Historical Collections


Bus Bus. The Fifth Avenue Coach Company both built and operated this mid-1920's bus in New York City. Restored in the Museum's shops, the bus is part of the transportation section of the New York Metropolis exhibit at the State Museum.

Vehicles for the movement of people and goods form the core of the State Museum's transportation collection. The physical size of ships, aircraft and railroad rolling stock would suggest that such objects are not to be found in the Museum. But in fact, an airplane, a subway car and a number of boats are counted among the Museum's holdings.

The airplane is a Fleet Model 8 of 1931, a biplane which served as the State Conservation Department's first aircraft; it now is a permanent fixture in the Museum's Adirondack Hall. A second relic of flight, which approaches full aircraft size, is a Link pilot trainer of the Second World War period.

The rail vehicles are an interurban car, first used on the New York Railways Little Falls to Rome division in the 1910's and 1920's and last used on the Rochester Subway in 1956. The subway car is a 1940's New York City R-9 model, which plays a key role in the Museum's New York Metropolis exhibit.

Other rail materials include a Fairmont section car, a rowed speeder, signals, rails, lamps, tools and ephemera such as timetables and posters. A recent notable addition to the Museum is the collection of Robert Bedford of Johnstown, who for fifty years accumulated artifacts of traction railways, especially the Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville.

Automobile Automobile. The Franklin Model 9-B of 1921 was the product of the H. H. Franklin Manufacturing Company, which made cars with air-cooled engines from 1902 to 1934 at Syracuse. The Museum's Franklin is now part of the "Adirondack Sojourn" diorama in the Adirondack Hall.

The 27 boats in the Museum consist of rowed, sailed and motor types, including Adirondack guide boats, St. Lawrence skiffs, a sandbagger on permanent display, ice boats and luxury motor craft of the early twentieth century like a Henderson built at Lake George. Other pieces of the water transportation collections include ship models, motors, navigational instruments, channel markers and graphics.

Horse drawn vehicles number about 40. These date from the late eighteenth century to the practical end of animal powered transportation in the early twentieth century. In addition to carriages and wagons, there are specialty vehicles such as a sprinkler cart, dump wagon and tin peddler's wagon. Among the outstanding vehicles are a late-nineteenth century delivery wagon with splendid original painted decoration, a fine hearse with glazed sides, and an eighteenth century cutter with fine painted cornucopia decoration.

Human powered vehicles include baby carriages; hand pushed trucks like wheel barrows and peddler's carts; and bicycles. The 25 cycles range from a boneshaker of the late 1860's to an example of a home-built racing bicycle of the 1970's.

Motor vehicles at the State Museum run from several experimental automobiles built ca. 1900 by the Albany inventor Christian Weeber to the 1967 Lincoln governors' limousine. Landmarks include the 1932 Packard touring car purchased for official use by Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, a rocket powered experimental car built by the brothers Daniel and Floyd Hungerford in Elmira in the 1920's, and a drag racing car constructed by Nathan Hughes of Corning in the 1950's. In addition to automobiles, there are several new York-built trucks (including an example of one of the last, a 1976 Brockway dump truck), the first motor ambulance used in the Adirondack Park, a self-propelled crane made in Brooklyn and snowmobiles.

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Weitsman stoneware Weitsman Stoneware Collection
The Weitsman Stoneware Exhibit ran from
November 20, 1998 through September 13, 2000

Weitsman Stoneware Collection

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History Collections
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