Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Archeology Spring Training Part Five - Why is it?

Travelers have always been interested in souvenirs.  Back in my digging days up at Hadrian's Wall I admit to a wild fantasy that involved finding one of the contemporary enameled cups that Roman soldiers seem to have bought as mementos.  The best known example is the Rudge Cup but there are at least two other similar vessels, showing a stylized depiction of the Wall and listing the series of forts built there.  Yowza.

But in the theme of dialing in my eye and brain for more modern artifacts I present this little oddity.  It is a glass paperweight.  It is full of shells that sure did not come from Wisconsin.  It says "Souvenir of Eau Claire, Wis"

I'd make it circa 1910 and the peculiar thing is that Eau Claire, while certainly a nice little city, was really never a tourist destination.  Those who wanted to hang out at the lake headed further north.  Eau Claire at this time was a faded lumbering town with a variety of manufacturing plants.  The surrounding area was and remains the pastoral home of many slowly munching dairy cows.

But, somebody must have had a little business selling trinkets.  I hope they did OK in it.

No comments: