The Wells Fargo Museum Collection was donated to Moulton Museum in 2021. It was part of the museum display in the Wells Fargo Center in Los Angeles off Grand Ave. near Bunker Hill that closed. The Moulton family worked with the bank leadership in 2020 to determine which part of the collection they would receive into its permanent collection.
Wells Fargo donated hundreds of historical artifacts that detail the western frontier, gold mining, pioneering, and banking. We feature these artifacts in our 1874: Into the West exhibit that tells Lewis’ journey to California. This collection fits our archival scope with the California banking heritage. These items relate to our Moulton Ranch development with finance and commerce. Irving Moulton, Lewis’ younger brother, was the President of the Bank of California in San Francisco. The collection contains a series of turn-of-the-century commercial banking equipment used by tellers and bankers. The Meilicke Calculator, Safeguard Check Writer, The Protectograph Check Writer, Hoefer Change Maker, and Safety Deposit Box tell the story of commerce on the frontier. The oversized finance equipment is on display at Moulton Museum along with the L.C. Smith Typewriter. Moulton Museum was given a telegraph machine with the receiver that is showcased with Lewis Moulton’s Personal Papers collection that contained telegrams. Telegraph insulators are exhibited with these materials which were part of this collection.
The 1800s Hendy Iron Works mining ore cart was paired with pickaxe and mining tools. This included a Little Giant unit that was the first adjustable die for threading metal. They are currently on exhibit with the California Gold Rush display. The Miner’s Carbide Lamp and candlestick holders provided visibility to workers in the dark mining shafts. Moulton Museum paired the mining lamp and equipment with the mining cart. These objects are in front of the Daguerreotype photograph team of miners in the 1850s.
The 1880s traveling salesman trunk, leather trunk, and wooden trunk demonstrate travel on the stagecoach. They are paired with the travel collection which includes the buggies. Moulton Museum received train sets and stagecoach miniatures. The collection contained a series of vases and statues that were once displayed in the local branch. These decorative objects will be displayed in the future.
The Victorian period women’s corset and leather, laced boots juxtapose the western frontier. These objects will be exhibited in the Women on the Ranch exhibit in 2023-24.
Wells Fargo donated hundreds of books which were part of the research library. The books cover California cultural history along with financial history. See the book collection inventory list for more information.