One of the unfortunate circumstances of a museum is that in most cases only a tiny fraction, about 3% in our case, of the collection is able to be displayed at a given time. To help combat this, we’ve decided to include an object of the month blog post that will highlight artifacts not on display in an effort to allow our readers to become more familiar with our collection. Besides that, all of our objects deserve to be in the limelight at some point!
For our first object of the month, I have chosen an eye-catching lithograph print showing a steam locomotive of the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad Company, ca 1859-1860. The museum purchased the piece in September of 1945, and it appears that the print has only been on display once, for a quick exhibition on October 6-7, 1956 that honored the visit to The Mariners’ Museum of the Mid-Eastern Region National Model Railroad Association (what a title!) convention.
The green and gold colors are very eye-catching, as is the gentleman in the center and the decorations throughout.
According to the Milwaukee Historical Society, the lithograph was issued in 1859-1860 by the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad Co. ( founded in 1847 as the Milwaukee and Waukesha Railroad Co.) to commemorate the locomotive Milwaukee being rebuilt. It was done by a local lithographer, Henry Seifert, and pays tribute to Cehpas Manning, the master mechanic of the company. Must be nice to be immortalized in such a beautiful image! The lithograph is also very rare and other than this one, there are only two others known to exist, one held by the Milwaukee Historical Society and the other by the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society in Sacramento, California.
Please let us know what you think about our object of the month. Any questions or comments are very welcome, and if you have a favorite object you would like to see featured, just let us know. We are very open to suggestions and love to hear from our readers.