Sunday, 28 May 2006

Musings on Museum Collecting

Not a lot happening here of a stitching nature at the minute - but I have been musing about museum collections and women's history. Two of the most interesting things I have found in collections lately are a copper sick (used to stir the boiling washing) and a snakebone necklace:

P00683

The copper stick used to be an axe handle - and is not like the sewing machines, where people valued them, and passed them on, so copper sticks are not something usually found in museum collections. This one had been well boiled down, and had quite a few burn marks, so tells the story of what wash day was really like - hard work. Lifting boiling clothes out of a copper would not have been easy - hence the wooden copper stick.

The snakebone necklace is a form of jewellery made locally - at least from the 1930s to 1950s - I won't go into the fun details of how the bones were cleaned - but it is interesting to show a form of craft apart from sewing, that used what was to hand. I'm not sure if they were made elsewhere, but we know of at least two local makers.

And - speaking of museums and sewing machines - I have been thinking of Helena Curtain, killed with her husband in 1901 in a bushfire. The fire was coming, and she went back into their hut to try and save her new sewing machine. Her husband followed her, and they were both caught by the fire and killed.

Would today's woman, with all her gadgets, go back into her home today to save a sewing machine???? I wonder.

Enough musing - I am off for a few days. Back Thursday.

4 Comments:

Blogger Bobby said...

Now there's a girl after my own heart! Snake bone necklace. I have a few bones and things around the house...all for their artistic contribution of course. And no, I wouldn't go back for my old and trusty sewing machine, but I've wondered (as we do in fire country) which of my projects I would save. The quilt I suppose, and the two special, big, extensively worked, favourite things on the go. They're in a big box each for conveneince. The current is always the best. I hardly even notice my Crazy Quilt anymore. Photo's of course.

10:13 pm  
Blogger Googs said...

Are you finished at the museum now? I didn't make it last friday, hope to get there soon.

8:52 am  
Blogger Gina E. said...

Bad luck about your car, Linda. Some people are absolute b......s.
Your description of the copper stick brought back childhood memories for me. Mum had one for her copper, and anyone caught removing it from the wash house was under the threat of death!

11:13 am  
Blogger Susan said...

I would, I love my machine that much. Of course, it's a portable, so it would be a lot easier!

2:55 pm  

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