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.
Ship's Medicine Chest
- Starting in 1790, American merchant ships larger than 150 tons and with more than 10 crew members were required to have medicine chests with contents assembled by an “apothecary of known reputation.” These had to be accompanied by instructions for the administration of each medicine. Most commonly, either the captain or first mate administered pharmaceutical products to any crew in need.
- This example has labels from the ports of Baltimore, Maryland; Mamaroneck, New York, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, indicating it was replenished more than once over its useful life.
- Date made
- 19th Century
- Gray Telephone Pay Station Co.
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History
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