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Archive for the ‘Artifact of the Month’ Category

On October 5, the city of Rocky Mount installed an historical marker honoring James Kern “Kay” Kyser (1905-1985).  Kyser was a native of Rocky Mount and a 1928 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill.  While at UNC, Kyser majored in commerce and was active in numerous extracurricular activities, including acting as head cheerleader for the Tar Heels […]

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Fans of the sugary beverage known as Pepsi-Cola should note it was just 120 years ago this month that the beverage was “Born in the Carolinas,” as its logo claims. In August 1898, pharmacist Caleb Bradham renamed his healthy and refreshing ‘Brads Drink’ to ‘Pepsi-Cola’ and international enterprise began. Bradham, from Chinquapin, NC, attended UNC […]

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If you’ve turned on a TV in North Carolina, you are probably familiar with our state’s public television station, UNC-TV.  The network’s original station – WUNC-TV, Channel 4 in Chapel Hill – signed on the air January 8, 1955.  Initially operating on three different campuses (Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Greensboro), the station would continue to […]

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With the 2018 graduation now behind us, the May Artifact of the Month reminds us that although our time at the University is brief, our love and appreciation for the school is eternal. This class ring from 1940, formerly owned by the late historian and Curator of the North Carolina Collection William S. Powell, invokes […]

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A token is usually thought of as a coin-like object used as money.  Tokens are not used much today but were common in the past when coins were in short supply.  But in thinking about tokens in the North Carolina Collection, I began to realize that such a simple definition falls short.  Let’s look at […]

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The Carolina Elephant token is the earliest known numismatic artifact that refers to the Carolinas.  It is dated 1694, before the 1712 separation of the Province of Carolina into North and South Carolina colonies.  The origin and purpose of the token remain enigmatic despite extensive research that includes a seminal article written by Neil Fulghum, […]

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This sheet showing the “Great Carolina Wren”, from John James Audubon’s The Birds of America, published in 1826-1832, is in the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It came to the University with a bequest from Josephine and Mangum Weeks in 1981, one of 76 prints […]

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Did you know that the design of the nurse’s uniform evolved from the nun’s habit? At one time the convent was a common place for the sick to receive care, and the nuns did the nursing. The cape was a standard part of the nurse’s apparel, a practice that endured into the 1980s. Our recently […]

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This UNC plate — our June Artifact of the Month — has traveled all around the country, three times from coast to coast, and survived a near calamity in 1994. Seventy years after beginning its journey it has come to rest back in Chapel Hill. The plate was a gift to Charles Gremer and Grace […]

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The arrival of commencement weekend gives us a welcome opportunity to look back at spring traditions at UNC. The NCC Gallery honors those traditions with a display of Carolina traditions, including this Jubilee program and pinback button — our May Artifacts of the Month. Jubilee was an annual concert that celebrated the end of the […]

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