Artifact Spotlight | Wanted: A Piece of History Conserved

In 1923, Mr. Samuel Hasten was a wanted man. The 38-year-old Austria native was arrested for felony and embezzlement in San Francisco, and was wanted for jumping bail. This obscure episode in San Francisco Police Department history would be lost, if not for a fragile wanted poster in our collection. Over the summer, the Museum has begun to preserve that piece of history—the wanted poster issued for Samuel Hasten, in October 1923, by D.J. O’Brien, Chief of Police—along with several other wanted posters in the collection.

Before and after conservation.  2006.177.3

The Hasten wanted poster was treated to remove old adhesive residue and had a deacidification “bath” to remove acids in the paper that contributed to aging and yellowing. Once it dried, it was carefully lined with very thin archival tissue to support the delicate paper. Now that it has been conserved, this document is well equipped to be displayed on exhibit—and will allow the Museum to maintain it in stable condition, indefinitely.