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Wisconsin Historical Museum

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Waukesha native Les Paul is one of Wisconsin's most famous musicians and his influence on the recording industry is iconic. He developed revolutionary music engineering techniques and pioneered multi-track recording, which is the foundation of today's studio recording technology. Plus, the solid-body Gibson electric guitar he perfected is heard in almost every type of music. Without Les Paul, rock and roll as we know it would not exist.

It is just as important to implement an idea as to have it in the first place. Wisconsin's first scientist, Increase Lapham, helped create the United States Weather Bureau (today's National Weather Service) in 1870. It used the newly invented telegraph, shown here, to warn of storms.

While these appear to be an ordinary milk bottle and beer can, the story behind them includes an innovation many take for granted. In 1924, University of Wisconsin-Madison biochemist Harry Steenbock discovered a method to increase the vitamin D content of food, virtually eliminating the debilitating condition of rickets.

Christopher Sholes invented the first successful typewriter in 1840 while living in Kenosha. Shown here is a Sholes & Glidden typewriter, circa 1870. Sholes' QWERTY keyboard format is still used on nearly all computer keyboards today.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Tue9:00 AM4:00 PM
Wed9:00 AM4:00 PM
Thr9:00 AM4:00 PM
Fri9:00 AM4:00 PM
Sat9:00 AM4:00 PM
Notes: We are open year-round. Hours may be extended for special events. Closed Sunday and Monday. Closed Holidays Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day.


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