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 process of setting and hauling in the huge nets aboard factory trawlers can be dangerous, and safety measures are followed to minimize the risk of injury or loss of life. When working on the fish deck, the deckhands wear personal flotation devices, or PFDs, over their clothing.
- This vest is Type III, U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD, and is appropriate for calm waters, or where the chance for a quick rescue is high. It was worn in such conditions by a deckhand working aboard the catcher-processor Alaska Ocean in the North Pacific about 50 miles west of Seattle in June 2007.
- Made of bright orange nylon, the vest has the required reflective panels and a battery-operated light to aid would-be rescuers. While the life vest would provide its wearer flotation, it would not protect a person overboard in cold or rough waters for long. The vessel carries immersion suits for everyone aboard and conducts regular safety drills at which people from all areas of the ship practice putting on the suits quickly.
- The Alaska Ocean itself is a 376-foot-long vessel in the Seattle-based catcher-processor fleet. Workers catch, process, package, and freeze groundfish—mostly pollock and Pacific whiting—in the Bering Sea and in the waters off the coast of the Pacific Northwest.
- date made
- ca 2007
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History