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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1955 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 7/8/2009

In the 1950s, the station wagon became a staple of America's new suburban landscape and a ubiquitous extension of the suburban home. This car reveals how one family adopted a mobile, active lifestyle and how station wagons shaped family life.


AbioCor Total Artificial Heart

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

AbioCor Total Artificial Heart is the first electro-hydraulic heart implanted in a human. Approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for clinical trails, the AbioCor was implanted in Robert Tools by cardiac surgeons Laman Gray and ...


Abraham Lincoln's Patent Model: Improvement for Buoying Vessels Over Shoals

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts, Primary Source
Date Posted: 7/31/2008

Abraham Lincoln's interest in canal building, river commerce, and internal improvements not only drew him to the Whig and later Republican Party, but also led him to try his hand at designing a device for raising boats off sand bars. Undertaken wh...


Abraham Lincoln's Top Hat

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 9/17/2010

At six feet four inches tall, Lincoln towered over most of his contemporaries. He chose to stand out even more by wearing high top hats. He acquired this hat from J. Y. Davis, a Washington hat maker. Lincoln had the black silk mourning band added ...


Acoustical Dropping Sticks

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts, Primary Source
Date Posted: 3/23/2012

This is a set of eight "dropping sticks" used to teach acoustics. It was made in Paris by the famous scientific instrument maker Rudolph Koenig, sometime between 1858 and 1902. This particular set was used in the introductory physics class of the ...


Acupuncture Instrument Set

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 5/14/2009

Acupuncture has gone in and out of fashion over the centuries in both China and the West. Part of a 2,000-year-old system of medicine that originated in China, acupuncture spread across Asia and the world with the migration of Asian peoples. In 20...


Adam Stephen's Waistcoat and Gorget

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

The Virginia Regiment saw active service in western Pennsylvania from 1754 to 1759. In 1755, the officers of the Virginia Regiment received orders from Washington to provide themselves with a suit of regimentals of good blue cloth. The coat was to...


Admiral Dewey Banner

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

Blue, white, and red banner with an image of Admiral Dewey in center of white stripe, surrounded by laurels. “Admiral Dewey” in banner among the laurels, American flag, and a navy fleet admiral’s flag. “The Hero” in t...


Admiral Dewey's Chapeau Bras

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

Physical Description Black felt, grosgrain ribbon, ostrich feathers, and gold cockade, which is a ribbon rose or knot. Specific History Admiral Dewey is often pictured wearing his chapeau bras. General History ...


AIDS Memorial Quilt

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 9/17/2010

This panel from the AIDS Memorial Quilt honors activist Roger Lyon, who died of AIDS in 1984. Shortly before his death, Lyon testified before Congress to appeal for funding to combat the growing epidemic. One of the greatest challenges ...

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Featured Artifact

Teatro Campesino Poster

The Teatro Campesino was founded by Luis Valdez in 1965 to energize the political message of the United Farmer Workers of America using song, music, and drama. Modern...