Whether it's company history or personal history, relating history through objects is a long-standing idea that is much in vogue. And why not? Every object radiates history. People made that object; people used it; people saved it for a reason. With luck, an archivist formally catalogued it. I've been known to squeal when CorporateHistory.net unearths an object that illustrates a client's story in a way that nothing else can. A few that come to mind:
- a 1960s candy striper uniform for our Northwest Community Hospital 50-year history book;
- a battered little cabinet containing delicate watch springs for CorporateHistory.net's Sandvik US history;
- one of the original glass bottles that was used, sanitized, and reused hundreds of times in the 1920s for Clorox liquid bleach. (Those bottles were recycled, too--The Clorox Company has been green since 1913.)
|Draft Wheel, ca. 1863. New-York Historical Society, |
Gift of Frederic C. Wagner.
What objects would go into your organization's history?