From Corn to Coke Bottles: A Look at Iconic Indiana

A Closer Look at Iconic IndianaIf you have not been to the Indiana State Museum, now is the time to go. Not only does the museum have a rotating list of exhibitions for your enjoyment, they also have one of the biggest IMAX movie screens on the planet! The screen is over six stories tall and offers an incredible and unforgettable movie viewing experience. I have seen Tron there twice, and you have not experienced a movie until you see it in IMAX.

Enough about the movie theater, let’s focus on the museum for a second. The Indiana State Museum is home to the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition right now. Hurry, though; the exhibit closes on January 16th, 2011.

While at the museum, I grabbed a stack of brochures before we left. We were actually killing time, as we went to see the Titanic exhibition before seeing Tron at the IMAX. We had some time to kill anyway. One of the brochures that I grabbed talked about items that are iconic to the state of Indiana. I found this to be quite interesting having lived in Indiana my entire life. Below I talk about a few of these iconic Indiana items.

You might think that things like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Lucas Oil Stadium, or Conseco Fieldhouse are iconic to the state of Indiana. While they may be iconic to most people, I wanted to share some items that are a little less obvious.


We are literally surrounded by corn. My backyard growing up was a cornfield and even though I live in the heart of Indianapolis, I am never more than a ten-minute drive from a fresh field. There are not many things that are more iconic to the state than corn. Heck, I just bought a bag of what I thought were potato chips the other day. I got them home, opened the bag, and found out they were made of corn. Indiana corn at that!

In 2009 (the last year we have stats for stuff like this) the state of Indiana produced 933 million bushels of corn. That is… a lot of corn. So if you like corn, Indiana might be the state for you.


I heard this growing up, but have had very little interaction with the stuff. But down south, in Bloomington and Bedford, Indiana produces some of the world’s finest limestone. Most of the limestone that comes from Indiana is used for construction.

Did you know that the pillars outside the courthouse in Lebanon, Indiana used to be the largest solid (one piece) limestone pillars in the world?


I had never been to the dunes until this past year. Head north, near Michigan City, and enjoy some of the best Indiana beaches you can find. Maybe some of the only Indiana beaches you can find. I bet you can’t guess where the Indiana Beach amusement park is located?

These dunes have attracted people from far and wide, and are even a part of the Indiana Dunes State Park.

Coke Bottle

That’s right, the Coke bottle is famous and an iconic part of the state. The original design, still used today, was designed in Indiana. As a matter of fact, it was designed not far from where I grew up in Terre Haute, Indiana. The first bottle (the first design anyway) is on display at the Crossroads of Indiana gallery.

The next time you take a sip of this sweet nectar, think about the state of Indiana.


You guessed it; the Studebaker is an iconic piece of Indiana history. This car famous in the 1950s was a typical family sedan back then. It was originally produced in South Bend and was developed with a horse in mind. I wonder if that is where the term “horse power” comes from?

The wheels were even designed here in Indiana. They were drafted, designed, and first produced in St. Joseph County.

You can learn more about all of these items, and more about the great state of Indiana, at the Indiana State Museum. Admission prices vary, and the museum is closed on Monday. But cheers to all of my fellow Hoosiers out there. I think I will go grab an ice cold Coca-Cola and dream of riding in an old Studebaker. Cheers, Indiana!