The Return of IR

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Improvised ‘blunderbuss,’ ca. 1900. Image Credit: The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

Back in 2019, Molly McGath and I posted about the Conservation team’s digital infrared camera . The camera has been used numerous times in the intervening two years, but I wanted to share a particularly cool little mystery the IR camera recently helped us figure out!

Last month, two of our curators were looking into the provenance of a really interesting artifact in our Collection: this improvised ‘blunderbuss,’ essentially fashioned out of pipe and a crudely shaped wooden stock. We had little information about this gun, other than the fact that it belonged to Rear Admiral James Kelsey Cogswell in the late 19th century.   Read more

More than Skin Deep: Material Identification of a Gut Skin Parka

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Iñupiaq Gut Skin Parka, (2019.0024.000001).

Earlier this year, Collections Manager Jeanne Willoz-Egnor posted about the Museum’s newly acquired gut skin parka.

In addition to establishing provenance and the cultural significance of this incredible object and the people who made it, the Museum was interested in learning more about the specific materials used to create the parka. This information adds to our understanding of how the parka was made and used and the unique story of its life. And as Jeanne pointed out, identifying the materials present had pretty important legal implications in the process of its acquisition!   Read more