Puzzle Ball – China, early 20th century

Look closely. Can you see the ten different balls of this puzzle? This puzzle ball is an amazing piece of craftsmanship. Hard carved from a single piece of ivory, each ball is individually carved and enclosed within another. The outermost sphere is the most intricate with beautifully carved rosettes. You can solve this puzzle by… Continue reading

E.T. Action Figure – 1982

Did you know that when it was released in 1982, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial surpassed Star Wars to become the highest-grossing film of all time? It held onto that record for eleven years! This action figure perfectly captures the adorable spirit of the alien which won the hearts and minds of Hollywood and the public… Continue reading

Menorah – Eastern Europe, ca. 19th century

Featuring the Lions of Judah, this menorah was cast from three pieces of brass. During the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah, the nine branches of the menorah are lit during this festival of lights. The Lion of Judah is a familiar symbol in Judaism, and came to signify the blessing, majesty, and protection of the Jews,… Continue reading

Kangaroo Skull – Collected from Australia

The kangaroo is a marsupial native to Australia. All marsupials are diprotodonts, meaning they have two front teeth, or incisors. But kangaroos are unusual because they have three pairs of incisors in their upper jaw and one pair in their lower jaw. Another unique characteristic of kangaroo skulls is that they are relatively long and… Continue reading

Comic Book – Wonder Woman, Number 46, 1951

Did you know that early Wonder Woman comics included a feature called “Wonder Women of History?” In each issue with this feature, Wonder Woman stepped aside to give voice to the real life stories of exceptional and often silenced women of history. The feature ran for 54 issues and covered fifty different women in science,… Continue reading

Radio Receiver – Atchinson, Kansas, ca. 1930

Cathedral style radio receivers began to appear in the 1930s as a much smaller and compact radio design compared to the console and large “coffin” style radios of the 1920s. Steinite Radio Co. produced this four-tube, AM radio about 1930. It features a superheterodyne circuit, a novel invention that made it possible to boost weak… Continue reading

Gold Plaque – Iran, ca. 5th century BC

Although not even two inches tall, this embossed gold foil plaque is intricately detailed to show a standing male figure wearing a crown. The plaque dates to the Achaemenid Empire, or the First Persian Empire, in Western Asia. This was an ancient Iranian empire with Babylon as its capital. Although we are not sure who… Continue reading

Wall Telephone – Chicago, 1901

In the late 1890s, Kellogg Switchboard & Supply Company started selling this standard series wall model telephone. It features a mouthpiece, separate ear receiver, hookswitch, hand crank, and bells. A high quality instrument at the time, it was easily integrated into the home with its stylish oak cabinet. Over the past 100 years technology has… Continue reading

Malaysian Petrified Wood Collected from Arizona

Petrified wood is a fossil that is formed when the original internal plant material is replaced by minerals. The minerals crystallize within the cellular structure of the log or tree over centuries. Some specimens of petrified wood have been so accurately preserved to still resemble wood that people do not realize they are fossils until… Continue reading