The Colorado's Most Significant Artifacts program highlights the importance of historic and cultural heritage and honors and recognizes all the organizations in Colorado that care for and preserve photographs, documents, rare books and manuscripts, audio recordings, film, digital materials, art, and historic, archaeological and natural science specimens.
Learn more here about the top ten nominations for the years 2013-2017. Details about submissions for 2018 coming soon!
A burlap flour sack, 24 inches by 40 inches, used to ship flour to Europe during World War I. Printed on the sack is: “Colorado’s Flour, Donation to Belgian Non-Combatants, Funds Secured by Denver News and Times, War Relief Donation, American Consul, Flour Manufactured by the Longmont Farmers M&E [Milling and Elevator] Company, Longmont Colorado U.S.A.” Longmont Museum object ID A.009.020. This object will be on exhibit from February 2 to May 13, 2018, as part of “WWI: Longmont & the Great War” at the Longmont Museum.
A large (16" high x 26") cast iron cooking caldron (pot or vat or tub) used by Steve Demos to make tofu in the early days of the White Wave company. The cauldron has two handles and 3 small feet. After soybeans were soaked and mashed, the milk was extracted and transferred to the caldron where a coagulating agent was mixed in to make the milk into curds. Then the tofu was pressed into blocks. This caldron was used in the late 1970s at the 17th & Pearl Street location of Demos’ business, then named “Cow of China.”
This signed certificate by President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt praises the Colorado Fuel and iron Company (CF&I) physicians and surgeons for their work towards preventing and eradicating tuberculosis in Colorado at the annual International Council on Tuberculosis conference in 1908. The certificate is printed on linen and is signed by the President and members of the committee that sponsored the conference. This certificate was displayed at the company’s Minnequa Hospital in Pueblo as an acknowledgment of medical staff’s work.
The CF&I Mine Rescue Car No. 1 was designed by the Wagner Palace Sleeping Car Company in 1882. It remained in service as a sleeping car until 1910 when it was purchased by the U.S. Bureau of Mines and sold to CF&I in 1923. For the next two decades, it served as a rolling classroom promoting mine safety training in an effort to mitigate the dozens of mine disasters that were occurring in mining districts along the Front Range. It later became the Scrapyard Department office at the Pueblo steel mill until the company’s bankruptcy in the early 1990s.
For ages, Plains Indian warriors drew and painted illustrations of their deeds on rock, bison hides, tipi liners or robes. In the mid nineteenth, they began to use other materials which they learned of after contact with Anglos such as pencils and ledgerbooks obtained through trade, gift or capture. This Cheyenne Dog Soldier ledgerbook is an excellent example of ledger art. It is a hardbound composition-style ledger with a marbleized cover containing 106 color pencil drawings by fourteen different warrior artists. The drawings are made on pages ruled in light blue ink, with the page number on the outside upper margin.
This Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&) ledger begins with the firm’s original Articles of Incorporation on October 21, 1892, when William Jackson Palmer’s Colorado Coal and Iron Company merged with John Osgood’s Colorado Fuel Company. It continues with Board of Directors Meeting Minutes through October 29, 1903, just before the company was sold by President John Osgood to the Rockefeller family. It documents the purpose of the corporation, the rights and liabilities of the shareholders and directors, and subsequent Board activities. Measuring 14.25” wide x 17.75” long, the ledger contains 345 pages, handwritten in ink.
1959 Custom-built high security telephone, used in the North American Defense Command's Cheyenne Mountain complex during the nation's first DEFCON 2 alert status during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Painted metal, dimensions:11"x16"x22".
This denim “hippie” skirt is made from a pair of jeans and adorned with patchwork of various fabrics. Elainya Rainbow (born Eleyn Jones) created the skirt around the same time she moved from Detroit to Boulder in 1967. Elainya was an accomplished seamstress and clothing designer, and was involved in the early outdoor gear and clothing industry - working for companies such as Lowe Alpine and Boulder-based Hine Snowbridge. She was also an early Greenpeace activist.
This poster from the Peak Family Papers (WH1124) advertises course offerings at Denver’s Opportunity School (renamed the Emily Griffith Opportunity School in 1934). Dating from 1917, the poster emphasizes the school’s free day and night classes, which included Algebra, English for Foreigners, Citizenship (“to prepare for [the] naturalization examination”) as well as vocational courses like Automobile Operation and Repairing, Bookkeeping, and Dressmaking. The poster urges potential students to “Bring in your problems and difficulties….the principal and teachers are always glad to meet you, and help you in your work, or prepare you for a better position.”