Tools for these artists were whatever was at hand. Shrapnel, wire cutters, bayonets and other military paraphernalia were used to pound, scrape or fold the waste into something of worth. The intrinsic worth of the item increases when their weight and bulk are considered. Every soldier has to be ready to pick up and move all his belongings at any time. These shell casings are heavy, yet they were carried along until they were shipped or taken home.
These objects are not great works of art – in and of themselves. But when one considers the conditions under which they were made, in a dark, damp and rat infested trench in the middle of a war in a foreign country, even these simple works become something special; beauty in the midst of war, worth from refuse, the elevation of man over his conditions.”
The Oskaloosa Herald and the Nelson Pioneer Farm are teaming up to test your knowledge of historical artifacts.
The Nelson Pioneer Farm has about 15,000 artifacts in its collection spanning in age from the 1840s to the present.
The Herald will take a picture of an artifact and publish it in the Herald section of the Oskaloosa Shopper, The Oskaloosa Herald an the Herald's Web site, www.oskaloosa.com. People can make a guess on what they think the object could be.
People can either email their guess to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail their guess to The Oskaloosa Herald, P.O. Box 530, Oskaloosa, IA 52577. You can vote from Wednesday through Saturday.
The identity of the artifact and the vote breakdown will be announced in each Wednesday's Herald Shopper along with the week's new artifact.
Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at email@example.com