Experiencing history with you

by remembering, discovering, and sharing our stories; sparking emotional and social connections within our unique community.

1872 Hopkins Atlas Plate

1872


A map of buildings and owners in what we know as Canalside today. In 1872, when this map was made, Buffalo’s canal district was a dense, roiling center of commerce, industry, transportation, immigration, wealth, poverty, crime, and disease.

Red Jacket Medal

1792


Peace medal presented to Seneca orator Red Jacket by President George Washington in Philadelphia in 1792. The medal bears symbolic imagery of peaceful coexistence between the United States and Native Americans.

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The Buffalo History Museum takes the safety, well-being, preserving, and advancement of our community to be of the utmost priority. For information regarding current events including support of Black Lives Matter, COVID-19, and resources, please visit our Community Updates page.

Apostolic Clock

1881


An iconic timepiece created over the span of 35 years as a passion project by local engineer Myles Hughes. Before his death in 1923, he donated it to The Buffalo History Museum to be shared with the community. Like many late 19th century monumental clocks, its design was inspired by the Strasbourg Cathedral Clock of 1842. Apostles parade around Jesus every half hour with Peter turning his back to Jesus.

Pan-Am Night Scene Panoramic

1901


In 1901 when the Pan-American Exposition opened, the sheer volume and color of electric lights, designed to be experienced after dark, was a new experience for Americans. This view, looking north from the Triumphal Bridge, includes the Temple of Music, Machinery and Transportation Buildings, Court of Fountains, Electric Tower, Manufactures Building, Liberal Arts and Ethnology Building, and part of the Government Building.

Evelyn Rumsey Cary Suffrage Poster

1905


This poster was a favorite of the women’s suffrage movement. Created by Evelyn Rumsey Cary (1855-1924) of Buffalo, it is an elegant example of Art Nouveau graphic design, depicting a female figure transformed into a fruit tree. The building behind her may be based on the east façade of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Help Us Tell Your Story

In 2021, The Buffalo History Museum will debut a feature exhibit celebrating the 200th anniversary of Erie County. What are the stories, events, and people that have shaped Erie County in the past 70 years? Please help us tell this story by giving your input.

 

Iver-Johnson Revolver

ca. 1901


Iver-Johnson, 32 caliber, nickel plated revolver used by Leon Czolgosz to assassinate President William McKinley outside the Temple of Music at the Pan American Exposition.

Grover Cleveland’s Cake Box & Cake

1886


Cake box given as a wedding favor to the guests of the wedding of President Grover Cleveland to Frances Folsom in the White House on June 2, 1886. Inside the box there is still a portion of the dark cake that was given to the guests.

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Pony Coat

1919–1920


This overcoat belonged to Henry J. Miller. He was very close with his horse, Skip, and when Skip passed away in 1919, Henry had him made into this overcoat.

Larkin Photo in Atrium


The Larkin Administration Building was the first major commercial commission in Frank Lloyd Wright’s career. The central court shown here provided natural light to all five floors. The Larkin Building was demolished in 1950.

Scott Norwood Helmet

1985–1991


Scott Norwood’s only helmet worn in Super Bowl XXV, SB XXVI, Pro Bowl, regular season and playoff games from 1985-1991. It is part of the Greg D. Tranter Collection of Buffalo Bills Memorabilia.

Get Involved

There are many ways to become involved with the Museum. Two of the most popular ways are by becoming a member or volunteering.

Members support the Museum with an annual fee that includes perks such as free admission, discounted admission to programs, invitations to members-only events, and more

Volunteers help with fundraising events, providing guided museum tours, and cataloging artifacts.

Membership  |  Volunteer

Winifred Stanley Poster

1942


Pioneering attorney Winifred Stanley (1909-1996), who grew up in Buffalo and earned her law degree from the University at Buffalo, was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1942. In 1944, she introduced the first equal pay legislation in American history. She is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Tonawanda. Donated by Mary Louise Stanley.

Automaton

Ca. 1895


This is Madame Le Doll, an automaton imported from a doll show in Paris and was the highlight of the Great Buffalo Doll Show in 1895. With a turn of a key, Madame Le Doll turns her head, fans herself, twirls her parasol, breathes, and winks.

Mary Talbert Portrait

1929


Portrait of Mary Burnett Talbert (1866-1923) by G. Gonzalez, a civil rights activist, educator, and WWI Red Cross nurse. Talbert was a tireless worker for human rights in the late 19th and early 20th century and is perhaps best remembered for laying the foundations for the passage of the Dyer Anti-Lynch Bills.

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On This Day In Buffalo

Wednesday, August 12

Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association incorporated, 2013

League of American Wheelmen holds convention in Buffalo, 1901

German & Irish stevedores riot of Buffalo's waterfront, 1862

Buffalo's first automobile race, 1904

Kenilworth Park, Tonawanda

Buffalo Switchmen go on strike, 1892

Polio epidemic begins, 1912

Thursday, August 13

Sacred Heart cornerstone laid, 1875

Demolition of John J. Albright Mansion begins, 1934

West Ferry Street, W Ferry St, Buffalo, NY, USA

Frederick Douglass delivers a speech in Lafayette Square, 1843

Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY, USA

First Dakota grain elevator destroyed by fire, 1900

Railroad Switchmen's Strike begins, 1877

Friday, August 14

New York Central Stockyards destroyed by fire, 1908

William Street, William St, Buffalo, NY, USA

Peter B. Porter born, 1773

Congresswoman Winifred Stanley born, 1909

Joseph Ellicott lays out lot for Buffalo's first school, 1801

Switchmen's strike on Erie Railroad begins, 1892

Erie Railroad

World War II Armistice Day, 1945

Mark Twain signs on as manager of the Buffalo Express, 1869

Mayor Frank X. Schwab born, 1874

Smith Street, Smith St, Buffalo, NY, USA

Curtiss-Wright airport plant dedicated, 1941

Saturday, August 15

Forest Lawn Cemetery dedicated, 1850

National Convention of Colored Citizens opens, 1843

Vine St. AME Church, Buffalo, NY

Daniel Davis arrested while escaping from slavery, 1851

Interurban trolley service opens between Buffalo & Lockport, 1898

Buffalo Female Academy opens, 1851

Now Buffalo Seminary

Ulrich's Tavern raided during prohibition, 1922

674 Ellicott St, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA

Sunday, August 16

Sisters Hospital cornerstone laid, 1875

Main & Humboldt

Groundbreaking for the Peace Bridge, 1925

1 M&T Plaza dedicated, 1968

M&T Center, 345 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA

First 4-alarm fire in Buffalo, Cypher's Incubator Co., 1912

Fourth & Court St., Buffalo, NY

Frederick Law Olmsted's first visit to Buffalo, 1868

St. Mary's Orphan Asylum incorporated, 1856

St. Mary's Orphan Asylum incorporated, 1856