At the beginning of the summer I couldn’t believe I was leaving to drive across the country because I got the internship I had dreamed of. Already, I’m looking back at my time here and I can’t believe these ten weeks have gone by so fast. Working in the Cody Firearms Museum and the CFM Records Office has been more than I could have hoped for. It has ultimately given me a great amount of knowledge to carry with me and a chance to meet some amazing people.
In working as the Cody Firearms Museum intern, I have done various tasks from social media updates to educational programming. Each day I would get the chance to publish a short history of a firearm or subject that I thought was interesting or requested, whether that meant updating the CFM Facebook page, Twitter, or the Center of the West blog page. Each week I also presented a program titled, “Guns of the Old West.” This was terrifying at first but it turned out to be a great chance to get out of my comfort zone and to teach people about some interesting historical firearms. Another exciting thing that I was able to work on this summer was installing my own gun display. The temporary exhibit titled “Operation Cowboy” and it tells about a Drilling shotgun and a mission during World War II that involved General George S. Patton and Tennessean Thomas Stewart, which I thought was pretty neat. This was such a rewarding project to work on and I can’t thank everyone enough for helping me with it in so many ways.
As far as the Cody Firearms Records Office goes, I was able to help with many projects this summer that dealt with their great collection of archives. During my time here I worked with Winchester Model 21 records by adding and organizing those into the database. I also have worked with Winchester Model 1873 and Marlin records. My job with these was to check each serial number in the system to make sure the scanned record is available and legible. This part of my job has been really fun because I have come across a lot of interesting finds. One of these being a request from a Facebook suggestion that asked about a Winchester Model 21 Double Rifle. By looking at the records everyday I was certain that the only orders I saw were mostly 12 and 20 gauge shotguns. To my surprise the museum’s collection contains a prototype Winchester Model 21 .405 Winchester Centerfire Double Rifle designed due to a request by past executive and designer for Winchester, Edwin Pugsley. In addition, I have been updating the CFM Records Facebook and blog, I have worked at events like the Winchester Gun Show and I will work this weekend’s Buffalo Bill Invitational Shoot Out.
Having a dual internship with records as well as the museum, has really given me a lot of knowledge and experience. Learning more and more about museum practices and firearms every day during my time here, was what I had hoped for. I have been very blessed to gain experience here at this great museum in a beautiful part of the country. Getting the opportunity to work in Cody and being able to explore the greater Yellowstone region has been such a busy but fulfilling summer. When I wasn’t working I was either exploring the Tetons, Montana, or Yellowstone. From backpacking in the National Parks backcountry to seeing the Little Big Horn battlefield, I was always amazed with the vast beauty of this area. As for now, I’m headed back to Tennessee to gain more experience in the museum field. I’m glad to be getting back to some good ole sweet tea and Volunteer football but I will always appreciate my time spent here in Cody, Wyoming.