Issued by
United States Forest Service, founded 1905
Manufactured by
Lion, American, founded 1898
Worn by
Mobley, Melody Starya, American, born 1958
cotton (textile) and aramid with metal and plastic
H x W (Flat): 44 1/8 × 22 1/4 in. (112 × 56.5 cm)
Inseam: 32 in. (81.3 cm)
Melody Starya Mobley was the first African American female forester of the USDA Forest Service (USFS), serving from June 1977 until her retirement in March 2005. She also was the first African American woman to graduate (in 1979) from the University of Washington College of Forest Resources (later renamed the School of Forest Resources in the College of the Environment). During her 28 years with the USFS she served in national forests all over the country. Most notably for this collection, she served in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington state from 1980-1982, Cleveland National Forest in Southern California from 1982-1986, held a temporary assignment in Klamath National Forest in Northern California, and finally served in Ocala National Forest in central Florida from 1986-1987. From 1988 until her retirement in 2005 she served in the USFS headquarters in Washington, D.C. In the mid-1990s, Mobley was given a temporary detail to the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in Nevada where she served as Deputy Forest Supervisor.
United States Forest Service issued uniform fire pants worn by Melody Starya Mobley. The size 32, Aramid, forest green, pants has a copper colored metal zipper and a green plastic top button. There are two (2) back pockets. Each pocket closes with a flap that fastens at the center with one (1) button. The waistband is lined with black cotton. A white tag sewn into the left side of the waistband has black printed text that reads [WAIST 32 / 8415-00387-5900]. Sewn into the interior and a second white label with black printed text that reads [TROUSERS, MEN’S FIRE-RESISTANT (ARAMID / GS-08S-34700 / LION UNIFORM, INC. / DATE OF MANUFACTURE SPTEMBER, 1979[underlined] / DO NOT STARCH[underlined]. STARCH WILL BURN. IF STARCHED, / LAUNDERING WILL RETURN THIS GARMENT TO ITS / FORMER FIRE-RESISTANT CONDITION.].
Place used
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington, United States, North and Central America
Cleveland National Forest, San Diego County, California, United States, North and Central America
Klamath National Forest, Siskiyou County, California, United States, North and Central America
Ocala National Forest, Florida, United States, North and Central America
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Nevada, United States, North and Central America
protective wear
American West
Clothing and dress
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Melody Starya Mobley
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
No Known Copyright Restrictions
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.

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