The conservation department presented analytical techniques at the Cody Culture Club event on the evening of March 20th. We enjoyed the lively discussions and intelligent questions asked by the participants.
Rachel Lee presented the working microscope. She showed people how to clean bloom from leather and corrosion from copper alloy, using tools while viewing the object under magnification. Participants discovered how hard it is to coordinate the use of tools while looking through microscope oculars. And we didn’t even hand them scalpels!
Ann Marie Donoghue attended the working microscope station. As participants came up to a station, they would often ask about the demonstrator/attendant and their role in the museum. Rachel Lee was a conservation intern many summers ago and she now manages the membership department. When they asked Ann Marie what her role was, she replied, “I’m here to make sure you don’t touch the collections we have brought up for viewing!” One of the visitors asked, “Are you armed?” To which Ann Marie responded, “No! But I’m wearing a white lab coat!”
Laura Siegfried presented a PowerPoint and practical demonstration of the X-ray Fluoroscope. She demonstrated how the XRF can be used to determine the metal content of collections such as arms and armor. Her attendant was Randy Leisey who guarded over the shields and helmet from the Buffalo Bill Museum.
Shelly Buffalo Calf let visitors use the polarized light microscope to view samples of hair, silk, wool, cotton, etc. under high magnification. Her attendant was Chris Searles who guarded over the very expensive Zeiss microscope.
Robin Allison demonstrated various tests we carry out to determine whether substances are suitable for use with collections. For example, oak is a very common wood used to make cabinetry. However, oak is very acidic and can easily cause metals to corrode. Kathleen Broeder aided Robin by making sure that the Beilstein test candle stayed put and didn’t catch Robin’s sleeve on fire
Robin demonstrated testing plastics and also showed examples of the Oddy testing being done at the Center.
I manned the ultraviolet light and showed how different materials (aside from your father’s Jimi Hendrix poster) fluoresce under black light. http://www.jimihendrix.com/us/home