In response to questions from our audience in Auburn, AL, we put together a list of places to find replica artifacts, some of which we have used for programs in the past. It can be easier to find materials related to the years prior to the end of the Civil War, so we invite everyone with ideas for other replicas to post them here!
A quick Google search for “Civil War sutler” will send you to lots of sources for Civil War replicas, often made for Civil War reenactors. Some examples include Fall Creek Suttlery: http://www.fcsutler.com and Winchester Sutlery: http://winchestersutler.com/
You can also contact a local reenactment group if you have one, to find out where they purchase their materials.
Hansen Wheel and Wagon for objects related to cowboys and the American west: www.hansenwheel.com
Of course, Colonial Williamsburg offers great “Hands on History” kits for sale for about $100 each: http://www.history.org/History/teaching/TRCatalog/, and many local museums offer traveling trunks with replica artifacts or original materials that are not part of the museum’s collections. And remember, finding original pieces for more recent history isn’t as hard as it may seem—check out ebay, garage and estate sales, or your own basement or attic and ask around for original objects you can use in your classroom.