Mid-19th to early 20th Century
This object is an insignia pin for the 10th Cavalry of the United States Army. It was used to distinguish the members of the regiment. The 10th Cavalry was formed in the summer of 1866 as part of the Army Reorganization Act, which was enacted to rebuild the United States Army after the Civil War.
The Civil War had depleted the troops, and the Army needed to replenish their numbers for a peacetime military. As part of their reorganization, the Army created six regiments of black soldiers- two cavalry and four infantry– approved by Congress. These regiments consisted entirely of enlisted black men, but were led by white officers.
Many of the men who joined these regiments had served during the Civil War and were farmers, bakers, painters, and many other occupations. However, the military offered an opportunity for social and economic advancement. As soldiers, these men earned $13 a month, along with food, clothing, and shelter- much more than their other jobs offered.
The 10th Cavalry was formed in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and was commanded by Colonel Benjamin Grierson. Their biggest assignment was to aid in westward expansion and protect American settlements. Tasked with keeping order, they were often confronted with raids by bands of numerous Native American tribes, who were growing more and more desperate due to buffalo- their main food source- going extinct from sport hunting by white settlers and soldiers.
Fighting bravely in over one hundred battles against the Native tribes, even when outnumbered, soldiers like those in the 10th Cavalry earned the respect of tribal leaders. To the tribes, the soldiers’ hair was thick and curly, like that of a buffalo, and the American Indians believed the soldiers were brave like a buffalo, so began calling the black soldiers “Buffalo Soldiers.” It was a term of respect toward what they considered a valiant opponent in battle. The symbol of the buffalo became the regiment’s official insignia in 1922.
Besides their contributions in battle, the soldiers of the 10th Cavalry, as well as the other buffalo soldier regiments, had countless accomplishments. Constantly subjected to racial prejudice, and making due with cast-offs like aging horses and worn out equipment from more prestigious regiments, the buffalo soldiers carried out missions that were vital to America’s success.
In 1871, the 10th Cavalry accompanied General William T. Sherman on an inspection tour of Texas. They were instrumental in mapping the uncharted territories of the state. In addition, they strung thousands of miles of telegraph line, opened new roads, escorted stagecoaches and wagon trains, protected railroad crews, and were the driving force behind building and renovating dozens of frontier forts, including Fort Stockton in west Texas.
The 10th Cavalry, and all buffalo soldiers, hold an enduring legacy in American history. Their success in the face of adversity makes them true heroes, and their contributions to the expansion of the United States can be seen throughout the stories of the American west. [Carrie Klein, edited by Kathryn S. McCloud]
Trivia Card Game
This object is a trivia card game called “Texas Heroes: An Instructive Game,” created by Sally Trueheart Williams in 1908. The cards have three to five questions listed with a picture of the answer above. The people on the cards are those widely known by Texans, such as James Bowie, Sam Houston, David Crockett and many others. There are also historic places included that also have an important role in the history of Texas such as San Antonio, Nacogdoches, and Austin. A pamphlet is included with testimonials from Texas educators promoting the game as a useful educational tool.
Sally T. Williams (1871-1951) daughter of Henry M. Trueheart and Annie Vanmeter Cunningham, was an active member of the Galveston, Texas community. She had a passion for history, education, and charity. She was member of the Equal Suffrage Club, the Wednesday Club, First Presbyterian Church, American Red Cross, Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of the American Revolution, and Colonial Dames.
In 1900, a hurricane devastated much of Texas, in Galveston over 3,000 buildings were destroyed and around 6,000 people were killed. In the wake of the storm the American Red Cross, founded by Clara Barton, played a large role in the relief efforts. Women’s clubs and associations in the area also volunteered, thus women had more visible public roles in the community. The efforts of these women’s civics clubs evolved to a suffrage movement. As a member of the Equal Suffrage Club, Sally T. Williams stood for the right of women to vote and argued that municipal maintenance can be compared to public ‘housekeeping.’ The argument was an attempt to convince other women that participating in women’s suffrage was not violating the traditional roles of women in the home.
