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.
- Description (Brief)
- This oil-wick cap lamp was made by Jacob Vogle of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, in the late 19th century. The oil-wick cap lamp was first invented in Scotland in 1850 and in use until the 1920’s. The font contained a mix of fat and oil for fuel, and a wick was inserted into the spout. The resulting light was much brighter and more efficient than the candles it replaced. The hook enabled the lamp to be worn on a cap, or hooked onto any other suitable location.
- Currently not on view
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- Data Source
- National Museum of American History