Museum Mishaps

Last night the National Association of Science Writers held a ScienceWriters2010 welcome reception in the Peabody Museum of Natural History here at Yale.  The entrance of the museum is graced with this terrific hanging squid. 

From airplanes to whale bones, museums display all sorts of heavy, hanging objects.  While staring up at the squid from the museum’s ground floor I began to wonder whether there had ever been any accidents involving heavy, falling objects. 

A quick preliminary search yielded no gruesome reports, but I did find an article from the November 22, 1894 edition of The New York Times.  Several carpenters and plasterers were at work in the American Museum of Natural History when the supports gave way and the workers were “precipitated to the floor”.  Thankfully the fall was only eight feet, and only one man suffered a dislocated right angle and minor internal injuries.

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