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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Buffalo Hide Painting of Saint Anthony of Padua

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 9/18/2009

The man in this painting, holding an apparition of the baby Jesus, appears to be a saint. Known as Saint Anthony of Padua, the "Hammer of Heretics," he was celebrated for his many miracles and his ability to communicate with rich and poor alike. M...


Buffalo Soldier Uniform Coat

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

African American soldiers were allowed to enlist in the regular peacetime army of the United States for the first time at the end of the Civil War. Many of the new regulars had fought as United States Colored Troops during the war. By 1869, four A...


Bullet Mold, Bullet Ladle, and Iron Pot

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 12/30/2009

Casting shot requires an iron pot to melt the lead, a ladle to pour the lead, and a bullet mold to fashion the shot. When the lead reaches a viscous consistency, it is ladled from the pot and poured into the bullet mold. The excess lead is cut wit...


Captain Charles Gridley's Coat and Cap

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 12/13/2010

Physical Description Blue wool coat with gold trim on cuffs. Cap with wool body and gold-colored band. Naval insignia. Specific History Service coat and cap worn by Captain Charles V. Gridley at the Battle of Manila Bay. ...


CARE Package

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 11/14/2008

This cardboard CARE package, contains seven smaller boxes and bags of macaroni, cornmeal, Carnation instant chocolate flavored drink mix, and nonfat dried milk. It has a paper insert reading "August 6, 1962. Greetings from the men of the U.S.S. La...


Carnival Costume

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 2/19/2009

This homemade costume was made for the Ponce carnival. It has a cape attached at the neck made from the same black and red striped fabric (black and red are the colors of the city of Ponce). Carnival participants who wear costumes like this one, i...


Carnival Mask

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 2/19/2009

Although introduced by Spanish settlers, the island's carnival celebrations, like mask making, music, and public performance, have developed into uniquely Puerto Rican traditions that also reflect the customs and sensibilities of Puerto Ricans' Af...


Carnival Mask

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 2/19/2009

Carnival celebrations featuring performers dressed as devils are found in Puerto Rico and the rest Latin America. The presence of these characters during Carnival is understood by many as an ancient reference to the contest between good and evil. ...


Carnival Mask

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 2/19/2009

This elaborate mask, made around 1980, is painted in red and black, the colors of the city of Ponce. Masks like this are typically worn by young men from the neighborhood, who don the costume of a vejigante , a character who roams the stre...


Caroline Harrison's 1889 Inaugural Gown

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 11/13/2008

In keeping with the "America first" economic policy of her husband, Benjamin Harrison, Caroline Harrison's gown for the 1889 inaugural ball at the Pension Building was an "all-American" creation. The gown was made in New York City by William Ghorm...

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Featured Artifact

Creek War Flag

The Creek War began on August 30, 1813, when a faction of Creek known as the Red Sticks attacked a contingent of 553 American settlers at Lake Tensaw, Alabama, north of...