Tools and Technology
The Oakland Museum of California's extensive collections of tools and technology show how people across the state have worked to make a living, and document a history of innovation. Beginning with the History Department's founding curator, Charles Wilcomb, the museum has collected early agricultural implements and rare mining equipment from the Gold Rush. A highlight of this collection is a complete 1870s assay office from Nevada City, used for both California gold and Nevada silver. Artisan tools document skills of the 19th century, including those of cobblers, tinsmiths, blacksmiths, tinkers, coopers, and cabinet makers. The twentieth century found Californians expanding into new fields, and the collections explore these endeavors, from early automobiles to the oil business, Hollywood, the defense industry, and high tech.