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'History of Waukesha in 100 Objects' exhibit celebrates Waukesha's 125th anniversary

Posted at 6:31 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 19:31:59-05

WAUKESHA — A special 125th birthday celebration is in order for the City of Waukesha. It officially became a city back in 1896. To commemorate this historic year, the Waukesha County Historical Society and Museum put together a special exhibit called the 'History of Waukesha in 100 Objects.'

“Through each of those objects, we could tell stories that make up the history of the City of Waukesha," Bonnie Byrd, the Executive Director of the Waukesha County Historical Society and Museum said.

Some of the items on display are an X-Ray tube from 1913 made by General Electric or military coats worn by Waukesha service members as far back as 1898.

x-ray tube
An x-ray tube made by General Electric back in 1913. It's on display at the Waukesha County Historical Society and Museum.

But why only 100 objects for the 125th anniversary?

“Part of what we hope to do with this exhibit is actually inspire folks to think about what those next objects might be," Byrd said. “So we want them to get involved and share their ideas on what the stories yet to be told are.”

You can submit your own suggestions on the historical society's website.

Don't go in expecting to see any Les Paul artifacts. The museum already has an entire section dedicated to him and felt like it was important to highlight other parts of the city's history.

Waukesha History in 100 objects
Items on display at the new 'History of Waukesha in 100 Objects' to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the city.

While some objects have clear ties to Waukesha and the city's development, like Bethesda water glasses or feed bags from the Wisconsin chick hatchery, others were important artifacts to people, families, and businesses that helped shape the city. There are also fun things like the original soapbox derby car that won the city's inaugural race back in 1947.

The exhibit opens on March 13 at 10 am. It's open on Thursdays and Fridays from 1-4 p.m. and Saturdays 10-4 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students of any age, and $3 for kids. Members get in free.

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