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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Blackberry Model R900M

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 11/17/2008

The Blackberry is a handheld wireless Personal Data Assistant (PDA) and communication device. It has a thumb keyboard and a wheel for navigation, as opposed to using a stylus like its competitors. This unit was owned by a law firm partner who arri...


Boarding Axe

Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 11/30/2010

The compact boarding axe was an effective weapon in close combat. While an effective in hand-to-hand combat, it was more effective as a tool. The boarding axe was used to clear the decks of lines and broken timbers. It was invaluable at removing h...


Bomba Drum

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

This is a miniature version of the barril de bomba, the kind of drum used in performances of the Afro-Puerto Rican musical tradition known as bomba. While bomba can be used as the generic name for a number of rhythms, its real meaning is about the...


Boxing Towel

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 2/11/2009

Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis (1914-1981) lost his first bout with Nazi Germany's champion Max Schmeling in 1936, but the return match was a triumph for America. This towel was thrown in by Schmeling's handlers at Yankee Stadium, New York ...


Braddock Pistol

Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 11/30/2010

General Edward Braddock gave this pistol to George Washington. In 1777 Washington mislaid the gun. A letter was sent to Captain Charles Morley on July 2, 1777. It read: "Sir, His Excellency Gen. Washington desires you to look among his effects for...


Bread Tin, Canteen and Belt

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 1/20/2011

The bread tin was designed to keep the doughboy's ration of hard bread dry; earlier bread rations were packaged in cardboard containers which became soggy and ruined the contents.


Broken School Bus Window from Boston School Desegregation

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

In 1974, Boston's court-ordered busing plan became one of the most visible and controversial examples of racial balancing through student transportation...


Brown Bess Musket

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

The British Long Land pattern musket was the standard arm of the British infantry soldier during the American Revolution. The muzzle-loading musket was slow to load, inaccurate, and often unreliable. It fired round lead balls, some the diameter of...


Buckskin Coat worn by General George Armstrong Custer

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 6/25/2010

This buckskin coat was worn by Custer when he was Lieutenant Colonel with the 7th U. S. Cavalry in the Dakotas. It was one of several owned and worn by Custer, who prefered to dress like a frontiersman while out West. In 1912, Custer's...


Buffalo Coat

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 12/6/2010

According to legend, this coat was made from the skin of a buffalo killed by Buffalo Bill, and presented by him to Captain J. B. Irvine, Twenty-second U.S. Infantry. Irvine then presented it to Second Lieutenant Albert C. Dalton, Company A, U.S. I...

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Featured Artifact

Cladding Fragment from the World Trade Center

This crumpled piece of exterior sheathing was recovered from the debris pile of the World Trade Center after the building collapsed following the terrorist attacks of...