23 Famous Random Objects From History And Where They Are Now

Published February 10, 2018
Updated February 16, 2018

From Lincoln's Ford's Theater rocking chair to Lewis And Clark's Compass, these objects not only changed the course of history but remain to tell their story.

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23 Famous Random Objects From History And Where They Are Now
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"Objects bear the marks of how they've been used, giving us access to ideas that may have been too fundamental to a person's life ever to have been written down" - Katy Barrett

There are certain things that seem to exist only within the confines of history. Objects that are crucial to the events outlined in our textbooks but somehow seem intangible. Sometimes you have a rough idea of what these particular artifacts look like, but you've never seen them - or didn’t know you wanted to see them in the first place.

Perhaps this feeling persisted to a greater extent before the internet came along. Now our history is cataloged in detail and can be accessed at our fingertips - if only we have the desire and the time.

These historical objects are a key to the past. We gather information about how people used them just by looking - and can often determine characteristics of their owners from ruminating on the details. We can see how organized Thomas Jefferson was by the writing desk he designed for himself; how much Christopher Robin loved and played with the original Winnie-the-Pooh. How much power it took to run the original Tesla coil.

All of the photos here remind us that every artifact from history (that wasn’t somehow destroyed) still has a home. It’s just a matter of finding it. Someone out there - a collector or museum is preserving it until they must pass it on to the next keeper.

Whether it's the escape car from a ruthless dictator, telescopes that helped mankind find its place, or the chair and hat from the assassination that rocked a nation; these famous objects all have incredible stories that helped shape the world.

Enjoy this article on famous random objects? Next, see photos of history’s infamous assassinations, and learn more about the deaths of Bonnie and Clyde.

Erin Kelly
An All That's Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she's designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.
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Kelly, Erin. "23 Famous Random Objects From History And Where They Are Now." AllThatsInteresting.com, February 10, 2018, https://allthatsinteresting.com/famous-random-objects. Accessed June 15, 2024.