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

Saturday, February 4

Buffalo Goodwill Industries incorporated, 1920

Fire destroys toy factory on Davey Street, 1959

John G. Camp appointed first sheriff of Erie County, 1821

Ogden Land Company formed, 1811

Italian immigrants establish the Christopher Columbus Mutual Benefit Club, 1883

Sunday, February 5

Millard Fillmore marries Abigail Powers, 1826

Buffalo City Hall clock set in motion, 1876

motion, 1876

William Dorsheimer born, 1832

Lyons, NY

Point Breeze Hotel destroyed by fire, 1992

Evans, NY, USA

Seven WNY Counties are Named National Disaster Areas by President Carter, 1977

Founding meeting of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, 1884

Monday, February 6

"Buffalo City of Good Neighbors" slogan adopted, 1940

Cornerstone laid for St. Joseph's Cathedral, 1851

St Joseph Cathedral & Rectory, 50 Franklin St, Buffalo, NY 14202, USA

Buffalo Public Library dedicated, 1887

Lafayette Square

Builders' Exchange founded, 1867

Marian Anderson performs, 1976

Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Cir, Buffalo, NY 14201, USA

First documented COVID-19 death in the US, 2020

Earthquake of 3.8 magnitude recorded, 2023

West Seneca, NY, USA

Tuesday, February 7

Buffalo Public Library dedicated, 1887

Lafayette Square

Bank of Buffalo incorporated, 1873

Lancaster Presbyterian Church founded, 1818

Lancaster Presbyterian Church, 5461 Broadway, Lancaster, NY 14086, USA

First annual meeting of the Erie County Anti-Slavery Society, 1837

East Aurora, NY 14052, USA

Dr. Cyrenius Chapin is born, 1769

Delaware, Lackawanna & Western passenger station opens, 1917

Foot of Main Street

Buffalo passes its first Fair Housing bill, 1989

Wednesday, February 8

Mark Twain's house damaged by fire, 1963

472 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202, USA

Oscar Wilde gives lecture in Buffalo, 1882

Ebenezer Johnson, 1st Buffalo mayor dies, 1840

Town of Buffalo established, 1810

George Goodwin's Civil War Polyrama Opens, 1864