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.
- Description (Brief)
- Margaret Knight (1838–1914) applied for a patent using this model to demonstrate her machine that folded and pasted flat-bottomed paper bags. She was granted patent number 220925 for the invention in 1879. As stated in her patent specification, this design is an improvement on her earlier patent, number 116,842, granted in 1871. Her concept continues to be used in the manufacture of today's paper grocery bag.
- Margaret was born in Maine, later living in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Her first patented invention, inspired by her work at a Springfield, Massachusetts paper company, was her machine for improvement in paper-feeding; it was given patent number 109224 in 1870. She received patents for inventions having to do with the paper bag, shoe manufacturing, and rotary engine industries.
- While many women had innovative ideas during the 19th century, it was sometimes difficult for them to secure patents under their own names. Knight's inventions are celebrated because they demonstrate women's participation in the American patent system.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1879
- patent date
- Knight, Margaret E.
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- patent number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History