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)
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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