A Tale of Two Shoes

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DMNS aims to preserve excellent examples of our natural and cultural world.  What you may not know, however, is that we also preserve artifacts pertaining to our museum's history.  Among the artifacts in our Archives Department are the original mailbox for the Colorado Museum of Natural History, the star projector previously used in our planetarium, and images of many of the expeditions from which diorama specimens were collected.

 

This week, four items of clothing worn by previous museum employees came through the Conservation Lab for rehousing.  There was a pair of sheepskin trousers with suspenders, a pair of chaps, and a couple pairs of footware.  These items of clothing are often associated with great stories.  The boots and mukluks you see above, for example, were previously worn by taxidermist and curator Jack D. Putnam on a 1965 hunting expedition in Alaska.  The story is that Mr. Putnam was not happy with the felt boots because they didn't keep his feet warm enough.  He opted instead for the pair of canvas mukluks over a pair of caribou skin socks that he made himself.  Unfortunately we don't have the caribou socks in our collection--perhaps Mr. Putnam liked them so much he couldn't bear to donate them to the museum.

 

While the boots, trousers, and chaps were in the lab, we took the opportunity to examine and document their condition, and put them into new archival boxes that will protect them for years to come.

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