Category Archives: Exhibits

Japanese Glass Fishing Floats Exhibit, The Watson-Simpson Collection

 

Come join us at the North Lincoln County Historical Museum for Antique Week and the opening of our new exhibit on Japanese Glass Floats on Saturday, February 10th, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Avid collector and float expert Nick Simpson, along with members of the float community, will be there to discuss and answer questions about the exhibit. Also on exhibit from the collection of Nick Simpson is a display of beautiful American made glass floats. If you love floats, don’t miss this event!

For centuries the Japanese have had individual families own and operate the fishing industry along the coasts of the Japanese islands. This exhibit displays the various sizes, shapes, colors, and methods used in glass floats developed for the fisherman.

Fisherman initially made their own floats from whatever glass was available to them. This consisted of recycled glass from mostly bottles. That is why we see a wide variation of shades of green glass used to make these floats.  Over the years fairly large glass blowing companies were developed to supply the fishermen with hand blown floats.  This process involved hundreds of glass blowers, as each float was handmade.

Floats in this exhibit were lost by fisherman at sea, and some still have their nets.  They were caught up in the pacific currents and eventually, after long periods of time, were deposited by the tide on the west coast beaches of North America. Beachcombing became a hobby for some individuals that lived along the pacific shores, and large and small collections have evolved from these collectors. This exhibit displays floats from two large collectors that span many years.

JIM WATSON (deceased) donated several years ago to the museum, a cross section of sizes, shapes, and types of Japanese glass fishing floats.  Jim had probably the largest and most extensive collection of Japanese glass floats at the time he made this donation.  He was instrumental in giving educational talks at the museum, of which there are recordings.  The Watson Foundation was formed to hold his collection following his death.

NICK SIMPSON began float collecting when he found his first float while on a college marine biology field trip to the Oregon coast.  After graduation from professional school, Nick and his wife moved to the Oregon Coast, and over the next 55 plus years has been an avid collector of Japanese (Asian) glass fishing floats.  Recently he has helped assemble and create this current exhibit with floats he has donated, along with the Watson Foundation Floats.

 

 

Toy Story: 20th Century Toys

Toy Story

Slinky

A new exhibit on the history and cultural influences of toys will open in the museum’s upstairs exhibit gallery on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Toys are important parts of our past and can be an enjoyable means of training young children for life in society. The act of children’s play with toys embodies the values set forth by the adults of their community seen through a child’s perspective. Within cultural societies, toys are a medium to enhance a child’s cognitive, social, and linguistic learning.
Children at playPlaying with toys can also help a child grow up and learn about the world around them. Younger children use toys to discover their identity, help their bodies grow strong, learn cause and effect, explore relationships, and practice skills they will need as adults. In some cultures, societies utilize toys as a way to enhance a child’s skill set within the traditional boundaries of their future roles in the community. In Saharan and North African cultures, play is used to develop skills like hunting and herding, for example. Value is placed on preparing a child for their future and allows the child to create a personal interpretation of the adult world.

Children jumping ropeChildren play with whatever they can find, such as sticks and rocks, but the golden age of toy development was at the turn of the 20th century. Wages were rising steadily in the Western world, allowing even working-class families to afford toys for their children. Industrial techniques of precision engineering and mass production made it possible to meet this rising demand. Intellectual emphasis was also increasingly being placed on the importance of a wholesome and happy childhood for the future development of children.

Child on toy phoneToy Story will explore these cultural influences and display some of the most popular 20th century toys, including Tonka Trucks, Hoola Hoops, Doll Houses, Yo Yos and Slinkies. Please join us for a trip back to childhood.

Child on pony