Experiencing history with you

by remembering, discovering, and sharing our stories; sparking emotional and social connections within our unique community.

1872 Hopkins Atlas Plate

1872


A map of buildings and owners in what we know as Canalside today. In 1872, when this map was made, Buffalo’s canal district was a dense, roiling center of commerce, industry, transportation, immigration, wealth, poverty, crime, and disease.

Red Jacket Medal

1792


Peace medal presented to Seneca orator Red Jacket by President George Washington in Philadelphia in 1792. The medal bears symbolic imagery of peaceful coexistence between the United States and Native Americans.

Apostolic Clock

1881


An iconic timepiece created over the span of 35 years as a passion project by local engineer Myles Hughes. Before his death in 1923, he donated it to The Buffalo History Museum to be shared with the community. Like many late 19th century monumental clocks, its design was inspired by the Strasbourg Cathedral Clock of 1842. Apostles parade around Jesus every half hour with Peter turning his back to Jesus.

Pan-Am Night Scene Panoramic

1901


In 1901 when the Pan-American Exposition opened, the sheer volume and color of electric lights, designed to be experienced after dark, was a new experience for Americans. This view, looking north from the Triumphal Bridge, includes the Temple of Music, Machinery and Transportation Buildings, Court of Fountains, Electric Tower, Manufactures Building, Liberal Arts and Ethnology Building, and part of the Government Building.

Evelyn Rumsey Cary Suffrage Poster

1905


This poster was a favorite of the women’s suffrage movement. Created by Evelyn Rumsey Cary (1855-1924) of Buffalo, it is an elegant example of Art Nouveau graphic design, depicting a female figure transformed into a fruit tree. The building behind her may be based on the east façade of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Iver-Johnson Revolver

ca. 1901


Iver-Johnson, 32 caliber, nickel plated revolver used by Leon Czolgosz to assassinate President William McKinley outside the Temple of Music at the Pan American Exposition.

Grover Cleveland’s Cake Box & Cake

1886


Cake box given as a wedding favor to the guests of the wedding of President Grover Cleveland to Frances Folsom in the White House on June 2, 1886. Inside the box there is still a portion of the dark cake that was given to the guests.

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Pony Coat

1919–1920


This overcoat belonged to Henry J. Miller. He was very close with his horse, Skip, and when Skip passed away in 1919, Henry had him made into this overcoat.

Larkin Photo in Atrium


The Larkin Administration Building was the first major commercial commission in Frank Lloyd Wright’s career. The central court shown here provided natural light to all five floors. The Larkin Building was demolished in 1950.

Scott Norwood Helmet

1985–1991


Scott Norwood’s only helmet worn in Super Bowl XXV, SB XXVI, Pro Bowl, regular season and playoff games from 1985-1991. It is part of the Greg D. Tranter Collection of Buffalo Bills Memorabilia.

Community & involvement.

There are many ways to become involved with the Museum and learn more about our region’s history. Two of the most popular ways to get involved are by becoming a member or volunteering.

Members support the Museum’s missions and activities for an annual fee with a number of benefits, including free or discounted admission to all programs, admission to special members only events, and more!

Volunteers assist with nearly every aspect of museum operations with invaluable contributions such as helping with fundraising events, giving museum tours, and cataloging artifacts.

Membership  |  Volunteer

Winifred Stanley Poster

1942


Pioneering attorney Winifred Stanley (1909-1996), who grew up in Buffalo and earned her law degree from the University at Buffalo, was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1942. In 1944, she introduced the first equal pay legislation in American history. She is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Tonawanda. Donated by Mary Louise Stanley.

Automaton

Ca. 1895


This is Madame Le Doll, an automaton imported from a doll show in Paris and was the highlight of the Great Buffalo Doll Show in 1895. With a turn of a key, Madame Le Doll turns her head, fans herself, twirls her parasol, breathes, and winks.

Mary Talbert Portrait

1929


Portrait of Mary Burnett Talbert (1866-1923) by G. Gonzalez, a civil rights activist, educator, and WWI Red Cross nurse. Talbert was a tireless worker for human rights in the late 19th and early 20th century and is perhaps best remembered for laying the foundations for the passage of the Dyer Anti-Lynch Bills.

On This Day In Buffalo

Monday, June 27

St. Francis of Assisi cornerstone laid, 1909

Babe Ruth defeats Buffalo, 10-5, 1914

Poet Lucille Clifton born, 1936

Buffalo Music Hall of Fame dedicated, 2013

Hard Rock Cafe, Niagara Falls, NY

British Take U.S. Ship at Fort Erie, 1812

Tuesday, June 28

Jazz pianist Al Tinney born, 1921

Ansonia, CT, USA

U.S. Army closes Fort Porter, 1926

Fitch Creche demolished, 1998

159 Swan St.

McKinley Assassination site boulder & plaque dedicated, 1921

30 Fordham Drive

Wednesday, June 29

Erie County Bar Association incorporated, 1887

St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church founded, 1891

Marker on boulder dedicated, 1912

Seneca Indian Park, Buffalo, NY 14210, USA

Mayor Jimmy Griffin born, 1929

Writer Jack London sentenced to 30 days in Erie County Penitentiary, 1894

Thursday, June 30

Col. Ward Pumping Station accident, 1911

Porter Avenue

Ripley Methodist Church cornerstone laid, 1887

Dearborn Street

Bedell House destroyed by fire, 1935

Grand Island, NY

Blondin crosses Niagara gorge on tightrope, 1859

Delaware North Co. incorporated, 1961

Baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson visits Buffalo, 1967

Friday, July 1

Eagle Theater opens, 1835

Eagle Street near Main

Main St. first lighted by electricity, 1882

Main Street, Buffalo, NY, United States

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra incorporated, 1936

St. Joseph's Cathedral dedicated, 1855

Franklin St.

Last day of IRC streetcar/trolley service, 1950

Millard Fillmore gives inaugural speech as first president of the Buffalo Historical Society, 1862

American Hall

Buffalo Fire Department established, 1880

Battle of Gettysburg begins, 1863

Gettysburg, PA 17325, USA

Dominion Day at the Pan-American Exposition, 1901

Buffalo's segregated African School opens, 1839

Vine St, Buffalo, NY

Buffalo German Insurance Co. opens, 1876

Lafayette Square, 415 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA

Washington/Chippewa Market closes, 1965

Washington St & E Chippewa St, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA