997.62.11941) Everyday life at a frontier fort in the early nineteenth century was no easy affair. When the United States Army decided to...
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Posted November 9, 2006



Spiritualist's Séance Robe

Séance robe worn by Louise Parke during her work as a Spiritualist in Wisconsin, 1895-1905. (Museum object #1958.650) Louise (Kingsley) Parke was a member of a Madison family well known for their ability to communicate with the deceased. Her father,...
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Posted October 26, 2006



X-Ray Shoe Fitting Machine

Simplex fluoroscope machine made by X-Ray Shoe Fitter, Inc., Milwaukee, Wisconsin and most likely used in a Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin shoe store, c. 1945-1955. (Museum object #1992.109) In the late 1940s, Noren's Shoes of Sturgeon Bay attracted customers with the...
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Posted September 28, 2006



Portable Teletype Machine for the Deaf

Minicom III TTY machine made by Ultratec, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, c. 1986-1989. (Museum object #2004.58.2a-h) One of historyís ironies is that the telephone - whose inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, was a life-long teacher of the deaf - thoroughly excluded deaf...
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Posted September 21, 2006



Flu Quarantine Sign

Influenza quarantine placard, c. 1910-1924, from the period of the "Spanish flu" epidemic. (Museum object #1978.404.50) The influenza epidemic of 1918-1919, which killed between 20 and 40 million people worldwide, did not spare Wisconsin. During the last three months of...
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Posted January 12, 2006



Pioneering Carbon Fiber Trek Bicycle

Model 2500 bonded carbon/aluminum racing bicycle, made by the Trek Bicycle Corporation, Waterloo, Wisconsin in 1988. (Museum object # 2005.135.1) The Model 2500 is a pivotal bicycle in the Trek Bicycle Corporationís development of carbon fiber technology. Headquartered in Waterloo,...
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Posted September 15, 2005



"Deke" Slayton Space Souvenir

Patch that accompanied "Deke" Slayton on Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, July 15-24, 1975. (Museum object #1982.432.1) At 2:50 pm on July 15, 1975, an Apollo spacecraft lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center, bound for its historic rendezvous with the Soviet...
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Posted July 14, 2005



Home Childbirth Training Kit

"Miniature Home Delivery Kit" used to instruct expectant mothers by the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, c. 1938. (Museum object #1995.6.1-51) While removing obsolete debris from the basement of the Wisconsin Bureau of Maternal and Child Health building in...
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Posted May 5, 2005



"Blitz Fog" Pesticide Cocktail

"Blitz Fog" pesticide package, manufactured for Northern Industries, Inc., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, c. 1965-1967. (Museum object # 1999.143.22) This package of "Blitz Fog," which features a casually dressed woman eradicating pesky mosquitoes as she tidies her lawn with a power mower,...
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Posted April 21, 2005



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