Home >> Exhibits
Behind the Wheel
May 23, 2013 - September 28, 2013
An exhibit about learning and loving to drive when cars were new,
Behind the Wheel showcases a new collection of colorful automobile safety posters printed in the 1930s-1950s. The posters were printed by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and distributed by the Automobile Club of Hartford. Other auto safety-related items include early driver's licenses, motor vehicle registrations, and auto insurance advertisements. In addition, a collection of Connecticut road maps from the 1920s-1970s and early 20th-century tour guides show how new roads, highways, rest stops, motels, and recreation destinations emerged to accommodate and influence Americans' love of driving.
Behind the Wheel's Premier Exhibit Sponsor is AAA.
April 26, 2013 - September 28, 2013
This exhibit explores the ways Connecticut's residents and companies help people manage their pain--both dull and acute--paying particular attention to Horace Wells's discovery of anesthesia. The discovery of pain-free surgery is a critically important part of medical and dental history. The story of its discovery and the controversy surrounding who first discovered it will be told. CHS will draw on its collection of books, pamphlets, and manuscript holdings to document the equipment and procedures available to doctors and dentists and the types of pain relievers--physical, homeopathic, and chemical--that were used to soothe or eliminate pain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The Connecticut Historical Society would like to thank the following sponsors for this exhibit:
- Connecticut State Dental Foundation, Inc.
- The James McManus Trust of the Hartford Dental Society, Inc.
- Connecticut State Dental Association
- Connecticut State Society of Anesthesiologists
- Hartford Anesthesiology Associates, Inc.
- The Horace Wells Club
Private Works 2013 is the fourth installation in the "micro-gallery" at the CHS, under the direction of Scott Comanzo, Professor of Composition and Music Technology at the University of Hartford. This micro-exhibit delves into a realm of "history in the making" as part of the worldwide centennial celebration of 1913--the year that gave birth to modernism in America. The exhibit includes special arrangements of pieces used in this year's Private Works music festival and special selections from previous Private Works concerts. The works were created by students, alumni, and staff from The Hartt School.
Don't miss this exhibit 400+ years in the making! Colorful, interactive, and filled with more than 500 historic objects, images, and documents, Making Connecticut is the story of all the people of Connecticut, from the 1500s through today. Themes of daily life, clothing, transportation, sports and leisure, work, and social change run throughout the exhibit. Hands-on activities for kids (and adults!) include working a World War II assembly line, hand stenciling designs for a 19th-century chair, sewing a Native American moccasin, replacing bobbins in a textile mill, and cooking a meal and setting the table in both a colonial and a 1980s kitchen. Come be surprised, inspired, and amused as you explore our state's past and your own place in "Making Connecticut."
Inn & Tavern Signs
Between 1750 and 1850, there were more than 50,000 inn and tavern signs produced by American painters, creating a distinct visual language and offering a glimpse into tavern life, travel, and patriotic ideals in early America. Only a fraction of these signs survive. The Connecticut Historical Society's collection numbering more than 60 signs is by far the largest and most spectacular in the country. Learn more about the sign for Carter's Inn in the Collection Highlights gallery. A book about our inn and tavern sign collection is also available on-site and online through our store.
The Connecticut Historical Society has been preserving and sharing the stories of what makes this state unique for almost 200 years. If you live in Connecticut now, had ancestors here long ago, or just enjoy visiting,
you are part of this story. We are testing out ideas for a permanent exhibit coming later in the year, and you can help. Dress up a marble bust, submit your awkward family photos, mark your place on the Connecticut map, or showcase your personal collection of stuff to help tell your story in Connecticut.
Veeder Living Room
The Connecticut Historical Society is located in a Colonial Revival mansion originally owned by inventor Curtis Veeder. Veeder graduated from Lehigh University in 1886 with a Masters of Engineering degree and moved to Hartford to start his own company. The Veeder Manufacturing Company produced counting and precision manufacturing devices--all invented and designed by Veeder himself. An exhibit in the original living room of the house (which Veeder had built in 1928) features wall labels, blow-ups of the original blueprints, and an interactive touchscreen explaining the history of the building and the Veeder family.
At the Old State House
History is All Around Us
The Connecticut Historical Society created this interactive, multimedia exhibit about the history of Hartford and the history "all around us" for the Mortensen Gallery at Connecticut's Old State House. Explore history in the places we live, the things that we use every day, and the actions we take. Build and re-build Hartford over time on the large-scale floor map, find out about the era of urban renewal and its effects on the city, delight in everyday objects from long ago (and not so long ago!), come face-to-face with a 1912 steam-powered fire engine, encounter creative and innovative people who have made a difference, and consider your own place in history.
Connecticut's Old State House is located at 800 Main Street, Hartford. For information on visiting: www.ctosh.org.