15 Artifacts from 15 Decades

1860s: One of our earliest donations, the Ararat Stone ca. 1825, was donated in 1866 by Lewis F. Allen.

1870s: One of our library’s most frequently referenced artifacts is the Hopkins Atlas of 1872. While we have many maps and other atlases, it is the first to illustrate footprints of every building in Buffalo and list the property owner’s name.

1880s: Buffalo’s Julius E. Francis was a true Abraham Lincoln worshiper. He amassed a sizable collection of Lincoln and Civil War artifacts. In the 1880s, Francis first installed his collection at the Young Men’s Association Building.

1890s: In 1898, we acquired the Red Jacket Medal from Minnie Van Renssealer for $100.

1900s: District Attorney Penney turned over the Czolgosz relics to the Society in 1902.

1910s: 2 brass tablets, one in memory of Millard Fillmore and one in memory of Grover Cleveland, were unveiled at the museum to celebrate our 50th anniversary in 1912.

1920s: The Apostolic clock was donated in 1923 by creator Mr. Myles Hughes.

1930s: In 1937, George W. Benson officially donated his extensive glass and ceramics collections, including examples of valuable 19th and early 20th century pieces.

1940s: In 1948, we purchased the Trial of Red Jacket after being on loan to the museum since 1904.

The Centaur statue in front of the museum was donated in 1953.

The Centaur statue in front of the museum was donated in 1953.

1950s: During the 1950s, the Collections Department began using the compound numbering system to accession artifacts. This system is the most prevalent in museums throughout the country and is still in use today.

1960s: In 1965, we re-inventoried and cataloged a donation from former First Lady and Buffalo native Francis Folsom. Dating from her school days, the interesting array of material includes student notebooks, compositions, and tests.

1970s: In the 1970s, we obtained a grant to photograph all of the artifacts in its collections; The Wettlaufer Glass Collection  was aquired in 1972.

1980s: Julia Boyer Reinstein donated her impressive collection of over 80 historic quilts and coverlets.

1990s: In 1999, William G. Gisel Sr. donated a collection of artifacts from Bell Aerospace, including a Bell Agena model no. 8096 rocket engine.

2000s: Philanthropist Charles Rand Penney lived the life of a consummate collector, meticulously assembling more than 100,000 objects. Upon his death, we acquired his Larkin Company collection. Comprised of nearly 700 artifacts, his collection of Larkin premiums particularly filled a gap in our collection.

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