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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Daguerreotype of Unitarian Congregational Church, New York City

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 3/10/2009

Daguerreotype of Unitarian Congregational Church, New York City. On the Washington Square campus of the New York University, Samuel F.B. Morse and Dr. John W. Draper operated together one of the first American photographic studios for a short time...


Daniel Butterfield's Medal of Honor

Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 12/23/2010

1896 Pattern Medal of Honor awarded to Daniel Butterfield, “for distinguished gallantry in action at Gaines Mills, Va. June 27, 1862” Perhaps best known as the composer of the bugle call "Taps," Daniel Butterfield began hi...


Deringer Pistol

Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 12/23/2010

A small yet effective weapon, the deringer is the type of weapon a woman spying for the Confederacy might have kept in the pocket of a dress or in a handbag.


Diner's Club Credit Card

Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 6/10/2009

Diner's Club was one of the earliest issuers of credit cards beginning in 1950. The convenience and security they came to represent transformed payment methods and later blossomed into one of the primary mechanisms for purchasing goods and service...


Distinguished Service Cross Medal

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

The Distinguished Service Cross, the DSC, is the second highest award for valor bestowed on a solider. President Woodrow Wilson established the award on January 2, 1918. The DSC is awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the ar...


Dizzy Gillespie's B–flat Trumpet

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 1/29/2009

This custom-made "Silver Flair" trumpet belonged to renowned trumpeter, bandleader, and composer John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie, a founder of the modern jazz style known as bebop. Renowned for his musical virtuosity and for his impish good humor and...


Dorothy Overall's Flour Sack Bassinet Quilt

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 3/16/2009

This bassinet quilt with a framed center design is made of high quality plain blue and white cotton feed sack fabrics. Mrs. Dorothy Overall of Caldwell, Kansas, a contestant in many sewing events in the 1950s and 1960s, pieced and appliquéd...


Dorothy's Ruby Slippers

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

Sixteen-year-old Judy Garland wore these sequined shoes as Dorothy Gale in the 1939 film classic The Wizard of Oz . In the original book by L. Frank Baum, Dorothy's magic slippers are silver; for the Technicolor movie, they were changed to...


Doughboy Uniform

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 1/24/2011

Enlisted soldier's uniform. The brown, doughy color of the uniform led to these soldiers being referred to as "doughboys," though the exact derivation of the nickname has been debated.

Draft Letter

Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 12/23/2010

The Union Conscription Act of March 3, 1863, provided that all able-bodied males between the ages of 20 and 45 were liable to military service, but a drafted man who furnished an acceptable substitute or paid the government $300 was excused.

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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...