Jun 16

Week 2 – June 11-15

Monday, 6/11:

Today was a packing day at Garber. We pack most of the bigger suits in air trays (the boxes that look like coffin boxes) and the smaller pieces – like pants or very thin suits, in mannequin boxes where sometimes we can fit two objects per box. For the air trays, there is always only one in each box.

Me cleaning an air tray

Here I am cleaning out an air tray before we secure the top on it and it is ready to go on the truck! Some of these suits have been on the same blue board for a significant amount of time. So I am using the vacuum to clean up dirt and debris before it ships.

This is a shot from inside one of the Bally Boxes where we store objects and looking out into the building where we work (Building 24). We were trying to test the security announcement system today to see if we could hear them while inside the boxes.

Tuesday, 6/12:

Today was another early day at Hazy. Since we packed yesterday that means waking up early and carpooling to Hazy. Then at around 7am we meet the truck and begin unpacking.

Transferring to its shelf

This is after we unpacked everything on the loading dock. We have enough large rolling racks that we can fit the entire load from the truck on them. Then we bring the racks upstairs to the space suit storage room. Each suit has already been assigned a shelf. So we match the numbers with their location, double check that it is the correct number and shelf, and then transfer it to its new home! Later one of the contractors will update the location for each object in TMS.

This is just two rows within space suit storage. Each suit keeps its board (to provide a layer between the object and the metal shelf as well as make handling easier) and a piece of muslin cloth to protect it since it is open shelving. I can never get over the morgue like feeling in here!

My pallet jack action shot!

We had more people than usual today helping with the move. So we finished early and had time to unpack some PSCs (plastic storage container). These black plastic containers are used to ship smaller objects like belts, shoes, gloves, etc. This was my first time with them as some had been brought to Hazy in a previous load and left to be unpacked when we had time. Well today was that day, I used a pallet jack to take 2 boxes at a time upstairs. Then we would unpack them (so much bubble wrap and tape over everything!), check them against the shipment list to make sure everything was accounted for, and then take them to the fur and leather storage room. All the packing materials and now empty boxes used were put back into the empty PSC to be taken back to Garber and reused for the next shipment.

Wednesday, 6/13:

So while my position is with the Garber Move Team (GMT) and we primarily work in Building 24, we aren’t the only group working there. Across the building from us is the CCPF team. Their job is to survey and rehouse objects. Well, the contractors survey and their 2 interns rehouse objects. Today they hosted all the Garber interns for a rehousing lesson.

They pulled an array of boxes for demonstration. While I have had some box making experience, I had never made a clam shell box (like the above example) and have limited experience making boxes with shelves inside. They also spoke about internal supports they crafted to properly house each object. For example the above box has multiple supports on the inside lid of the box. So they recommended making a clam shell box that would ensure the supports always properly line up since the lid is attached.

Box making

Patrick is their intern in the background here who has already been here for over a week and is very familiar with the box making process! Over the course of the summer he and his co-intern Lizzie will make hundreds.

My first time driving a fork lift

Later that day I got my first fork lift driving lesson! It was a little nerve wracking because we didn’t start outside but inside the warehouse surrounded by obstacles, people, and objects. But we took it slow and Amelia spotted me while I picked up my first (empty) PSC and then drove it to another building on the other side of Garber. There we met with a conservator to figure out the best way to ship a 1920s airplane seat that is taller than the PSCs. It is upholstered in leather so that is why it is part of this move phase. Eventually it did go into a PSC with a lot of padding, muslin cloth, and plastic wrap to keep it secure.

Thursday, 6/14:

No exciting lessons or moving today. Today we processed objects. The space suits are complete and the next group we are working on within the fur and leather move is boots.

Me inserting inserts

Each pair of boot usually has the same catalog number for both boots so they are stored together in the same box. We have to create custom internal supports for each boot. This usually means making one for the toes, one of the soles, and one for the ankle. I start by carving each piece out of foam and making sure they fit properly – I want a snug fit that will support the boot’s shape over time but isn’t too tight that it is difficult to get out. Despite cutting off the corners and edges of the foam, it can still be rough on an object so I then cover it in batting for cushioning. Then I put the entire thing in a nylon stocking and tie off the ends. I like to leave one end as a tail so the next person handling the boot will have something to hold on to and make removal of the insert easier.

The finished product

This isn’t the pair I was working on above but another pair I finished today. You can see the “tails” on the nylons that make it easier to remove them. I will also have to get better at making the inserts the same size!

Once the internal supports are created and inserted into each boot, then it is boxing time. Fortunately the team ordered boxes that fit boots so we don’t have to custom make each box which saves a lot of time. I then take thin ethafoam and make a wave that protects the boots from the sides of the box and each other. Labels are printed for 2 sides and foam chunks are inserted to keep the boots from moving during shipment. Then I would cover them with muslin and bubble wrap the whole box and it is ready to go!

Friday, 8/15:

Today was boots, boots, and more boots. The day did get broken up by one of the CCPF contractors, John, taking the Garber interns on a tour. We have already been here for 2 weeks and in that time have been in multiple buildings for work related reasons but this is our first official tour. There are numerous warehouse style buildings throughout Garber with no windows so you have no idea what is inside. Various buildings housed shelves full of engines/various engine parts, conservation/restoration staff, machines, and planes in various stages of restoration, the exhibits team building, and multiple buildings dedicated to planes.


Caroline - JFK's plane used during his 1960 presidential campaign

Some additional information on Caroline: http://voices.yahoo.com/jfks-caroline-plane-made-history-8889083.html?cat=37

These planes will eventually make the move out to Hazy too but at the moment we are still in the small object phase. All in all a good second week!



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