Artifact & Decorative Object Conservation—Treatment Of Industrial Artifacts
industrial artifacts conservation
Big South Fork National Park, Tennessee
An extended project was carried out to conserve 18 objects that are part of a National Park collection of historic mining and moonshining materials in the Cumberland River Valley of Northeastern Tennessee. The objects were in various states of deterioration due to lack of post-excavation cleaning and exposure to the elements while in the possession of the original owners. The treated works were composed of wood, iron alloy, galvanized steel, and/or vinyl. The treatments ranged from straightforward repairs to fill small loss in a vinyl banner to complex removal of active corrosion and engine grease from the surface of a jackhammer. Treatments were intended to stabilize the artifacts to prevent further damage as well as improve their aesthetic appearance to aid in their interpretation by potential future researchers, while retaining their character as industrial works.