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 absence of much pinpricking in this elaborate panbone picture indicates a highly skilled scrimshaw artist who was able to sketch the fantastic port scene freehand. The presence of palm trees indicates a warm climate, dominated by naval warships in a fortified harbor with its own lighthouse. Military camps dominate the land, and a smaller factory or mill town on the bottom of the scene is defended by a partial stockade.
- The artist has left no clues for the specific location of this beautifully detailed landscape, although the palm trees suggest somewhere in the vicinity of the equator.
- date made
- 19th century
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History