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 factory inside a large trawler like the Alaska Ocean is filled with equipment for filleting, processing, freezing, and packing enormous quantities of fish. Workers are trained in safety procedures and also wear protective headgear and earplugs as they work. While not required to wear certified safety helmets like the fishermen on the weather deck, they wear bump hats molded from high-density polyethylene for protection from minor bumps and bruises.
- This yellow bump hat was worn by Thelma McFarland, a fish processor, who was working her third season aboard the Alaska Ocean in 2007. She wore it over a disposable hairnet, which covered and held her hair in place, a requirement for maintaining sanitary conditions in the factory. There are typically four factory shifts, and the bump hats are color-coded according to each shift—blue for A, yellow for B, green for C, and orange for D shift. The color-coding allows managers to quickly assess the number of workers that will be needed on extra kicker shifts. The lead managers in each area wear red bump hats.
- date made
- Associated Date
- McFarland, Thelma
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- catalog number
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- Data Source
- National Museum of American History