» Plentiful Weekday & Weekend Discounted Parking Available
Americana Collection

Americana Collection

10,000 artifacts have been classified as the Americana collection by the Museum. Between 1913 and 1986 Boston Children's Museum's Americana collecting concentrated on objects that portrayed the evolution of everyday life in America over the past three centuries. Objects in the Americana collection cover the historical period from 1750 to the present day, although the majority of artifacts in the collection are dated between 1850 and 1950.

In the 1990s, the Museum began to focus on a multicultural collecting project called New Directions in order to expand and diversify the Americana collection to reflect immigrant experiences, and add late 20th century artifacts to the collection. The artifacts added to the Americana collection represent a cross-section of American history, centered geographically around Boston during the twentieth century.

Many of the artifacts found in current Boston Children's Museum exhibits come from the Americana collection including the hair styling artifacts found in Boston Black and the toys and accessories in Arthur’s A to Z.

Browse the collection:

Hill’s Kindergarten Building Blocks No. 12, ca. 1890

 

Hill’s Kindergarten Building Blocks No. 12, ca. 1890

 

S. L. Hill, Williamsburgh, Long Island, New York

Wood

Anonymous Donation, 1942

3NK 1362

Board Game, “Game of Transatlantic Flight,” ca. 1924

 

Board Game, “Game of Transatlantic Flight,” ca. 1924

 

Milton Bradley Company, Springfield, MA

Lithographed paper, cardboard, metal

Gift of the Estate of Frank C. Doble, 1970

4NK 70-514

Ladies Hat, 1920s

 

Ladies Hat, 1920s

 

Sadie Jackson, West Somerville, Massachusetts

Straw, velvet

Donated by Mrs. Annamarie Clifford, 1974

3NK 74-128

Irons

 

Irons

Irons (left to right)

 

Coleman “Instant-Lite” Iron, 1900-1950

United States

Enamel, wood, metal

Gift of the Estate of Frank C. Doble, 1970

3NK 70-196

 

Iron, 1850-1920

United States

Iron, wood

Purchased by the Children’s Museum, 1968

3NK 68-77

 

Iron

United States

Metal, rubber, wood

Donated by Sylvia Sawin, 1978

4NK 78-47

Music Box, ca. 1900

 

Music Box, ca. 1900

 

 

Regina Music Box Company, Rahway NJ 

Wood, tin, paper

Gift of Mrs. J. H. Means, 1965

3NK 65-18

School Primers, 19th century

 

School Primers, 19th century

 

 

United States

Paper

 

From left to right:

3NK XX 78 (found in collections)

 

Gift of the Estate of Frank C. Doble, 1970; 4NK 70-470

 

4NK XX 468 (found in collections)

 

Sampler, 1814

 

Sampler, 1814

 

 

Amelia Stanwood, Gloucester, MA (age 8)

Linen, silk thread

Purchased by the Children’s Museum, 1945

2NK 1700

 

Ladies Footwear, ca. 1920

 

Ladies Footwear, ca. 1920

 

 

Benjamin F. Miner Inc., Boston

Leather, cloth, metal

4NK XX 225 (found in collections)

 

Stereoscope Viewer, 1903

 

Stereoscope Viewer, 1903

 

 

Underwood & Underwood, New York

Wood, metal

2006.X.303 (found in collections)

Electric Train Set, ca. 1925

 

Electric Train Set, ca. 1925

 

 

Lionel Corporation, New York

Metal

Gift of the Estate of Frank C. Doble, 1970

4NK 70-222

Swan Boat Model, c. 1877

Swan Boat Model, c. 1877

 

 

Maker unknown

Metal, wood, wicker, paint

Gift of Alice Loomer Carlton and Barbara A. Loomer, 1946

3NK 1713

 

 

Figures, 1951

Margaret Spinney

Rubber latex, wire, vintage fabric

Purchased by The Children’s Museum for the Swan Boat model, 1951

3NK 1986 a-h