What you can't see at the Albany Institute of History and Art

Albany Institute Hyatt Billiard Balls.jpg

Hyatt billiard balls, made in Albany.

Last week we showed you a few cool things you can't see at the Schenectady Museum.

This week we've found bunch of cool stuff you can't see at the Albany Institute of History and Art. Included in the tour, billiard balls, beer and WGY coffee.

Keepsake jewelry made with human hair. Yeah...it's kind of sweet and creepy at the same time.

Albany Institute Hair Jewelry 1.jpg

Albany Institute hair jewelry 2.jpg

We thought it was copper or some type of wire at first.

Albany institute - Hair Jewelry 3.jpg

Hair Jewelry 4.jpg

Written in Dutch, these deeds from the early 1660s are trade agreements for land between the Dutch and Native Americans. This one includes a list of items like pots, pans and knives that were traded for land.

Albany Institute Dutch:Native American trade agreement.jpg

The drawings at the bottom of the documents were Native American signatures:

Albany Institute Native American Signatures CU.jpg

And here's the symbol of the manor lands of the Van Rensselaer manor, indicating a land trasaction between the Van Rensselaer manor and the Native Americans.

Albany Institute Van Rensselaer Mark.jpg

A while back Carl wrote a post for AOA about Albany's Hyatt Billiard Balls. The museum showed us this set:

Albany Institute Hyatt Billiard Balls.jpg

Albany Institute Hyatt ball cu.jpg

And an older set:

Older Hyatt Billiard box.jpg

Albany Institute - Older Hyatt Billiard Ball CU.jpg

They also showed us one of the Boardman and Gray pianos that Carl told us about.

Once rolled toilet paper was invented in Albany, people needed something to hang it on:

Albany Institute Toilet Paper holder 2.jpg

A while back Jess looked into the big First Prize sign along Everett Road. Here's a can of lard that came from the meat packing company.

Albany Institute First Prize Lard.jpg

Hedrick's beer company was owned by the family of Albany political boss Dan O'Connell:

Albany Institute Hedrick's Beer box.jpg

No, there's no old beer in these cans. Museum rules require all liquid to be emptied before being archived so, you know, they had to comply:

Hedrick's Beer Cans.jpg

WGY Coffee. A store was allowed to use the radio station's brand name on food packaging:

Albany Institute WGY Coffee.jpg

The Institute has about 70 models that accompanied patent applications in the Capital Region, including this brass model for a saddle harness:

Albany Institute Saddle Model 1.jpg

This for one of Henry Burden's horse shoe manufacturing machines:

Albany Institute Ironworks horseshoe patent model.jpg

Benjamin Hinkley's 1856 design for a portable camping tent:

Albany Institute patent model tent.jpg

This is the hull of a patent model for a paper boat:

Albany Institute patent model paper boat.jpg

And a clothes dryer patent model from the 1870s.

Albany Institute Patent model clothesline.jpg

During the earliest years of the stove industry, Albany and Troy stove designers and manufacturers account for at least one third of all design patents issued. Here's a photo from a big stove expo in Troy

Albany Institute Stove Expo.jpg

Here's a heating stove:

Albany Institute heating stoves.jpg

Albany Institute stove detail .jpg

Albany institute heating stove detail.jpg

And a cooking stove:

Albany Institute cooking stove.jpg

The Albany Institute is pulling out some of its rarely seen items in April for its new Great Strange and Rarely Seen exhibit, but the mummies and all kinds of other cools stuff on display there year round.

Thanks to curators Tammis Groft and Doug McCombs for showing us around the archives at The Albany Institute!


Once [rolled] toilet paper was invented in Albany, people needed something to hang it on

Eerp. Left out an important word. Thanks, Tim. Corrected

So flamin' jealous. I've only seen WGY food tins on eBay, and although I probably saw thousands of Hyatt billard balls when I was growing up, I didn't KNOW that's what they were. But a model for one of Troy's paper boats? I would swoon.

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