How can objects tell a story about the past?

Did you know that the word "artifact" means an object that people make or use? You use artifacts every day! Some museums collect historic artifacts. Historians use these objects to understand how people lived in the past. Use these questions to think about an artifact.

Vermont Copper Coin, 1785

This coin was made before Vermont became a state in 1791.

Explore More: June 15, 1785

Needlepoint Sampler, circa(about the year) 1800

A needlepoint sampler made by Martha Huntington from Sharon, Vermont. She was born in 1790. Girls made samplers to practice their sewing skills.

Celestial Globe, 1831

James Wilson and Sons made this celestial globe that shows the locations of stars in the sky. Wilson started making globes in Bradford, Vermont, in the early 1800s. He also made terrestrial globes of Earth.

Explore More: The World at Your Elbow: James Wilson of Vermont (PDF)
This Place in History Video - James Wilson

Skylight with Vermont Coat of Arms, 1857

This copy of the Vermont coat of arms was painted in 1857 on a piece of glass by Johannes Oertel. It was part of a skylight in the House of Representatives chamber in the United States Capitol in Washington, DC.

Congressman Winston Prouty brought it back to Vermont in 1951 after it was removed from the Capitol building.

Catamount, 1881

A hunter killed this catamount in 1881. It was preserved by taxidermy. This catamount has been on display at the Vermont State House and Vermont History Museum since 1886.

Explore More: The Last Catamount in Vermont

Relic Chest, 1903

This chest is made from many pieces of wood that are connected to United States history. Reuben Reed collected the relics(old items used to remember the past) and made this box in the early 1900s.

Pieces of wood spell out "Vermont" on the front of the chest. Some of this wood came from the USS Olympia, Commodore George Dewey's ship.

Explore More: Vermont Welcomes Her Hero Home (PDF)

Radio Vacuum Tubes, 1920s

Winn Taplin, Sr. built this receiver with vacuum tubes to listen to the radio in the 1920s. The wires connected to head phones.

Explore More: This Place in History Video - Atwater Kent

Champ Sock Puppet, 1959 

These puppets were sold during the 350th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's travels on Lake Champlain. What do you think Champ looks like?

Explore More: Vermont's Very Own Monster (PDF)

Green Up Sign, 1970

Governor Deane Davis held the first Green Up Day on April 18, 1970. Vermonters picked up litter along the highway. Signs like this encouraged people to keep Vermont clean.

Bicentennial License Plate, 1991

This license plate celebrates Vermont's 200th birthday. "Bi" means 2 and "centennial" means 100. When will Vermont celebrate its tricentennial(300th anniversary)?

Bicentennial Quilt, 1991 

People in Caledonia County made this quilt to celebrate Vermont's 200th birthday. Robin Edwards coordinated the making of this quilt.

Explore More: The 14th State

I Am Vermont Strong License Plate, 2012

After Tropical Storm Irene, the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles sold these plates to raise money. Over $1 million supported the Vermont Food Bank and the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund.

Tropical Storm Irene

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Follow the links below to explore related topics.

Museum Catalog - Artifacts from the Vermont Historical Society Collections

Copy and paste this citation to show where you did your research.

Vermont Historical Society. "Artifacts." Vermont History Explorer. Accessed July 19, 2024.

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