Posts Tagged ‘late 19th century’

Mrs Burgess and a baby

June 5, 2013

The Burgess family feature quite often in these pages. Not surprisingly, there are plenty of photos since two generations of the family were the professional photographers in the village. Here we see one of the older photos and it shows Marion Burgess, the Scottish born wife of Alfred. She is nursing a baby. The Burgess family lived at 13 High Street and Alfred had a studio in the back garden. This photo was taken there.

Mrs marion Burgess of 13, High Street, Market Lavington with one of her babies - late 19th century.

Mrs Marion Burgess of 13, High Street, Market Lavington with one of her babies – late 19th century.

The only date we have is ‘late nineteenth century’.  Alfred and Marion had six sons who could fit the bill here. Robert (also known as Robin) was born in 1889 followed by Alfred, John, Hugh, Alan and Charles. I wonder if any descendant out there in blogland might recognise which boy this one is.

Meanwhile, enjoy the beautiful gown the lad is wearing. Perhaps this was the Christening gown and in that case it may well have been worn by each boy in turn. Marion looks well dressed as well.

Alfred, the photographer died in 1918, but brothers Robin and Alfred (known as George) continued to trade as Burgess Brothers with Robin behind the camera and George in the darkroom.

Curling tongs

April 10, 2013

Our curator recalls that when he was a kid, back in the 1950s, he visited jumble sales and there were always hair curling tongs. This was obviously the time when such items were seen as unwanted and old fashioned and they were discarded. Peggy Gye, a generation older than our present curator, probably bought some to preserve them. At any rate, we now have several pairs of curling tongs in the museum. Here is one pair – actually found in a shed at Meadow Cottage on Church Street, by Peggy’s brother, Tony.

19th century curling tongs found at Meadow Cottage and now at Market Lavington Museum

19th century curling tongs found at Meadow Cottage and now at Market Lavington Museum

These tongs are believed to be late 19th century and are made of steel. The overall length of these tongs is 27.5 cm – about 11 inches.

How do they work? The following extract comes from http://www.objectlessons.org/health-and-beauty-victorians/hair-curling-tongs-victorian-original/s71/a1065/ .

The tongs are two hinged pieces of iron, formed into handles at one end with narrow cylindrical blades at the other. The tongs were heated up over a flame and then sections of hair were curled around them. Each section of hair was folded first into a length of paper, called a curl-paper, to prevent the hair from scorching. In spite of this there are many tales of burnt and scorched hair as the heat of the tongs is hard to control and many women must have damaged their hair through this process.

Curling tongs can still be purchased, but these days they are electrically heated and, no doubt, have a thermostat to prevent frizzled and scorched hair. Mind you, it seems the must have items these days are hair straighteners. Oh, the perversity of fashion!