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In the July/August issue of the Minnesota History Interpreter the issue of how to care for Large Functional Objects (LFOs) in your collection was discussed. Tell us about your LFOs. To get the discussion started, here are a few LFOs from around the state:

  • Cattail Bailer at the Marshall County Historical Society in Warren. This implement tells about homefront activity during World War II, namely the harvest of cattails to fill life vests used by the U.S. Navy.
  • Fire Engine at the Koochiching County Historical Society in International Falls. This object highlights early 20th century public safety history in International Falls.
  • 1906 Auto Bug at the Wheels Across the Prairie Museum in Tracy. The Auto Bug illustrates the transition from horse and buggy to automotive transportation.

What kinds of LFOs do you have in your collection? What stories do you tell with them? What challenges do you have in making the best use of LFOs? Where do you draw the line between full restoration and retaining historical patina?

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