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Urbrock, William J. (ed.) / Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume 83 (1995)

Butler, J. D.
Copper tools found in the state of Wisconsin,   pp. 18-23 PDF (1.9 MB)


Page 18

WISCONSIN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, ARTS, AND LETTERS 
COPPER TOOLS FOUND IN THE STATE OF WISCONSIN 
BY PROF. J. D. BUTLER, LL.D. 
 Implements of unalloyed copper are among the most rare and curious of archaeological
findings. The exhibit of these articles now made at the Philadelphia Centennial
comprises the largest collection ever brought together. The copper age proper,
in distinction from the age of bronze, forms a link in the chain of human
development which according to Sir John Lubbock, "is scarcely traceable
in
Europe." The only European museum known to that distinguished archaeologist
which contains any copper tools is the royal Academy at Dublin. The number
there was thirty till within a year or two, when five were received from
Gunjera—a province in India north of Bombay. 
 The articles now on view at the Centennial are as follows: In the Government
building, from the Smithsonian Institution, seventeen real tools, besides
casts of several others, and various copper trinkets. In the same building
two articles, much corroded, owned in the State of Vermont. 
 In the mineral annex. From Ohio eight implements; from Michigan nineteen,
and from Wisconsin, one hundred and sixty four. The whole number from all
quarters is two hundred and ten. 
 I made notes regarding all the exhibits, but having lost them; can only
describe the show from Wisconsin. But the coppers from that State are nearly
four times as many as all the rest of the world has sent to Philadelphia,
and they surpass others in size, variety, and perfection of preservation,
as much as in number. The only instrument from any other source, not represented
among Wisconsin Coppers, is a crescent about six inches long—perhaps
intended for a knife, though it has no handle. 
 Among the varieties in the Wisconsin exhibit—which is made by
the
State Historical Society—are the following: 
 Ninety-five spear-heads. Of these the larger number are what some antiquarians
called "winged," that is the sides of the base are rolled up towards
each
other so as to form a socket to receive a shaft. Some of these sockets are
quite perfect, and all are ingeniously swaged. Sixteen of them are punched
each with a hole, round, square, or oblong, for a pin to fasten the shaft,
and one of the copper pins still sticks fast in its place. Twenty-three of
the spear-blades swell on one side something like bayonets, the rest are
flat. Three are marked with seven 
18 


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