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.
- These vinyl sleeves are worn from the wrist to just above the elbow by people working in the factory aboard the trawler Alaska Ocean. Worn tucked into work gloves, the sleeves help keep a worker’s forearms dry. The company supplies such sleeves, which are cleaned frequently and reused. An estimated 200 pairs of sleeves were stocked aboard the Alaska Ocean during the 2007 season. The Alaska Ocean operates in the North Pacific and the Bering Sea.
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- National Museum of American History