Life as the textile expert at a regional history museum

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Odds and Ends

Here are some weird work-related things I've been up to:

-We recently acquired one of the original driving consoles from the Seattle Monorail. It is a pretty cool artifact, which you can sort of see in this picture here. Basically it is an L-shaped metal thing with a bunch of dials and knobs and a chair. I was charged with cleaning it. My method of choice? Q-tips and a jar of mild metal cleaner--wielded while crouching on the floor and trying to keep my skirt in some sort of modest configuration over my legs.

-Another new accession was a 1930s doll that was purchased from a Seattle toy store. As I started cataloging it I realized that I was going to have to put a number on every single piece of clothing she had, no matter how tiny. Hard objects (plastic, metal, wood etc.) usually get printed numbers that are adhered with a removable resin, and those numbers can be made quite small. Fabric usually gets numbers written out on twill tape and sewn in--but the twill tape we use is pretty bulky. These clothes were so small and delicate I needed another solution. So I wrote numbers on Tyvek as small as I could and then sewed it down on one side. It turned out pretty well

Note the printed number on the doll and the tyvek tags on the clothes
And before anyone gets up in arms about the fact that I am touching the object with my hands: Clean hands are actually recommended instead of gloves when doing something that requires a lot of dexterity--like trying to make tiny, tiny stitches.

-Do you remember Black Bart? Well, he is out of his crate and ready for action! On Friday I had to hang out with him while the mount makers prepared his mechanized mount. Unlike other projects though, which are done in the privacy of our artifact staging room, this was happening in the center of the grand atrium. So as people came into work and donors passed by for tours, I was there authoritatively guarding a shirtless man in tight pants, lying flat on his back on a table. Then, when we lifted him up to test the mount, I noticed a bunch of scratches so I dutifully took a picture to document the issue:

Yep, just fillin' the work camera with inanimate artifact butt pics.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you are WAY ahead of me in the putting-numbers-on-things department. Teeny tiny!