Shoes!  Shoes! Shoes!

Jonathan Blunt from Bury gave this collection of shoes as well as other ethnographic items to Bury Museum in 1907. The Bury Guardian on the 24th  August 1907 in an article about the opening of the museum listed the material that would be on view and gave particular coverage to Mr. Blunt whose donation was ‘perhaps the most extensive and cosmopolitan gift to the museum’. This included: …..old muskets; a flintlock duck shot gun, pistols, spears and clubs from Africa and Polynesia, cutlasses, sabres, a dress rapier of the 18th century, and snow shoes from Canada and Lapland….the collection of eggs and butterflies in the Blunt gift must eventually prove very great to the student of natural history…miniature casts of the friezes of the Parthenon and other great temples…snakes and lizards preserved in spirits of wine….’.

5a 4a 3b 2b 1b





Curator dices with death!

Whilst researching the toy collection for objects to support our current World War Two exhibition which focuses on children’s experiences of war, I came across Toys: Box 281. Reading the box label it seemed to contain suitable games and a chemistry set (not sure what ‘paint brush for the body’ is referring to!). Upon opening the box I discovered this intriguing note written by a past curator:

A paintbrush for the body  B What's inside

C Harmless Chemistry Set    E Inside the Chemistry Set

D Curator's note      Yikes

Co-op: Box 5

I was repacking the Co-op collection and came across Co-op: Box 5. Upon opening the lid I saw teeny tiny perfume bottles – that was it! I just had to unpack it and have a look. Teeny tiny objects have always held a fascination for me. I think it’s because of the intricacy and workmanship that has gone into making them. The box contained a variety of objects; perfume bottles, collar studs, darning needles, clothes brushes, all products either made by the Co-op or sold at their branch in Bury. This was a fab box, take a look:

2 The open box  3 Perfume, needles, buttons, soap,studs

4 Press studs, darning needles, face cream, dress pins  5 Perfume and face powder

6 Collar studs and buttons  7 CWS clothes brushes

The Wonder Book of Why & What

Book: Box 10 – I love the title of this book and the contents are just as fascinating. Written by Harry Golding and illustrated by Thomas Maybank, the book was published by Ward Lock & Co Ltd, in the early part of the 1920s. It is essentially a book of answers to children’s questions with 8 colour plates and nearly 300 illustrations. The information is now outdated (the chapter ‘How Does the Cinema Work?’ quotes that “Recently ‘talkie’ films have been developed…”. Nevertheless it is an interesting insight into the world of a young child in 1920s England:

A. Book Cover  C. Little Miss

B. Colour plates  D. The wonders of pond life

E. A fly's tongue  F. What's for dinner

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