On, Wisconsin History!
July 30, 2014 6:27 PM   Subscribe

A note: the bra flag is really a flag made (in large part) by bras, while the bull semen parachute is a normal (enough) parachute used to drop deliveries of bull semen to rural farmers, not a parachute made of bull semen.

Keen find! Thanks!
posted by filthy light thief at 6:34 PM on July 30, 2014

Wow! They've got Butch Vig's original kit!
posted by droplet at 6:56 PM on July 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

African American Bowling Shirt should be Wisconsin's state motto. I miss it often.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:00 PM on July 30, 2014

Bull Semen Parachute

dibs on the band name
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:26 PM on July 30, 2014

Bull Semen Parachutes eh? Guess we just found another use for drones...
posted by smoothvirus at 8:56 PM on July 30, 2014

Looks like they could start a profitable sideline in band names.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:00 PM on July 30, 2014

Ah, the State of Wisconsin Hysterical Society.

It's called that for many, many reasons.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:18 PM on July 30, 2014

Thanks for this. I love small-ish museums and their interesting collections. The story of the African-American Bowling Shirt is fascinating!
posted by shibori at 11:50 PM on July 30, 2014

This old Wisconsin farm boy, 60's student at UW-Madison and otherwise normal, now 66 year-old, can confirm Wisconsin produces its share of loveable uniquities.

However, it's best avoided from November thru May.
posted by lometogo at 12:03 AM on July 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Wisconsin Historical Society is an amazing place.
posted by persona au gratin at 12:34 AM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

The bowling shirt story is wonderful: it's personal, but still of great historical significance. I wish more museums had pieces like that.
posted by jb at 3:56 AM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

The 1936 Schlitz Sunshine Vitamin D Beer can is great, too. Thanks, MonkeyToes.
posted by mediareport at 5:22 AM on July 31, 2014

I collect historical artifacts from my adopted city, Omaha. Nothing truly eccentric has shown up yet, but I have a signed book by Pat Crowe, a fellow who kidnapped the son of a packinghouse scion in about 1900, went on the lam for a few years, turned himself in, and then was found not guilty by a jury, leading to a mass exodus of local millionaires -- one of them, Gurdon Wattles, fled west and became an early and important investor in what was then a citrus grove in Los Angeles and is now Hollywood.

I also have a sample of city scrip issued by, and hand-signed by, Omaha's first mayor, Jesse Lowe, who named Omaha. If the scrip was still honored by the city, my little bill would now be worth 9.5 million dollars. Instead, the city disavowed it after a few years, leaving people who had bought the scrip out about $20 thousand. After Lowe died, a former wife showed up from Texas, and it came out that he was a bigamist. Despite being our first mayor, Lowe is neither honored nor well-remembered, as he was a bit embarrassing.
posted by maxsparber at 5:44 AM on July 31, 2014

OK, here's my WHS story. Years ago, my father, a professional historian, was involved in a project to write a sesquicentennial history of our church. Several other people were on the committee. The first part of the project involved an inventory of historical artifacts and documents, and some of these were sent to the WHS to be digitized or otherwise copied for preservation.

At some point it was realized that one of the more crucial boxes of artifacts -- i.e. including things like the original charter of the church from the 19th century -- was missing. Oh, dear. Where had it gone? Many places were searched; I helped search our house. It was one of your standard office-supply bankers boxes, and Lord knows we had plenty of those ourselves. The WHS indicated that it had been inventoried and copied and then returned. Nevertheless the church requested that WHS do a thorough check of its archives, and I must presume many staff hours were spent looking for this box amongst relics from Algoma to Weyauwega. The search failed; the box was still missing.

The project was completed with this rather major black mark. The B story, however, is that there was in this committee an ersatz couple; an affair. You know, two people married to other people. It seems the box was under their care for transport to and from Madison. The quietly circulated theory was that, shall we say, the box was left in a hotel room somewhere betwixt here and there. In the end, I believe the two of them ended up in a proper marriage to each other.

Some years later, someone cleaning the room where the choir robes are stored pulled a bench away from the wall, and there was the box. The person was pretty certain the box wasn't there before.

Sorry, WHS!
posted by dhartung at 10:35 AM on July 31, 2014

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