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.
- This vinyl bib apron was worn by fish processor Thelma McFarland over her coveralls and rain pants during her work shifts aboard the factory trawler Alaska Ocean in the summer of 2007. Processors like McFarland stand at long tables or conveyor belts and encounter considerable water and fish parts as they work. Processors typically wear aprons of one sort of another for protection.
- Although the on-board laundry crew takes care of cleaning workers’ coveralls, rain pants, gloves, and plastic sleeves, each worker is responsible for cleaning his or her apron. McFarland, who is about 5 feet tall, adjusted her apron to suit her small frame by cutting off the lower portion. She also personalized it by writing her name in permanent marker across the bib.
- date made
- McFarland, Thelma
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History