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 cotton miner’s cap has a leather brim with a leather lamp bracket holding a carbide lamp. A small union pin that reads “United Mine Works of America 2 1934, Working Button” is attached to the side of the cap. Before head protection became mandatory in industrial workplaces, miner’s caps served as a way to mount their lamps.
- The union pin on this mining cap speaks to the personal connections miner’s had with their cap. A miner chose their headgear, and took it with them to work where it was worn all day and used for decades. It wasn’t uncommon for miner’s to personalize their helmet with stickers or their caps with pins.
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- Data Source
- National Museum of American History