MAHOMET -- Whether you lived in the 21st century or the 19th century, little devices have made our lives easier. Valerie Hall of the Museum of the Grand Prairie shows us a few tools and devices that Central Illinoisans of the late 1800's just couldn't live without!
Among the artifacts shared by Ms. Hall, an earscoop (see image), which did the work that cotton swabs do for us today. She also shared a chatelaine, a decorative and functional piece of jewelry, worn hanging from the waist, that could carry keys, pocket watches, a vial for perfume or smelling salts, or even a needlework kit! Read more about the chatelaine and how Central Illinoisans used them here: http://museumofthegrandprairie.blogspot.com/2013/09/keys-to-castle-mystery-artifact-revealed.html.
The Museum of the Grand Prairie preserves tens of thousands of historical artifacts that help people to better understand how Central Illinoisans lived in the past (visit their web site here: www.museumofthegrandprairie.org). Currently, the museum features an exhibit on historical gardening tools and implements. Among their online exhibits, a gallery honoring the contributions of some African American women to our communities (see it here: http://www.museumofthegrandprairie.org/LegacyAlexander.html).