University of Wisconsin–Madison
cars on a 1970s downtown street

Transportation Through Objects

Transportation

Explore Wisconsin’s history through objects related to transportation.

Related Histories

  • A black and white photo of the South Park, a whaleback ship

    Great Lakes Shipping and the SS Meteor

      The SS Meteor sailed the lakes longer than most ships of her day, and in her many reincarnations she offers a portrait of how some of the industries on the Great Lakes changed– and what those changes …

  • A map showing the twin ports of Duluth, MN and Superior, WI as well as the harbor and river between

    The American Steel Barge Company

    Duluth, MN and Superior, WI face each other across the Saint Louis Bay. In the mid-nineteenth century, as grain harvests of the northern plains expanded, logging grew, and as iron and copper mining developed in …

  • A color postcard showing a lighthouse and lifesaving station in wisconsin.

    Early Lifesaving Stations in Wisconsin

    A Slow Beginning As maritime commerce grew in the early 19th century, the loss of vessels and crews to shipwreck increased. In 1848, the federal government, through the United States Revenue Marine, established its first lifesaving …

  • An image of what is believed to be the Tanner before a grain elevator on the lake.

    The Wreck of the Tanner

    The Wrecked Vessel The Tanner was a barque, or three-masted ship whose foremast was square-rigged and whose main-and mizzenmasts were fore-and-aft rigged. She measured 156.38 feet long by 31.75 feet in breadth. She was built in 1863 by the Milwaukee …

  • The Rescuers of the Tanner

    The Rescuers of the Tanner

    On September 10, 1875, six rescue boat volunteers were dispatched to aid the crew of the Tanner, a cargo ship foundering in Milwaukee Harbor after being struck by a powerful storm. All six of the rescue boat …

  • More Transportation posts

Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society (Image ID 102442)