Women’s clubs in the late 1800s to early 1900s gave way to the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs (TFWC) which encouraged progressive movements and activism. The TFWC has accomplished and influenced numerous developments in Texas such as children’s health laws, traffic and highway safety, food purity standards, and historical preservation, to name a few. In its infancy, the TFWC consisted of mainly wealthy women and teachers, though today the membership is much more diverse. Many of the projects and activities of the federation have become the responsibility of the government in modern times, however the TFWC is still active and takes on projects involving aid to abused women and cancer patients and their families. [Sara Countryman, edited by Kathryn S. McCloud]
Materials: Wood and paper
The use of tobacco is centuries old, thought to have been discovered by the ancient Maya. There is evidence of smoking on Mayan pottery going back as far as the 10th century. In the 1600s, tobacco smoking became popular in Spain and was a symbol of wealth. Ironically, tobacco use was initially thought to be a cure for many illnesses. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the negative health effects of smoking began to be known, and it was first proven to cause cancer.
In cigars the outer layer, or wrapper, holds the tobacco together into its signature shape. This outer layer also determines much of the character and flavor of the cigar. The exterior leaves were picked while still green and go through a special aging process depending on the color and cigar type desired. Cigars today come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, with tobacco produced in many different countries and regions. The tobacco leaves filling the cigar need to be arranged in a way that forms air passages, the size of which is important to the quality of the cigar. If the airways are too small, the cigar will not burn, and if they are too large the cigar will burn too fast. Prior to the 1950s all cigars were hand folded, and getting the correct arrangement of leaves took a skilled worker. Today machines have taken over that task, by replacing the painstakingly folded inner leaves with smaller pieces of chopped up tobacco.
Henry William Finck was raised in New Orleans where he worked in the cigar making industry and learned the trade. He managed a cigar factory in New Orleans until he came to San Antonio in 1853 and started his own business with $1,000, borrowed from his life insurance.
The Finck Company made special “private label” cigars for the Travis Club, a private men’s club, founded in 1890. In 1906 the private label cigars were made only for the club, but during WWI the club members began inviting young military officers and trainees in San Antonio to join the Travis Club. These military men enjoyed the cigars so much they demanded they be sent to other military related men’s clubs. It became a widely popular brand and is still a top seller today, with an image of the original building printed on the label as a tribute to the history of the brand. Today the Finck Cigar Company is the only automated cigar factory in Texas. [Sara Countryman, edited by Kathryn S. McCloud]
R. B. Enlarging Camera
Folmer & Schwing Division Eastman Kodak Co.
Materials: Metal and wood
This object is a photo enlarger that was used by Zintgraff Studios, a commercial photography studio in San Antonio in the mid-2oth century. A photo enlarger was used to make a larger negatives or a photographic print from the negative image created by the camera on to its film. A negative is the image that the camera captures on film. When looking at a negative of a picture the shades of the people, places or in the image are opposite to what they are in reality. Light colored objects are dark, and dark colored objects are light. A photo enlarger is a tool photographers used to enlarge a negative before developing the prints.
The many of the photographs taken by the Zintgraff Studio were donated to the University of Texas at San Antonio and are stored at the Institute of Texan Cultures in the Special Collections Library. One can find the digital uploads on the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Library’s Special Collections website. The photographers at Zintgraff Studios captured over a thousand unique images of San Antonio between 1930 and 1980. The photographers took pictures of the river walk, one of the center points of San Antonio. They captured pilots conversing by their planes at Kelly Field, which was a critical aviation base throughout both World Wars, as well as the celebrations held for the soldiers after the war. One picture captures a homecoming party for a general who returned from commanding the sixth army, which was in the South Pacific Theater during the war, which means the sixth army was in the Southern Pacific, around New Guinea. The sixth army helped isolate a Japanese base, and joined forces with the Australian Army and other U.S. forces near New Guinea in 1943. After General Walter Krueger came home on February 13, 1946 his family and friends through him a welcome home banquet at the Gunter Hotel.
The photographers at Zintgraff Studios also captured celebrations and parades that were held in and around downtown San Antonio. For example, the photographers took pictures of the Battle of Flowers Parade in the early 1930s. The parade celebrates the men who fell during the Battle of the Alamo and to celebrate the victory that came with the Battle of San Jacinto. As well as taking pictures of the citizens celebrating, the photographers also took pictures of streets on a normal day. These photographs serve as an important record of San Antonio’s past and they could help inspire the future. [Amanda Rock, edited by Joscelynn Garcia]
Lobb, Michael L., Robert S. Browning, Ann Krueger Hussey, and Thomas M. O’Donoghue. 1900. A brief history of early Kelly Field, 1916-1918. Kelly Air Force Base, Tex: Office of History, San Antonio Air Logistics Center.
