Posts Tagged ‘early 20th century’

Awl you need

March 16, 2015

Sorry about the pun which is not ours originally. But we are looking at an awl today.

Awls are simple tools, designed to punch or pierce holes through materials. Our awl was used by a cobbler.

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This awl is about 12 centimetres (5 inches) long. It has a comfortable wooden handle and a sturdy spike, ideal for boring a hole through leather when shoe making or repairing. This awl was just for hole making, some awls have an eye near the pointed end so that a thread can be pushed through the hole when sewing leather pieces together.

This awl was found, along with other tools in Easterton and is thought to date from the early years of the twentieth century.

Awls are of course, dangerous. Perhaps the most famous awl accident was the one when Louis Braille managed to stab his eye with an awl. This blinded one eye immediately and the infection created blinded his other eye. Ironically, Louis later used an awl (blunted) to create his raised dot alphabet which enables blind people to read by touch.

The Pondmaker’s sign

March 5, 2015

This would be a fine sign to actually own. We don’t. We just have a photograph of this simply fantastic item which probably no longer exists.

Pond maker's sign from Broadwell House, Market Lavington

Pond maker’s sign from Broadwell House, Market Lavington

It would once have adorned the front of Broadwell House on White Street where the Smith family had their residence.

The sign quite clearly tells us what the Smiths did. They dug ponds and wells.

C. J. Smith was Charles, born in Market Lavington in the 1850s. We have met him before on this blog. Click here. He was rarely at home for the ten yearly census. The family business was well known throughout the south of England so pondmakers were often away working.

It is good to record that a descendant of Charles is a regular reader and commenter/information provider on this blog.

These days we all (or nearly all) have piped mains water so the days of the pondmaker are pretty well over. The Smith family had a goodly 150 years in the trade – and a highly skilled one it was too.

Sulphur

December 12, 2014

Sulphur is a yellow substance – one of the element substances. It is sometimes known as brimstone. We have a bottle containing some at Market Lavington Museum.

Doctor Lush's sulphur bottle at Market Lavington Museum

Doctor Lush’s sulphur bottle at Market Lavington Museum

Here we see a glass jar with ground glass stopper and a label saying ‘sulphur sub’. Some of the yellow powder is within the jar. The jar was found in the attic of Doctor Lush’s old house. Doctor Lush retired from his role as local doctor in 1921 and had been very highly thought of. He’d have used the sulphur for the treatment of skin diseases or as a fumigant.

We have a blog about the good doctor. You can click here to see it.

As far as we know the ‘sub’ after the sulphur is short for sublimate. Our bottle is a good reminder of past medical practices.

Lavington Cycle Club

August 21, 2014

Today we present what might be the first of many blogs about metal detector finds in Market Lavington. Norman was born in Market Lavington in an era which could get him called a ‘baby boomer’. As a youngster his family had to move when their Market Place house was demolished and they got a home on Oak Lane in Easterton. Norman married a West Lavington girl and that’s where he lives now.

For thirty years or so he has been a detectorist. He recently got in touch and offered us Market Lavington interest items in his collection – and a fine bunch of items they are, covering the best part of 2000 years’ worth of history.

And we are starting, almost certainly, in the twentieth century with what was probably once a well enamelled badge indicating membership of the Lavington Cycle Club.

Lavington Cycle Club badge found in Market Lavington - 20th century

Lavington Cycle Club badge found in Market Lavington – 20th century

Even in this rather careworn state we can make out that this badge says Lavington Cycle Club and carries a Latin motto of abstulit qui dedit which appears to translate as who gives away.

The badge was made by Collins of London – still readable on the back.

Makers' name on the back of the badge. The pin is missing.

Makers’ name on the back of the badge. The pin is missing.

This company was founded in 1891 so we know the badge is no older than that.

We know little about the club which may have had more of a West Lavington focus – but the badge was found in Market Lavington.

The West Lavington village site at http://westlavington.info/gallery.html has a photo of club members outside the Bridge Inn at West Lavington.

