Images of various Artifacts of the Month's

Artifacts of the Month

Each month the staff picks an artifact from the collection to highlight online. The artifact collection at the U.S. Army Transportation Museum totals over 7,000 individual artifacts. While all artifacts in the collection support the mission and scope of collection for the Museum, some artifacts are directly associated with specific persons, actions, campaigns, and events in history while others serve more broadly as technical and typological examples of Army Transportation materiel and equipment during specific historic periods.

Museums have artifacts to provide tangible objects that are relevant to the history being communicated. Often artifacts serve as the prime survivor to an event and are associated with persons, places, and actions. Experiencing artifacts in the context of a museum or as part of a study collection provides an immediate and raw contact with the past. Therefore, an artifact is the essential element that makes a museum unique. When a museum displays artifact(s) it becomes an interpretive tool that supports understanding of the wider history. This allows the individual to interact with real items, linking the visitor to the lessons of the past and giving context for innovation.

For example, the U.S. Army Transportation Museum has over 135 transportation vehicles on display: one type being trucks. Many of our trucks are typological, meaning they represent the model and type most commonly used during specific eras in Army history. However, we also have more provenanced trucks such as the Eve of Destruction which has a detailed and unique story. With a single artifact we are able to interpret the history of gun trucks while also exploring more diverse topics like logistical convoys in Vietnam, Transportation Soldiers’ stories in combat, and important leaders and heroes of the Transportation Corps. Additionally, the Eve of Destruction displays the overall technological development of gun trucks during that era and into the 21st-Century as it was used in the development of the modern gun trucks of Iraq and Afghanistan, like the Ace of Spades, also on display at the Museum.

The entire catalog of previous “Artifacts of the Month” can be found below.