Thursday, March 09, 2006

What Do You Save?

So these past two days at work I've been having to clean a dough mixer and a waffle iron that were donated to the museum. They are pretty neat items from the 40s; however, they were really dirty. And by really dirty, I mean 40 year old batter on them that I'm having to remove.

So as I'm standing there in my respirator mask scrapping this stuff off with special chemicals, I'm thinking why did this family save these things? Why did any of the stuff that is in a museum get saved? More importantly, if they were going to keep these things why didn't they get cleaned before they were put in storage?

That is probably the most baffling thing. It really looks like they had waffles one morning and just didn't have time to clean up the mixer and the iron before they had to go to work, but when they got home they decided they just weren't going to use these appliances anymore. So they just put them in a box and stored them in the garage or something. Weird.

There are some things that we get that it is very easy to see why they got saved. We have a ton of family letters, greeting cards, photos, school mementos, toys, and clothing. With things like this there is usually a special story that goes with the item. The donor explains how it was a favorite childhood toy, it was the outfit their great grandmother got married in, and of course the paper and school items are easy to understand why they were saved.

But a waffle iron? A mixer? A shoe scraper? A electric razor? Why would someone think to save these kinds of things? Now, don't get me wrong, I do see how great it is that someone saved these kinds of things so museums can have them to share with the public for years to come. I just don't understand why it would have occurred to someone to save them.


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