Skip navigation

Curator's Corner
August 26, 2011

Lincoln’s Rocking Chair

August 26, 2011

Not only does our Lincoln exhibit feature furniture and decorations from Lincoln’s business car, but newly displayed is this beautiful caned rocking chair from much earlier in Abraham Lincoln’s life. The chair is originally from the law office of Lincoln and Herndon in Springfield, Ill., where Lincoln practiced law from 1843 to about 1852. One young law student remembered the furniture in the office as dilapidated or shabby. Lincoln it seemed, preferred strength and durability to appearance or fashion.

For the last two years our chair has been on a whirlwind North American Tour traveling with the Library of Congresses’ Exhibit “With Malice Toward None.” The exhibit celebrated the bicentennial of our 16th President’s birth with letters, books, pictures and artifacts. Now the chair is back with us and for the first time, on display at its home museum.

Recent Headlines

  • The Origin of the Blue and White Striped Engineer's Cap

    June 17 The origins of the engineer's cap.

  • Authentic or Not: Spittoon Edition

    Due to the widespread use of chewing tobacco in the 19th century, spittoons were a common fixture in public areas, including railroad stations. Their intended purpose was collecting tobacco juice spit from a distance; so typically, they were built heavy and low to the ground, with a wide mouth or funneled top. Sometimes, these rugged fixtures were enameled, but most importantly, they had to be durable and hard to tip over if kicked or shoved.

  • Union Pacific and the Pawnee Scouts

    Did you know that in 1864, several hundred Pawnee warriors joined forces with the U.S. Army? Friendly to the American government and bitter enemies of the Sioux, the Pawnee worked alongside the Army to protect Union Pacific as the railroad progressed into the Great Plains.

  • Time is of the essence... or the railroad?

    In 1809, 1870 and 1872, Congress considered and rejected calls to establish national standard time. Needing a more organized method of keeping time, railroads in the United States and Canada took the matter into their own hands.

  • Union Pacific's Firearm Collection

    The Union Pacific Railroad Museum's firearm collection displays over a century of unique firearms.

  • The Summit Tunnel

    While Central Pacific constructed 15 tunnels through the Sierra - five on the west slope, one at the summit, and nine on the east slope, the longest, and most challenging, was the Summit Tunnel.

  • Digitizing Union Pacific’s Past

    Union Pacific Railroad Museum has embarked on a multi-year effort to digitize much of Union Pacific’s historic photograph collection.

  • Footprint in Time

    One of the many objects on display at the museum is something you may not expect, it's a dinosaur footprint from some 89 to 65 million years ago!

  • Union Pacific’s Gold Coast Baseball Team of 1929

    The 1920s saw an insurgence of family oriented initiatives within Union Pacific. Union Pacific employees created teams and leagues in various sports, including baseball, and competed with each other and in their communities.

  • Streamlined China

    Railroads recognized very early that dining was a key way to distinguish themselves from competitors. Passengers benefited from each railroad's effort to offer the best food, best service and best dining environment.

  • Archives
© Copyright 2015 Friends of Union Pacific Railroad Museum.