Collections from West Virginia National Parks

National Park Service, Centennial One Object Exhibit

In celebration of the National Park Service Centennial in 2016, this exhibit showcases one object from every national park museum collection in West Virginia.

Box of U.S. Rifle Model 1841 Inspection Gauges, Major William A. Thornton, ca. 1846, From the collection of: National Park Service, Centennial One Object Exhibit

The American Industrial Revolution required interchangeability of parts achieved through standards, precision machinery, and gauges. Famed US Army arms inspector Major William Anderson Thornton owned this set of US Harpers Ferry Model 1841 Rifle inspection gauges, which enabled him to measure the exactness of each firearm part.

Harper's Ferry National Historical Park, HAFE 7427

Midnight Thunder, Jim Jordan, From the collection of: National Park Service, Centennial One Object Exhibit

The painting is a rendition of a Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad steam engine and train that stopped at the Thurmond Depot during the late 1940s-early 1950s. The town of Thurmond is located in Fayette County, West Virginia in the New River Gorge National River. The painting is in a gold painted wood frame, and on display at the park’s Canyon Rim Visitor Center. The painting was commissioned by Karl Warden, who donated it to the park in 2006.

New River Gorge National River, NERI 7778

Pen, Crow Pen Company, ca. 1916, From the collection of: National Park Service, Centennial One Object Exhibit

On August 25, 1916, with a stroke of this pen, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the National Park Service Organic Act, establishing the National Park Service as an agency under the Department of the Interior. Fourteen national parks and twenty-one national monuments, already created by Congress, would now be managed under one system led by Stephen T. Mather, first Director of the National Park Service. Unifying the National Park System under the Organic Act enabled the National Park Service to fulfill its mission to conserve park resources and provide for their use and enjoyment “in such a manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for future generations.”

Harpers Ferry Center, HFCA 1603

Credits: Story

Park museum staff from Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and New River Gorge National River.

National Park Service, Museum Management Program Staff: Amber Dumler, Stephen Damm, Ron Wilson, and Joan Bacharach

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.
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