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Are gloves really necessary to be worn while handling military collectibles?

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#26 Bugme



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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:01 AM

As collectors, we usually "know" what we "should" be doing concerning handling of item with gloves. However, we often don't put this knowledge into "practice".

I don't collect documents so, I will defer to those more knowledgable than I but, when it comes to anything metal, it is always best to wear gloves... I just forget to do it. :blush:

#27 foxcompany1944

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:47 PM

Does anybody think that vinyl, rubber gloves would work?

#28 peterson45

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:18 AM

Vinyl or nitrile gloves would work well too. In some instances (especially when handling objects with slick surfaces) they can provide more grip than cotton gloves. It really all comes down to preference the object that you are handling

#29 foxcompany1944

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:19 AM

I think that cotton for metal,vinyl for other items, and fabrics not any gloves would work.

#30 mpguy80/08

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:09 AM

When I do my displays, I post signs and ask people as I greet them into the display to please not handle the items. Some of the places I display can see up to 10,000 people over a two day period. Imagine ten thousand people all with sweaty hands fondling your items. A cardboard box, paper wrapped bandage or a paper manual becomes a discolored ruined mess after that many people handling it. I simply explain that the items are old and that I would rather not expose my display items to the constant abuse of sweat and skin oils. I make a habit of not allowing people to handle my display items freely. I may allow a person to use their hands as a "scale" of sorts to judge an item's weight, but I am in complete control of the item at all times. I keep a towel on hand at each table, or at least nearby to wipe my hands before each handling of an item.

I've noticed on a lot of shows about historical firearms the person discussing the item will wear white cotton gloves (Think Mr. Atwood, the curator of some museum or other who does numerous spots for the history channel or Military channel). Usually the weapons are museum artifacts and are preserved as such. Typically, its up to you and how you feel about your own items as to whether or not you use gloves.


#31 Timberwolf

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:34 PM

I've wondered this primarily as a uniform collector, will the oils on your finger tips cause any damage to uniforms, mainly wool ?

#32 Kadet

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:45 PM

I'm in the camp that feels gloves are not needed for most items, even paper, if your hands are clean and dry. In fact, I believe there are different feelings among archivists as to whether gloves are good or actually bad. Remember, the gloves have to be very clean too. They can absorb and retain dirt, dust, grease etc.

Edited by Kadet, 19 January 2013 - 02:45 PM.

#33 foxcompany1944

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:00 PM

No it wouldn't, You mainly have to wear gloves for metal items besides knifes as long as you oil them with gun oil or WD-40 and wipe them down after touching them. I wouldn't worry about fabrics, helmets, field gear and patches specially uniforms as long as you keep covers on them.

#34 DSchlagan



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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:11 PM

Well stated Wayne. A good way to handle it. [Sorry, pun difficult to avoid.]


#35 uberguido

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:16 AM

paper, fabric, or pre 1900 medal, yes wear gloves. as a trained archivist in graduate school, youd be suprized what little bit of crap you can put from your hands to ESPECIALLY paper and fabric. it can deteriorate a document with something as little as bacteria from a sneeze moving on to the document, then its stored in a way that baceria grows and mold spots form, then the document is ruined. same with photos and old clothing, flags silks etc etc.

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