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and catalogued to the extent of 1,574 entries; that considerable work had been done on the collection of foods numbering 951 specimens; that large series of Japanese cottons and United States cotton fabrics, ornamental woods of Japan, 30 working models of schooners, an exhibit illustrating the process of making kid gloves, and many others, had been received.
By 1884 the building was filled with industrial art collections, historical specimens, and the overflow of natural history from the Smithsonian Building; where to store incoming collections was a serious problem leaving entirely out of consideration the question of their display. The rapidly increasing natural history collections, for which there was no room in the Smithsonian Building, encroached so constantly that a large proportion of the industrial collections had from time to time to be retired and placed in storage. The building became so overcrowded with the continued rapid growth of the collections that an orderly arrangement ceased to be possible and exhibits of natural history, of anthropology, of arts and industries, and of fine arts were more or less intermingled, unsystematically, and with little regard to relationship.
The department of arts and industries in the Museum on June 30, 1897, consisted of historical collections, religious ceremonial objects, technological collections, electrical collections, graphic arts, materia medica, forestry, physical apparatus, and photographic collections. A new plan of organization effective July 1, 1897, divided the whole Museum into three departments-anthropology, biology (zoology and botany combined), and geology (including paleontology). All collections not readily referable to biology or geology were thrown with ethnology and archeology into the new department of anthropology and included the following: Division of technology (mechanical phases) with section of electricity; division of graphic arts with section of photography; division of medicine; division of religions with section of historic religious ceremonials; and division of history and biography with section of American history. Forestry in the new classification was made a section of the division of plants in the department of biology. The organization of the collections remained thus for years.
In order to take advantage of the exceptional opportunities afforded by the Louisiana Purchase Exposition for obtaining material relating to industrial subjects, especially to the mineral industries, a department of mineral technology was nominally established in 1904 under the curatorship of Dr. Charles D. Walcott, then Director of the United States Geological Survey, though at the time no space whatever was available for display. Of the 30 carloads of exhibit material received from this exposition, some 25 carloads com
prised natural products, models or actual examples of appliances of manufacture and finished products in various branches of the mineral industry from many parts of the world. At the time of acceptance it was understood that this material would have to go into storage until additional floor space could be secured, and it was packed in St. Louis with this plan in view.
With the completion of the Natural History Building in 1911 a new era dawned. The removal of the natural history and the fine arts. collections to that building left space available for the reorganization and development of the department of arts and industries and for the display on a scale more commensurate with their importance of the methods and results of the applied arts and sciences.
In March, 1912, the division of textiles with a curator in charge was established, with custody over other vegetable and animal products not specifically provided for otherwise. This was done without disturbing the relationships of the several industrial branches which had continued to be administered under the three-department Museum organization. The division of mineral technology, which had been nominally recognized since 1904, with Dr. Charles D. Walcott as honorary curator, was given a definite status June 6, 1913, with a paid curator, and the vast accumulation of stored material from St. Louis began to be available.
With the appointment of an assistant curator, on June 11, 1915, the section of wood technology was organized tentatively under the curator of textiles. Though comprehended in the former section of forestry, very little material of public or even of technical interest had been assembled. During the fiscal year of 1916 the division of medicine, which had been without an immediate head, was likewise transferred to the care of the curator of textiles.
On November 1, 1918, William deC. Ravenel was designated by Secretary Walcott as director of arts and industries, and steps were taken looking to the more definite organization of the department.
On July 1, 1919, the division of mechanical technology was transferred from the custody of the department of anthropology to that of arts and industries. One year later the division of graphic arts was likewise placed in arts and industries, and, to facilitate administration, the division of history was separated from anthropology to become an independent division reporting directly to the administrative assistant.
Necessity for governmental economy following the World War / has hindered further development in the department, the only other change in organization being the creation of a new section of organic chemistry, under the supervision of the curator of textiles in August 1922, to which were transferred the old collections of animal and vegetable products.
One privately supported collection, the Loeb collection of chemical types, has since April 1, 1924, been administered as a separate entity in the department of arts and industries. This collection, in charge of a chemist as curator, is maintained entirely through the beneficence of the late Dr. Morris Loeb.
In the general survey of Government housing conditions made by the Public Building Commission in 1917, the Museum was reported as needing immediately a building for the arts and industries and American history, with temporary accomodations for the National Gallery of Art. The decade which has since intervened has seen the art industrial collections increase greatly, while the collections of historical material have been augmented beyond all precedent. Some temporary relief as to space was secured by the occupation of the metal building erected on the Smithsonian reservation by the War Department-known as the Aircraft Building-and by the overflowing of the historical collections into the Natural History Building, where they use some 35,000 square feet of exhibition space urgently needed for the collections for which the building was designed. No space now remains for even ordinary growth, and great gifts can not be solicited with the knowledge that no place exists for their accommodation. As to the personnel very little relief has been afforded, and additional members of the scientific and preparatorial staff are urgently needed to properly care for the varied collections.