If anybody out there knows any more about the club then do get in touch.

A lunch basket

July 29, 2014

What we look at today is an elegant little basket, designed to carry lunch for one person who may have been working out in the fields. Our basket shows some of the ravages of time, but apart from having gone a bit squiffy, it is remarkably good.

We think this is a delightful item, right down to the stub end of pencil which now makes the closing pin.

lunch basket made by Alf Mullings of Market Lavington in the early 20th century

Lunch basket made by Alf Mullings of Market Lavington in the early 20th century

This is a basket made by Mullings of Market Lavington in the early years of the twentieth century so it is over 100 years old. We believe that the basket would have been made by Alf Mullings. His father, William was a basket maker before him, but died in 1903. Alf’s son, Sid, became a basket maker as well and stayed in part time business until the 1960s.

This simple box structure has a rather elegant opening lid.

This basket was used by Sid Mullings - brickworks labourer and later Market Gardener at Fiddington Sands

This basket was used by Sid Cooper – brickworks labourer and later Market Gardener at Fiddington Sands

With the lid open we can see it is curved and so, too, are the sides of the basket. Hinges, handle and fastenings are all made in basket fashion.

This lunch box belonged to Sid Cooper. We think he was born in the Northbrook area of Market Lavington in 1880 and was a labourer at the brickworks at about the time this basket was made. Later, Sid became a market gardener living at Fiddington Sands.

Sid died in 1951 and is buried in Market Lavington church yard.

Butcher Kidner

June 7, 2014

We were very recently given this postcard.

A Society walk in Market Lavington High Street in the early 20th century

A Society walk in Market Lavington High Street in the early 20th century

We already had a copy of the image, but this had been trimmed and some of the more interesting information is on the edge which had been lost in the copy.

The picture was taken, we believe, prior to 1904 and shows a society walk through Market Lavington. We believe the society was connected with the Oddfellows.

We are looking up High Street from outside the Market Place. The building on the left – which is where the chemist’s shop now stands, has two visible letters – CE. That’s enough for us to know that it was then the village Post Office.

The Green Dragon is clear with its porch right across the pavement.

The Green Dragon – still a thriving hostelry

In the middle is a large banner.

The banner appears to carry an Oddfellows motto

The banner appears to carry an Oddfellows motto

This carries the Latin motto Amicitia, Amor et Veritas – friendship, love and truth. This does appear to be connected with Oddfellows.

But it is the extreme right which really interests us. This shows the butcher’s shop, not so different now from how it was more than 100 years ago.

Outside butcher George Kidner’s shop

We can see that the pavement is cobbled which must have given a bumpy ride for the baby in the pram. The longish exposure time for the photo is revealed by the totally blurred child. We can see carcasses hanging outside the shop which would be deemed very unhygienic these days. And we can see that the butcher’s name was Kidner for it is written above the door.

George Kidner came from south London to Market Lavington in the 1870s. He had been a butcher all his working life and would have been approaching 60 when he moved to Market Lavington. His wife, Harriet (perhaps Hariot) died in 1894 but George, over 80, was described as a butcher working at home on the 1901 census. His daughter Alethea was with him.

We wonder whether it might be George on the extreme right, the elderly looking man with a stick.

George died in 1904 and his age was given as 89.

Does anybody know any more about him?

Listening in

May 28, 2014

Doctors, by tradition, wear a stethoscope as a kind of badge of office. Just look at any ‘Carry on’ film involving a doctor and you can be sure he or she will have a stethoscope around their neck.  Doctors use them to listen in to the internal workings of people – often connected with breathing.

But here’s one from the past and it is made of wood.

Early 20th century stethoscope used by Dr Lush of Market Lavington

Early 20th century stethoscope used by Dr Lush of Market Lavington

It is believed this stethoscope was used by Dr Lush. It was found in the attic at Greystone House by one of his successors, Dr Ashford Brown. It is believed that this stethoscope dates from the early twentieth century.

