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American-Abell steam traction engine with threshing crew of several men
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About the WDM Collection


The WDM is the largest human history museum in Saskatchewan with a collection of nearly 80,000 artifacts. The Museum tells the Saskatchewan story from the beginning of settlement to the present.

What We Collect - Big Things, Small Things

In the late 19th century, the lure of free homesteads brought tens of thousands of people to the province. Farming was the heart of the Saskatchewan economy. This story is reflected in one of the largest farm machinery collections in Canada. The collection is strong in pre-1950 steam engines and tractors and field machinery of all kinds.

Did you know that Saskatchewan has more roads per capita than anywhere else in the world? With people scattered over vast regions, from northern forests to southern prairies, getting around was not easy. The WDM transportation collection of canoes and boats, buggies and wagons, locomotives and rolling stock, cars and trucks, sleighs and snowplanes, gliders and airplanes, shows how Saskatchewan people met the challenge.

Left: Snowplane and Piper J-3 Cub model in Moose Jaw WDM's Winning the Prairie Gamble exhibit.

We’re Not all Tractor and Trucks

The WDM also collects the small things that give us a glimpse of everyday life past and present - from household gadgets that Grandma once knew to the stuff of popular culture today.

From clothing and textiles to hand tools and household furnishings, from communication and sports equipment to business and personal effects, and from craft items and inventions to popular culture and entertainment, the WDM collection contains thousands of artifacts related to living, working and playing in Saskatchewan.

The Museum has even collected original buildings - a Saskatchewan Wheat Pool grain elevator, two farmhouses, a barn, a railway station and five churches.

Towards the Future

While the WDM is well known for celebrating the pioneer experience, the Museum now collects artifacts that tell more contemporary stories. There are countless examples of innovation and ingenuity, accomplishment and creativity waiting to be shared.

Above: Saskatoon’s PapaBravo Innovations prototype Gofer electric vehicle (EV) was built in 2010 for the potash industry. See it in Saskatoon WDM's Fuelled by Innovation exhibit.

What We Are Looking For

Life in Saskatchewan is what is important to the WDM - in the past and today. City folk or rural, ordinary people or famous, recently-come or deeply-rooted, player or fan, teacher or tradesperson, business owner or manufacturer, miner or rancher, fisher or farmer, politician or scientist...the WDM collects objects that reflect your Saskatchewan experience. We are especially interested in things that show Saskatchewan innovation, invention and ingenuity.

How to donate an artifact to the WDM -->


Collection Highlights

65 Years of Collecting

In honour of the WDM’s official founding in 1949, we look back on a sampling of artifacts collected over our first 65 years.

Check out 65 Years of Collecting -->


Artifact Stories

Teddy bear in SaskatoonFrom wallpaper samples to a Saskatoon streetcar to wheat weaving to teddy bears and trunks, learn the stories behind a few of the artifacts in our collection.

Learn more about a few of the intriguing artifacts in the WDM Collection -->


Saskatchewan Innovations

Saskatchewan InnovationThroughout our province's history, Saskatchewan people have created an amazing variety of devices - everything from kitchen gadgets and personal gear to agricultural and industrial equipment.

The WDM is proud to have a collection rich in Saskatchewan innovations of all shapes, sizes, and types.

Check out a few Saskatchewan innovations here -->


A Taste of the Artifacts On Display at our Museums

At Moose Jaw WDM:

CF-SAM and crew

Norseman airplane CF-SAM from Saskatchewan’s pioneering air ambulance service introduced in 1946.

Man tinkering with Blowtorch's mechanical insides via a lift up flap

Blowtorch, the full-size mechanical horse, built by inventor and tinkerer W.J. McIntyre of Swift Current in the 1950s.

Short Line 101 Vulcan 0-4-0 locomotive

Saskatchewan’s only operating steam locomotive, a 1914 Vulcan engine that once worked in the province’s sodium sulphate mines.


At North Battleford WDM:

Saskatchewan Wheat Pool elevator built in 1928 at Keatley and moved to the WDM in 1983.

Statue of an eagle perching on top of a globe

The giant J.I. Case eagle symbol that once perched on the roof of the Regina dealership.


At Saskatoon:

Woven wheat straw scene created in the 1920s by a skillful and artistic farmer from Zelma.

Cobalt bomb, also known as the Cobalt-60 therapy unit, designed and built in 1951 at the University of Saskatchewan for the treatment of deep cancerous tumours.

At Yorkton:

Morris

Morris rod weeder, successful Saskatchewan invention and basis of the internationally known agricultural equipment maker Morris Industries.

WDM Carved Figures

Folk art carvings that tell a poignant story of lost love and separation.


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