Cultured people of the Victorian era collected memorabilia during their travels and placed it on display in their homes for the enjoyment of friends and relatives essentially operating their own museum out the parlor in their home. Display areas like this would have all available surfaces covered with objects in true Victorian era home fashion. This trend continues today as many people bring home objects from their travels to display in their homes.
Many curiosity objects found their way into the History Center's permanent collection in the very early years of the organization from about the 1920s-1950s. At that time the Historical Society itself was really a cabinet of curiosities exhibiting objects from natural history, historical relics, art, ethnology and really anything that was thought to be interesting. Now our organization has narrowed the focus to collecting and preserving the history that defines Fort Wayne and Allen County.
However, many of these curiosities objects remain in our collection not only documenting the history of how our organizational mission has evolved but also reminding us of a popular cultural trend from decades past and the human desire to collect objects of perceived significance. Here you can enjoy some of these objects not currently on display in the History Center.