Posts Tagged ‘stationery’

A Writing Case

January 11, 2014

In a museum some items are special for what they are and some for who used them. Some, of course, are both and perhaps this is one of them although as an object it is fairly ordinary and a bit battered. It is a writing case.


A 19th century writing case, once used by the Welch family and now at Market Lavington Museum

The case, of course, opens.


The case opens to reveal a writing slope and storage space

It becomes a large item, with a writing slope and beyond that storage capacity for writing essentials


The storage box is smartly made in wood

Here we have a compartmented box and alongside, on the wings there is storage for pens and paper.


Storage for pens in one of the wings

This late 19th century writing case was made by Milne of Hanover Square.


The maker’s name embossed on the outside

This, we think, was in Edinburgh.

However we have no doubt that it was members of the Welch family that used this case in Market Lavington. Peggy Gye, our founder was a member of the family and it was her grandfather who first used this case, no doubt as part of his duties as a secretary.

So, it really is an interesting item and it was used by a truly local family.

An old stapler

February 5, 2011

These days there are items of office equipment which are just about universal. We are all familiar with paper fasteners including the staple. We expect our staples to come in lengths of about 50 with a machine that is able to do the whole job with one press of the handle.

But it wasn’t always so. Early staplers used single staples, which had to be carefully placed on the machine before use. We have one of these machines at Market Lavington Museum.

McGill's stapler at Market Lavington Museum

As we can see this says McGills patent single stroke staple press with a patent number of 756.

We are indebted to the Early Office Museum at for the following information.

This machine was produced with a number of superficial variations.  The basic information is as follows:

McGill’s Single-Stroke Staple Press No. 1
Patented 1879 ~ Advertised 1880-1913
Made by Holmes, Booth & Haydens
New York, NY

The inventor was George W McGill, who patented many types of paper fasteners during the 1860s through to the1890s.

You can see the range of patents by putting the following in the address bar of your browser and hitting “enter”:

This stapler had been used by a Market Lavington building firm. Some of us think it is an item of great beauty.