The natural resources collections offer centuries of evidence about how Americans have used the bounty of the American continent and coastal waters. Artifacts related to flood control, dam construction, and irrigation illustrate the nation's attempts to manage the natural world. Oil-drilling, iron-mining, and steel-making artifacts show the connection between natural resources and industrial strength.
Forestry is represented by saws, axes, a smokejumper's suit, and many other objects. Hooks, nets, and other gear from New England fisheries of the late 1800s are among the fishing artifacts, as well as more recent acquisitions from the Pacific Northwest and Chesapeake Bay. Whaling artifacts include harpoons, lances, scrimshaw etchings in whalebone, and several paintings of a whaler's work at sea. The modern environmental movement has contributed buttons and other protest artifacts on issues from scenic rivers to biodiversity.
- The 1901 Factory and Works Act established precise limits as to the amount of water vapor that would be allowed in British industrial settings. These limits were especially important in coal mines where some water could lessen the chance of explosions, but too much water could lead to medical problems for the miners.
- This hygrometer was made to measure humidity in mines, and may have been used in West Virginia. The inscription reads: "John Davis & Son (Derby) Ltd. No. 443 Derby & London. Reg No. 518758." This was an English firm that specialized in mathematical and other instruments for the mining industry. Comes with a case.
- Ref.: Henry Davis, "The Application of the Hygrometer in Coal Mines," Transactions of the Institute of Mining Engineers 35 (1907-1908): 285-290.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1925-1950
- Davis Derby Ltd.
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History