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.
- Sperm whale oil is very light and fine, and it has a low freezing point. As a result, it was used to lubricate fine machinery such as clocks, watches, and sewing machines from colonial times into the 20th century.
- Date made
- Donnell Company
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History