Museum Artifacts

A listing of selected Museum artifacts that can be used to teach American history using object-based learning techniques. The selected artifacts represent a variety of historical eras and the list will grow over time. Want to suggest a new artifact? Click here to contact us.


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William Bradford Cup

Grade Range: 3-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts
Date Posted: 7/25/2012

This silver wine cup belonged to Pilgrim leader and Mayflower passenger William Bradford, who governed Plymouth Colony for thirty years. Made for Bradford in London, the cup bears his initials on one side. The idea of Ameri...


Woman's Comb

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts, Primary Source
Date Posted: 9/3/2008

This tortoiseshell woman's hair comb dates from the 19th century. A precursor to plastics, tortoiseshell and horn were common materials used in combs since they could be made soft and moldable by heating. As they cooled, they would harden and keep...


Wooden name plate used in Manzanar

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts, Primary Source
Date Posted: 3/22/2012

The individual identified in Japanese characters, here is, Michibiku Ozamoto, or, in English, T. Ozamoto. The numbers 24-4-3 stand for Block 24, Barracks 4, Apartment 3.


World War II Poster

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts, Primary Source
Date Posted: 9/3/2008

This image, said to be the most popular poster design of World War II, appeared as a billboard in 1941. Carl Paulson created the design under the direction of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc., for a U.S. Treasury Department cam...


Xerox 914 Plain Paper Copier

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 8/10/2009

Introduced in 1959, the Xerox 914 plain paper copier revolutionized the document-copying industry. The culmination of inventor Chester Carlson's work on the xerographic process, the 914 was fast and economical. One of the most successful Xerox pro...


Y2K Millennium Meltdown R-U-Ready? Hot Sauce Bottle

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 12/31/2009

As the “Millennium Bug” gained media attention, some businesses used the hype to market special millennium foods. From cars to breakfast cereal, companies like the Figueroa Brothers, Inc., cashed in on the Y2K name. This bottle once co...


Yankee Stadium Ticket Booth

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 10/22/2008

This 1923 ticket booth is from Yankee Stadium, called "The House that Ruth Built" because the star slugger, Babe Ruth (1895–1948), revitalized the game, bringing in thousands of new fans.


YORICK, The Bionic Skeleton

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 10/27/2008

Yorick is a plastic male skeleton imbedded with electronic and mechanical devices used to replace worn body parts. Yorick was created by Ed Mueller, an engineer in the Division of Mechanical and Material Sciences at the United States Food and Drug...


Yo-yo Maraca

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 9/19/2009

The yo-yo maraca is a Puerto Rican novelty that unites both a spinning top and a musical instrument of native origin called a maraca. The name "yo-yo" is a misnomer, since the toy functions like a spinning top.

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Featured Artifact

The Three Kings

On the Catholic calendar, the Three Kings are celebrated on the 6th of January. On this date Puerto Rican children traditionally expected their Christmas gifts, not from...