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New IHS Exhibit Explores the Life and Legacy of Colonel Eli Lilly

Sept. 21, 2016


Indianapolis—This Bicentennial year, the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is using its award-winning You Are There series to pull back the curtain on the man behind Indiana's most successful startup. IHS's newest exhibit, You Are There: Eli Lilly at the Beginning, opens Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

The new exhibit will take visitors back in time to Colonel Eli Lilly's original laboratory on Pearl Street in Indianapolis. Visitors will learn how the Colonel's experiences helped shape his ideas on leadership, perseverance and philanthropy and how those ideas continue to influence today's multinational corporation. With hands-on activities and interactions with talented actors, guests also will get a feel for the Indianapolis wholesale district in the late 1800s.

Inside the space, visitors will meet a special cast of characters, including an actor portraying Eli Lilly himself. Other characters will include the Colonel's son J.K. Lilly Sr., then a teenager helping in his father's business; Augustus Kiefer, a local wholesaler who encouraged the Colonel to open his own business; and Caroline Kruger, one of the company's first employees. In addition, visitors may cross paths with a local newspaper reporter interviewing the Colonel about his Civil War experiences.

In another section of the exhibit, visitors will learn about advances in the pharmaceutical industry and see artifacts on loan from Eli Lilly and Company. Guests also will see how the Colonel's legacy lives on in both the philanthropic and business communities in Indianapolis and around the world.

You are There: Eli Lilly at the Beginning is presented by Eli Lilly and Company, with support from Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Eli Lilly, II, and Mr. and Mrs. Peter Nicholas.

For more information about You Are There: Eli Lilly at the Beginning or other IHS offerings, call (317) 232-1882 or visit IHS online at www.indianahistory.org.

About the Indiana Historical Society

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller™, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor experiences called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups; publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; produces and hosts art exhibitions, museum theater and outside performance groups; and provides youth, adult and family programs. IHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

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