History Nebraska Blog

Armadillo Basket

Decline in Armadillo Population Linked to Fashionable Basket Increase

Armadillo baskets became popular after the 1902 New York World's Fair, where they were first exhibited by Charles Apelt, owner of the Apelt Armadillo Company (and Farm) in Texas. Apelt marketed these curios around the country and they made their way into many Nebraska homes.

This one came from the collection of Emil Dahl, of Lincoln. A note with the basket reads, "Brother didn't know what an armadillo was. Sister wanted it for a doll cradle. Father thought it was awful, but Mother said how sweet it was that Aunt Maud remembered the family." 

Armadillo Basket  Source: Emil Dahl, Lincoln, 5006

Armadillo Basket (Source: Emil Dahl, Lincoln, NSHS 5006)

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