Curtiss Firsts
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Local History (Hammondsport & Steuben County)

As the name suggests, a large part of the focus of the Curtiss Museum is local history including Hammondsport and Steuben County. The museum contains a fascinating collection of items relating to Finger Lakes history. Some of these items are: antique boats, tools, toys, fire-fighting equipment, wine-making equipment, clothing and home furnishings.

Selected items from our local history collection.

"Centennial" Washer

An early washing machine, donated to the museum by Randall Brewer.

Civil War Ordnance Rifle
circa 1861

Reproduction field piece.

c. 1845

This clavichord was manufactured by the Stewart & Chickering Co. of Boston, Massachusetts, and was once owned by the Champlin Family of Hammondsport.

Coffee Grinders
late 1800's

The museum's small collection contains 2 small home grinders, a two larger commercial machines.

Hammondsport School Bell
circa 1866

This bell was taken from the old schoolhouse "Hammondsport Academy" located at Lake St. and Main St. in Hammondsport. Glenn Curtiss attended this school. The school later became Hammondsport High School.

Large Spinning Wheel
early 1800's

This "Great Wheel" from Urbanna was also called a "Factory Wheel", as it was used by the women in town to spin material for the whole town and then sell it. The wheel has pewter fittings, and hand-cut nails used to adjust the wheel so it would spin properly. The wheel is made entirely of oak and all metal parts are hand-forged.

Laun-Dry-Ette Electric Washer Dryer

Interior view of the machine made by the Laundryette Mfg. Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

Paper Boat

Parlor Organ
circa 1880

Parlor Organ built by the Tabor Organ Co., of Worcester, Massachusetts, which manufactured small reed organs from 1877 to 1882.

Penn Yan Cat-Style Sailboat

Pump Organ
c. 1885

Manufactured by Charles P. Bowlby of Washington, NJ as "The Celebrated Princess Organ" between 1876 and 1890.

circa 1835

The Seraphine is a keyed wind instrument of early origin. Its tones are produced by the action of air being blown across metallic reeds, similar to a modern accordian. This instrument was donated by Clara Steel in 1966, after having been owned by the family since sometime before 1840.

Square Piano

Certificate of Excellence
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