Similar looking monaural (one ear) stethoscopes are still made and used for listening to unborn babies. You can read a history of stethoscopes by visiting http://www.freedomscope.com/history_of_stethoscope.htm .

Or you can see this one by visiting Market Lavington Museum.

A book match tin

May 22, 2014

This item was recently given to the museum. The owner had already had research done on it and I include a copy of the researcher’s thoughts.

This Dauntsey's School crested match tin was once the property of Jack Welch

This Dauntsey’s School crested match tin was once the property of Jack Welch

The tin is just the right size to hold and protect those compressed paper matches that used to be (and may still be) given away at hotels and the like. It opens and in this case reveals one remaining match.

The tin opens to reveal just one match left from that book of matches

The tin opens to reveal just one match left from that book of matches

And now the research – and contact details for the researcher.

Dauntsey School Book Match Holder

This brass book match holder is stamped with the Dauntsey School crest.

It belonged to James Welch who was Steward of Dauntsey’s Agricultural School, the original name for the school. James Welch lived in Market Lavington.

The principle of ignition by rubbing phosphorus and sulphur together was discovered in 1680 by Robert Boyle. The chemical reaction was extremely hazardous and it was not until 1827 that John Walker, another English pharmacist, used the principal to produce the first matches; yard long “sulphuretted peroxide strikables.”

Small phosphorus matches were first marketed in Germany in 1832, but they were still extremely hazardous. In 1845, amorphous or red phosphorus was invented and in 1855 Carl Lundstrom in Sweden produced the first red phosphorus “safety matches”. These were  sold in boxes as ‘kitchen matches’.

Smoking in public become more popular during the second half of the 19th Century and wooden matches in large boxes did not fit easily into pockets. Joshua Pusey, a cigar smoking Pennsylvanian lawyer, developed and patented a paper based match in 1889. The idea did not take off until 1897 when the Mendelsohn Opera Company used books of paper matches to advertise their New York opening. Book matches became all the rage and because of their delicate nature book match holders quickly followed. As with all such small personal items the holders were often decorated. The Dauntsey School book match holder therefore dates from the early part of the 20thCentury and possibly because of it dull gun-metal manufacture, from around the time of the Great War, 1914-1918.

Research by Lt Col Robin Hodges, Court Hill Farm, Potterne, SN10 5PN     01380 723371  729hodge@armymail.mod.uk

What a lovely addition to the museum collection.

Churchman’s Tortoiseshell Smoking Mixture

April 10, 2014
Tortoiseshell Smoking Mixture tin from the early years of the twentieth century

Tortoiseshell Smoking Mixture tin from the early years of the twentieth century

Tins like this are not uncommon. No doubt, once the contents had been used, the tin was useful for storing other things. It’s the sort of item you might find in a shed with assorted nuts and bolts in it.

But of course, the original content was tobacco and whilst we might ‘tut-tut’ these days it is from the past when life was different. If we go back 100 years, most men smoked and many would have had tins like this one.

It is not, of course, made of tortoiseshell. It is a ‘tin’ with tortoiseshell effect paint. This one is quite a large tin holding four ounces (¼lb) of the mixture.

The tin held a quarter of a pound of tobacco

The tin held a quarter of a pound of tobacco

The Churchman firm who made the tobacco were based in Ipswich and they had a long pedigree. Records suggest that the company began in 1790 and production of tobacco products continued until 1972.

We can’t find any mark on the tin to suggest who made it but we do think it dates from the early years of the 20th century.

The photo of the unknown porter

April 8, 2014

Here we have a lovely studio portrait of a young man.

This photo of an unknown man is at Market Lavington Museum

This photo of an unknown man is at Market Lavington Museum

The picture is post card sized and has a postcard back.

The back of the photo has no information to help identify the man

The back of the photo has no information to help identify the man

The publisher/printer is not named and the only added information is the museum identity number.

We do not know who the man is but we believe the photo dates from around the time of the First World War.

Enlarging the photo reveals the word ‘porter’ on the cap of the man.

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We would, of course, dearly like to know who this man is. Do get in touch if you can help.