San Antonio, Texas
Materials: Paper and Ink
These six postcards were produced for HemisFair’68. The first postcard, top left hand corner, is a picture of the food from around the world. Many varieties of international foods were served in cool outdoor plazas, and fine dining restaurants throughout the park. Food, while always an important part of any World’s Fair experience, recently took center stage at the 2015 Milan World’s Fair. While HemisFair’s theme was a “Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas,” Expo Milan was focused on how to feed an ever growing world population with the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.”
The second post card, under the previous one, is the scene of the fabulous 92.6 acres of HemisFair’68. Visitors were able to explore the park in gondolas and Mexican flower boats, a mini-monorail system, a Swiss sky ride, and elevated walkways—each afforded a distinctive perspective on the 1968 World’s Fair. Today, San Antonio is considering revisiting the sky ride and monorail idea in order to make the city more accessible to pedestrians and help to revitalize the Broadway corridor. This potential project, proposed by a UTSA college of architecture team, “1000 Parks and a Line in the Sky: Broadway, Avenue of the Future” is also currently being featured as an exhibit at the Institute of Texan Cultures.
The next postcard shows the blending of old and new. There were historic 19th century mansions that were restored and used by the exhibitors as shops and restaurants. Prior to the construction of HemisFair park, the area was a residential neighborhood. Most of the buildings were demolished in order to make way for the fair attractions and pavilions, but a few of the historic buildings were preserved by the San Antonio Conservation Society and used at the fair.
The postcard in the top right hand corner, is a picture of the State of Texas Pavilion. This was the largest pavilion at HemisFair’68 and is now the home of the Institute of Texan Cultures. Today, the museum pursues a mandate as the state’s center for multicultural education by investigating the ethnic and cultural history of the state and presenting the resulting information with a variety of offerings, including this blog, with a mission to give voice to the experiences of people from across the globe who call Texas home, providing insight into the past, present and future.
The following postcard, directly underneath the previous one, is a picture of the Canadian Pavilion at night. Inside this pavilion, visitors walked over recreations of the Canadian waterways and viewed examples of the country’s sculptures, paintings, and history. The last postcard is a picture of the William Cameron Fountain in front of the Italian Pavilion. This fountain was designed like a dandelion and donated by Flora Cameron Kampmann and the KAMKO Foundation. Many countries hosted pavilions at HemisFair, each highlighting the cultural, artistic, and technological achievements of their nations.
[Adriana Christian edited by Joscelynn Garcia]
Freymann, Carlos. “Interview with Carlos Freymann, 1979.” Interview by Ester G. MacMillan. UTSA Libraries Digital Collections. University of Texas at San Antonio, n.d. Web. 19 July 2016. http://digital.utsa.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15125coll4/id/340/rec/28
Perry, Joseph A. “Interview with Joseph A. Perry, 1984.” Interview by Ester G. MacMillan. UTSA Libraries Digital Collections. University of Texas at San Antonio, n.d. Web. 19 July 2016. http://digital.utsa.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15125coll4/id/723/rec/9
Sinkin, William. “Interview with William Sinkin, 1995.” Interview by Sterlin Holmesly. UTSA Libraries Digital Collections. University of Texas at San Antonio, n.d. Web. 19 July 2016. http://digital.utsa.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15125coll4/id/410/rec/6
HemisFair 68 Jim Beam Decanter Souvenir
San Antonio, Texas
Materials: Ceramic and Paint
This object is a souvenir Jim Beam decanter commemorating the HemisFair of 1968. A decanter is a decorative ceramic or glass bottle, with a stopper, used to store alcohol. This Jim Beam decanter has the Tower of Americas and part of the state of Texas and its landscape sculpted into the shape of a decanter. The Tower of the Americas is a famous landmark in San Antonio, TX dating back to HemisFair of 1968. This decanter was mass-produced by Regal China Co., and sold during HemisFair, as a cross-promotion for the James B. Beam Distilling Co..
