Tuesday, June 30, 2015

More fun than cataloging

This is my big summer restoration project at the museum, Museum Object 2015.1.234.

I've been saying it needs to be painted for the past three summers. Well, I finally decided that it was time to step away from the computer and grab a paintbrush.
I also need to get out the putty knife and the Bondo -- there's some rot that needs to be cleaned up before I can paint.
The trickiest patching is going to involve the wheels. One is worse than the other, but both have at least one spoke where the end is rotting, and one also has two areas like the one shown above. You know how rubber tires will develop flat spots if a car is parked for too long without moving? Wooden wheels do the same thing, except worse. Rubber tires can go back to being round once they warm up as they're rotating. A flat spot on a wooden wheel is going to stay flat until someone goes after it with a saw, wood filler, and sandpaper.. The hose cart should have been periodically moved around to redistribute the weight so it wasn't in the same spot all the time, or (better plan) it should have been up on a jack stand to take the weight off the wheels. Once it's been repaired and painted, it will go on a stand for the rest of the summer.
There are a surprising number of these fire hose carts around the area. Ours supposedly came from the Ford Motor Company town of Alberta. I don't know if that's true or not, though, because I think there's one sitting by the sawmill museum out there now. Just how many hose carts would one small fire department have? In any case, so far I've seen zero formal documentation: no donation form, no paperwork of any sort, just a reference in the minutes from a meeting held a couple decades ago. It is, like 99 percent of the stuff in the museum, "provenance unknown."

When I first started cataloging and learning to use PastPerfect, I was told that the conventional numbering system would be current year.accession number.object ID number but if you didn't have a formal accession (i.e., you didn't know where something came from), you'd label it year.FIC (for Found in Collection).ID. It didn't take me long to get burnt out on typing three characters (FIC) instead of just one. In our database, Accession 1 in any given year translates to Found in Collection. . . which is another way of saying "No frelling clue where this sucker came from." Hence, the hose cart is the 234th item found in our collection that I have entered into the PastPerfect database since January.

Once we get our pavilion built and the cart is better protected from weather in the summer, we'll add a few of the things that usually go with a fire hose cart, like a fire hose and a nozzle or two. We've got some nifty fire department stuff, none of which is currently on display.

A small digression. That's Eagle Radio on the other side of the parking lot behind the hose cart. Eagle Country and the Rockin' Eagle are right next door to us -- guess which two radio stations will not come in on the radio in the museum office?

1 comment:

  1. I laughed out loud at frelling...and still have a big frelling grin on my face...Farscape..


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