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Life mask, top hats & more: These are some major Abraham Lincoln items at The Henry Ford museum

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Posted at 7:33 AM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 07:33:31-04

(WSYM) — President Abraham Lincoln died on April 15, 1865, just one day after being shot inside Ford's Theater in Washington D.C. For any history fan or Lincoln fan, there are several major Lincoln artifacts right here in Michigan.

Related: How The Henry Ford helped conserve the chair Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated

They're all at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn. The largest and most important artifact on display at the museum is the rocking chair Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated.

It was acquired by Henry Ford in 1930 and has been on display inside the museum since 1979.

Abraham Lincoln rocking chair Henry Ford
Rocking Chair Used by Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theater the Night of His Assassination, April 14, 1865. Photographed by Michelle Andonian

But there are some other incredible artifacts on display at the museum and at Greenfield Village.

In the Liberty and Justice for all exhibit, the life mask of Abraham Lincoln is on display. It was taken in 1860 when Lincoln sat for Leonard Wells Volk. The mask was later used for statues and consulted by other artists after his assassination.

Also in the Liberty and Justice For All exhibit, you'll find the life cast of Abraham Lincoln's right hand by Leonard Wells Volk.

"In May 1860, sculptor Leonard Volk made plaster casts of the hands of the Republican presidential nominee, Abraham Lincoln. Volk was thinking of using these castings along with his recently competed bust of Lincoln to create a full-length statue. This casting -- made from the original but at a later date -- depicts the soon-to-be president's hand gripping a wooden broomstick handle," a museum description reads.

At Greenfield Village, you'll find the Logan County Courthouse where Abraham Lincoln argued cases between 1840 and 1847 while a traveling lawyer.

The museum also has several items that are not on display to the public. Those include a top hat worn by Lincoln on the campaign in 1860, a Lincoln campaign badge from 1864 and a campaign stickpin from 1864.

Other items not on display include a washstand and wardrobe that were used in Lincoln's Springfield, Illinois home and china used for a Lincoln presidential dinner service in 1861.

To check out the entire collection, visit The Henry Ford website.