Gift #1065: Indiana in 200 objects – machines

Today I have some more pictures from the Indiana history exhibit to show you.  I’ve been developing an interest in machines lately.  It’s a strange thing for me to like, I’ll admit, but I think I’m unduly influenced by steampunk, Victorian-looking machines.  Something about the polished burnish of aged metal formed into aesthetic shapes is incredibly mesmerizing to be recently.  Many of these exhibits were a melding of technology and art that was inspiring to see.


One of my favorite pieces was this 1700s compass which was used when surveying the territory for distribution to the settlers.

imageThis internal combustion engine was produced in the 1890s by the Lambert Gas and Gasoline Engine Company in Anderson, IN.  Lambert actually built the first American gas-powered automobile in 1891 but didn’t get many buyers.  Subsequently he moved into gas engine production for industrial equipment.  It looks so gloriously steampunk!


I actually was drawn to this object because of the production illustrations that were hanging on the wall.  I thought it might be a complicated telescope, but alas, the Jules Verne-esque invention was not to be.  It is instead a prototype machine gun.  Sigh…

imageI thought this was a neat shot.  The theme of this section was called “On the Move” and showcased many objects created in Indiana that were used in transportation of some sort.  I liked the way this industrial engine was juxtaposed with a horse saddle.  It’s a silent witness to the days when traditional methods of work and transportation were being eclipsed by the motor.

imageThis was also an interesting display for how they used  yellow as an accent color in this collection of Indiana-made objects.  I don’t know about the electric guitar, but the jet engine is made by my dad’s company. He told me that after the exhibit is over this unit is going on display at a visitor’s center in a new building that he’s worked to construct.


Oh and this made my heart flutter.  The museum has a whole display of these awesome transistor radios upstairs.  This one was built in 1954.  It was the world’s first transistor radio and it was built right here in the state!   It’s such a cool retro design – love it!


The last piece I have for you today might be my favorite from the exhibit.  It is a breathtaking example of a utility and beauty.  The Wooton Desk company built these paper storage cabinets during 1870s-1880s as the need for better record-keeping challenged businesses.  These secure cabinets allowed businesses to organize their paperwork and function more effectively.  Just look at all those cubby holes and little drawers!  And the wood-work and decoration are exquisite.  Eventually the popularity of filing cabinets made these desks obsolete and the company went out of business.  I’d have one of these any day over a filing cabinet though.

I hope you enjoyed a look through Indiana’s manufacturing and craftsmanship.  Have a wonderful weekend.

Blessings to you,


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1 Response to Gift #1065: Indiana in 200 objects – machines

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Interesting exhibit, thanks, Sarah. Seeing the transistor radio made me think of my first one – mid-60s, red plastic case, AM only, of course. It had a distinct, ‘mechanical’ smell once it warmed up.

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