The HemisFair was a World’s Fair that was held from April 6, 1968 to October 6, 1968, in San Antonio, Texas. HemisFair welcomed over thirty nations and six million visitors. The Tower of the Americas was built especially for HemisFair, and was completed just days before the start of the fair. The tower measures 622 feet tall from ground to the highest architectural element, with the observation floor at 579 feet, making it the 29th tallest building in the state of Texas. It was the tallest observation tower in the United States until 1997, when the Stratosphere Tower was built in Las Vegas.
Observation towers have been associated with several World Fair venues. The 1889 Paris World’s Fair commemorated the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, and included the construction of the now world-famous Eiffel Tower. Built by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel‘s construction company, Eiffel et Compagnie, and largely based off designs by Maurice Koechlin. Observation towers were also built for the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, and others. [Adriana Christian, edited by Joscelynn Garcia]
Materials: Wood, metal, imitation marble and ceramic
This object is a dentist cabinet from Dr. James Reveley’s dentist office. Dentists’ used to store their instruments in cabinets like this one. Dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions, with evidence of it dating back to 7000 B.C. in the Indus Valley Civilization. Dentistry was also mentioned in ancient Greece with Hippocrates and Aristotle writing on how to treat tooth decay. Starting in the middle ages barbers performed oral surgeries and dental cleanings. The barbers divided themselves into two groups, the first group performed oral surgeries, and the second group performed oral cleanings, shavings, bleedings and tooth extractions. However, it was not until the 18th century when a French man named Pierre Fauchard wrote a book on how to perform basic surgery on a patient’s mouth and teeth that dentistry became a defined profession. After Fauchard published his book, “LeChirurgien Dentiste” the men who practiced oral surgeries started to call themselves dentists and broke away from the term barber.
In 1840 Baltimore College of Dental Surgery opened becoming first dental school to open. This paved the way for other dentistry schools to open, including the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery where John Henry “Doc” Holliday received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). Holliday came to Texas during the Annual Fair of the North Texas Agricultural, Mechanical, and Blood Stock Association at the Dallas County Fair in 1874. Holliday took home the three awards they were offering, “best set of gold teeth”, “the best in Vulcanized rubber”, and “the best set of artificial teeth and dental ware.” Although Holiday’s career veered away from dentistry, his awards led other Texan dentists to improve the way they treated teeth. About 10 years before Holliday won his awards the American Dental Association was formed, consisting of 26 members determined to promote high professional standards and scientific research.
Dentistry has come a long way from the days of the barbershop, and even the most squeamish patients can now expect a relatively pain-free and safe experience. This is in part due to the discoveries of men like William Thomas Green Morton; he discovered the use of ether as an anesthetic. He performed the first painless oral surgery in 1846 and other doctors soon adopted this method of surgical anesthesia. Another dentist who changed dentistry for the U.S., and for Texas, is Dr. Greene Vardiman Black. He believed that dentistry should be scientific and performed by highly skilled professionals. He invented a dental engine with a foot motor, he standardized dental terminologies, and gave dental instruments the names they have now. Many dentists consider Black the father of modern dentistry; he helped dentists all over the country regulate what they called the tools of their trade, and he passed on his professional standards for dentistry. [Amanda Rock, edited by Joscelynn Garcia]
Black, Carl Ellsworth, and Bessie Black. 1940. From pioneer to scientist; the life story of Greene Vardiman Black, “father of modern dentistry,” and his son, Arthur Davenport Black, late dean of Northwestern university Dental school. Saint Paul, Minn: Bruce Publishing Company.
Horan, James D., and Paul Sann. 1954. Pictorial history of the wild West; a true account of the bad men, desperadoes, rustlers, and outlaws of the old West–and the men who fought them to establish law and order. New York: Crown Publishers.
This object is a photographic print of Richard Allen (1830-1901) a political leader in Texas. Richard Allen was born a slave in Richmond, Virginia on June 10, 1830. He was brought to Harris County in Texas, where he was owned until emancipation in 1865. While a slave he became skilled in carpentry and designed the mansion of Houston mayor Joseph R. Morris.
