Once prosaic, now rare and in need of conservation

The “bull boat” was used by Northern Plains tribes for ferrying people and goods across the upper Missouri River. Today, only four bull boars more than 100 years old remain. One of them is in the collection of the Lewis and Clark Foundation– a gift of the BNSF Railway. According to the Great Falls Tribune (“Conservators breaking ground with rare bull boat at Interpretive Center”, by David Murray, June 13, 2012), the boat is presently undergoing study and treatment and will eventually be put on public display.
Because they were so common and simple in design–a single skin stretched around a willow-branch frame–these boats were not treasured. One hundred years from now, how many of today’s commonplace, disposable objects will conservators be treating as rare and valuable artifacts?