That none of the classifications for art industrial subjects proposed from time to time by the National and other museums have been strictly followed in the arrangement of the collections here is due mainly to limitations of space, resulting in a more or less disorderly distribution of subjects, the conditions leaving no other choice than that based on convenience. Work is being chiefly centered at present on those subdivisions which are most prominent in relation to current industrial affairs, but there are other subdivisions with important collections which are not represented by experts on the staff from lack of funds for their employment.
The year ending June 30, 1927, was an unusually busy one for this department and the division of history. The regular work was augmented by duties in connection with installation, maintenance, and dismantling of collections at the Sesquicentennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The customary routine was further interrupted by the Smithsonian conference which added materially to the load carried by some of the employees.
The hearty cooperation and support of the scientific and other workers has made possible the progress recorded in the following pages.
ACCESSIONS FOR THE YEAR
The department of arts and industries and the division of history acquired 14,497 specimens during the year, assigned by subjects as follows: Mechanical technology, 79; mineral technology, 112; textiles, 337; food, 206; organic chemistry, 1,195; wood technology, 1,014; medicine, 958; graphic arts, including photography, 3,238; Loeb collection of chemical types, 175; and history, 7,183. Besides the above there are some 6,000 or 7,000 additional Patent Office models to be critically gone over, classified, and catalogued before being recorded as Museum property.
Mineral and mechanical technology.-The number of accessions received in the divisions of mineral an mechanical technology for the year was 25, the number of objects in 24 of these being 191, or considerably less than one-half the number received the preceding year. Of this total, 112 objects were assigned to mineral technology and 79 to mechanical technology. Of the twenty-fifth accession, comprising Patent Office models transferred from the Department of Commerce, no official count of objects has as yet been made, though it is estimated that some 1,500 or more will be permanently retained as the property of the Museum.
Probably the most important exhibit received, in so far as concerns its educational value, is that of a series of objects presented by the Norton Co. This exhibit, as installed, shows the raw materials and steps in the manufacture of artificial abrasive wheels and indicates by finished products the great variety of refractories, special abrasives, floor tiles, and laboratory equipment produced from the same material. A beautifully made scale model of the electric furnace used to convert raw materials into abrasive stock and a photograph of the inventor are exhibited in a special case, while the manufacture of four types of abrasive wheels, namely, vitrified, silicate, rubberbonded, and bakelite-bonded wheels, is shown in wall cases by the use of wheels in various stages of completion, together with the molding equipment used. Eight pencil sketches drawn from the company's plant show in further detail the operations of manufacture. The company cooperated with the Museum in the design of the exhibit and presented it as a complete unit ready for installation.
The Museum has been endeavoring to obtain for addition to the aircraft collections the United States Navy seaplane NC-4 ever since its memorable flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1919. The greatest difficulty has been the matter of size, there being no space large enough to exhibit the plane. As a last resort and with the generous assistance of the Navy Department, the hull alone was transferred during the year and is now exhibited in the Aircraft Building. In the meantime the wings, three engines (the fourth being now in
the collection), and all other parts are being held at the naval aircraft factory, Philadelphia, in the hope that eventually space will be secured here for housing the entire plane.
Of value particularly to the technical man is the accession of six airplane engines, five transferred from the naval aircraft factory, Philadelphia, and one, the very first Liberty engine produced in 1917, transferred from the Department of Commerce. The latter object, which upon its completion was sent to the Department of Commerce for tests, represents a triumph in engine production, having been completed in 27 days. Among the five engines transferred from the Navy Department are a Union engine such as is used in small dirigibles, and a Wright D-1 six-cylinder engine which was originally intended for the ill-fated Shenandoah, but, due to the accident which destroyed that airship, never saw service.
Another accession of importance was that of two models of Chinese war chariots of about 500 B. C., received as a gift from the Government Historical Museum, Peking, China, through the director, Ch'iu Tzu-yüan. These present several unusual features, particularly in wheel construction, and materially enhance the series showing the development of the wheel.
In the section of horology three very interesting donations were received. The first contained three early and valuable Japanese timepieces, consisting of a wall clock, a table clock, and a sundial presented by Mrs. Harold C. Ernst from the collections of her late husband. The second donation was one of the original watch movements made by the J. P. Stevens Watch Co. between 1882-1885 and presented by J. P. Stevens. This company, while in active operation but three years, holds the unique distinction of having been the only watch manufacturing company in the South. The third was an old English watch in a shagreen case, made by Peter Garon, of London, about 1690, lent by George H. James. This is the oldest representative of English watchmaking in the Museum's collection and is therefore a distinct and valuable addition.
The extensive study collection of horology was quite materially enhanced in value during the year through the addition of approximately 50 Patent Office models, including those of D. Azro Buck, the inventor of the "dollar watch," which invention is recognized the world over as America's greatest contribution to the science of horology.
Textiles, foods, organic chemistry, wood technology, and medicine. The accessions in the subjects under the general supervision of the curator of textiles contained 3,710 specimens, which number, however does not include a large number of patent models still under examination; some of these will later be definitely added to the collec