After emancipation Richard Allen became a contractor and bridge builder. The first bridge to be built over Buffalo Bayou is said to have been Allen’s work. Allen first entered the political scene when he became a voter registrar, in charge of distributing and accepting voter registrations. He later became an agent for the Freedmen’s Bureau. The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands or more popularly known as the Freedmen’s Bureau was established by the War Department in 1865 after the end of the American Civil War. The Freedmen’s Bureau was created to help former black slaves and poor whites in the American south. After the war many communities were left in ruins. The Bureau provided food, housing, medical aid, established schools, and offered legal assistance. The people who worked for the Freedmen’s Bureau were essentially social workers. Each district would send out assistant agents to communities in the south. However, once there they were exposed to ridicule and violence from whites which included terror organizations like the Ku Klux Klan.
The Ku Klux Klan or KKK for short was an organization founded in 1866 and in almost every southern state. The group largely rejected President Andrew Johnson’s reconstruction policies. The group ran a campaign of violence against Republicans, both black and white, hoping to reverse reconstruction and return to white supremacy in the South. 10% of black legislators who were elected during the 1867-1868 constitutional conventions were victims of violence from the KKK and some lost their lives. Due to the violence being spewed toward blacks, a movement to leave the south and head west toward Kansas became a popular.
The movement was led by a man named Benjamin “Pap” Singleton, and the goal was to find a better life somewhere other than the south. Singleton was born a slave near Nashville, Tennessee. He was skilled in carpentry but never learned how to read or write. After attempting to escape from slavery several times he was finally successful in 1846 and headed north to Detroit using the Underground Railroad. Singleton witnessed the inequality that freedmen were facing and realized they would never get equality in the south. In 1874 Singleton founded a real estate company in the hopes of helping African Americans get land in Tennessee. This failed as many white land owners refused to bargain and sold the land for high prices. Singleton then turned his eye to Kansas, and after a few setbacks, the first wave of exodusters migrated to Kansas in 1879.
As for Richard Allen, after he led the short lived exodus movement he served as a delegate for the National Colored Men’s Convention. He also served as chairmen for black state conventions where African Americans voiced their concerns about civil rights, education, and economic issues. He became Grand Master of the Prince Hall Masons once they organized in Texas. Richard Allen passed away on May 16, 1909. [Joscelynn Garcia]
Cimbala, Paul A., and Randall M. Miller. The Freedmen’s Bureau and Reconstruction. New York: Fordham University Press, 1999. <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlebk&db=nlabk&AN=16387>.
Materials: Plastic, Metal, Ink, Wood
This object is a set of fifteen pens with Lyndon Baines Johnson’s name on each one. The pens are individually boxed in gold foil boxes with white lids that also bear the President’s name.
Presidents often use multiple pens to sign a bill and then give those pens to the people involved in getting the bill passed. There is a famous photograph of President Johnson handing several pens used to sign The Civil Rights Act into law to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is believed that the custom began during Truman’s Presidency. President Obama recently used twenty-two pens to sign the Affordable Health Care Act. President Clinton used forty pens in 1997 to sign the Taxpayer Relief Act. President Lyndon Baines Johnson holds the record for the most pens used to sign a bill. He used seventy-two pens to sign The Civil Rights Act of 1964.
President Johnson was born and raised near Johnson City in the Texas Hill Country. He graduated from what is now known as Texas State University. He worked as a teacher in Cotulla, Texas before serving in the Navy during World War II where he earned a Silver Star Medal. He then served six terms in the House of Representatives before being elected to Congress in 1948. In 1960, Johnson was elected Vice-President along with President John F. Kennedy. After President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Johnson assumed the role of President and was then re-elected for one term as President in 1964.
While we have no information about whether these fifteen pens were used to sign a bill, President Johnson signed many important bills into law during his Presidency, including the Civil Rights Act, Medicare, and the Voting Rights Act, to name a few. Thanks to President Johnson and his Public Broadcasting Act, we have Public Television which brings us educational shows like Sesame Street and NOVA. Because of President Johnson’s War on Poverty, the Head Start Program was created to allow disadvantaged four and five year olds to attend pre-school. The list of his landmark bills is several pages long.
Johnson’s term as President was filled with controversy due to the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War. Even though he accomplished so much for the American people, his inability to resolve the Vietnam conflict caused him to refuse to run for another term as President. After finishing his term, Johnson moved back to Texas to retire on his ranch in Johnson City. He died on January 22, 1973. [Kim Grosset edited by Joscelynn Garcia]