• Kate Angel

Museum Objects of the Week 2022

Updated: 2 days ago

This year we are featuring an object from our museum collection on our social media channels each week. All our 52 Twitter posts will also be posted here in order once featured... Enjoy : )


Object Week 1: Bird Scarer In the 17/1800s young children were employed from dawn till dusk to scare birds off crops for a penny a day. They often used a ‘Rattle’ or ‘Clacker’, also used by the Police and later football fans.

Object Week 2: Budding Spanner Edwin Budding invented the spanner screw adjustment, design registered in 1843. Previously spanners were adjusted with a metal wedge. Two examples, c1840s & c1860s.

Object Week 3: Weed Eradicator A tool to inject weedkiller by piercing the crown of the weed with a sharp hollow needle Patented in 1895. Our example sold by Army & Navy Co-op Society, others sold as The Wikeham.

Object Week 4: New Excelsior Lawn mower A rare 12in mower, made by Chadborn & Coldwell, USA in original condition Produced from 1869, to early 1900s Amazing the ornate wooden sided box has survived.

Object Week 5: Peening Anvil & Sharpening Stone Holder 18/19c. Lawns were originally cut by using hand scythes. The Peening Anvil & Whetstone tool kept the scythes sharp and was held in a cow horn holder.

Object Week 6: Singer Motor Mower 1920’s Rarest mower in our collection by Singer & Co. Coventry, the only one known to exist, possible prototype, at the Singer owners club rally in 2018.

Object Week 7: Webb Children’s mower 1957 By manufacturer H C Webb & Co. Birmingham, a child size working lawn mower, a couple in our collection unused in original packaging Modelled by Molly aged 9 months.

Object Week 8: Ransomes Edge Cutter 1885 Quite rare, only produced from 1885-1900 & just 10 examples are known to exist. Tilting on the unusual conical roller adjusted the depth when trimming lawn edges.

Object Week 9: Suffolk Iron Foundries Lawn Edge Cutter 1 of our rarest exhibits patented 1939, possibly discontinued WWII, the only e.g. found to date. Advertised Suffolk’s 1939 catalogue we hold copy of the patent.

Object Week 10: Follows & Bate Chain Tennis Lawn Mower The best original example known, introduced in 1898, Grass box with walnut sides This exhibit will be preserved as is for the future.

Object Week 11: Boot or Shoe Protector Designed to protect footwear when digging with a spade or fork, this is a very early e.g. from the early 19c made from wrought iron with original straps.

Object Week 12: Mole Trap This design dates late 1800s available into 1940s. The brutal action would have damaged the mole’s velvet pelt, valued in the 18th/19th Cs. Used for pest control rather than the fur trade.

Object Week 13: Britain's Miniature Gardening In 1890 William Britain pioneered hollow-casting lead toy soldiers In 1930 Britain’s Miniature Gardening range expanded yearly until 1960 when Floral Range introduced, now plastic.

Object Week 14: Churchill's Lawn Mower We are pleased that Winston Churchills Atco lawn mower from 1923 is now on display in our museum. Full provenance displayed including photo in use in at Chartwell 1929.

Object Week 15: Britain's Floral Range (Plastic) Following on from Britain's 1930’s Lead Miniature Gardening, in 1960 the Floral Range was launched made from plastic.

Object Week 16: Man Trap Gun Very rare e.g blacksmith spring gun man-trap used against poachers & trespassers illegal UK 1827. Unique e.g. mimics double barrelled shotgun when triggered 2nd shot followed. Deactivated took 16 bore cartridges.

Object Week 17: Lego Gardening Lego mini figures were launched in 1978 followed by their extensive gardening range, we are pleased to provide a display to entertain our younger visitors.

Object Week 18: Copped Hall Grape Storage Bottle Invented e20thC Arthur Bullock, head gardener Copped Hall, Essex. Bottles on wooden racks in a cool room where grapes stored for winter table. Manufactured William Wood & Son patent unapproved.

Object Week 19: Anchor Butter Mower Extraordinary mower created 90s built for ‘The Singing Cows’ Anchor butter TV adverts. A modified Citroen 2CV engine operated by radio control hydraulics https://youtube.com/watch?v=MnelInNRRSM…

Object Week 20: Printing Blocks Paper printing with carved wooden block images was evident from 7thC. Our museum exhibit of gardening related metal faced blocks date e.1870s. Early mower catalogues contain images matching some displayed blocks.

Object Week 21: Bent Cutter Unusual rare mower introduced 1906 for cutting ‘Bents’ tough erect grass traditional mowers flatten. Used golf greens, cricket squares, cutting width of 24inc. Our eg. remarkable original condition only 1/2 known.

Object Week 22: Wisden Line Marker Tennis court line marker retailed by John Wisden & Co who produced sports equipment from 1850 & famous Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Note the instructions to use the liquid as thick as cream!

Object Week 23: Thomas Greens Lawn Edger A unique exhibit, the only known survivor, produced 1883 to 1894, very expensive at the time so we assume few were sold & that most used hand shears to edge their lawns.

Object Week 24: Cucumber Straightener Since 1830s glass tubes have been used to ensure cucumbers grow straight, our curator Clive Gravett has researched their history, dismissing fact that George Stephenson was inventor: https://museumofgardening.co.uk/blog-1

Object Week 25: Thomas Green Line Markers Two examples of Thomas Green & Sons line markers for marking out sports pitches, Green's unique design patented 1882 continuing until the 1930s.

Object Week 26: Ransomes Patent Gear 18in Lawn Mower A two person mower this model was introduced 1897 & continued until 1930s. This machine in excellent original condition, note wooden baton/rope for the 2nd person to pull on.

Object Week 27: Live bees We are very pleased to have the bees back at the museum, they create a buzz and are a great favourite with children and adults alike! https://paynesbeefarm.co.uk

Object Week 28: Meccano Mower Unique very well built working 60s Meccano

lawn mower 65cm l, 30 h, 16 w. Built from scratch by serious Meccano enthusiast as no published project design Meccano invented 1898 by Frank Hornby.

Object Week 29: Sussex Trugs Revamped museum display highlights manufacturing process of renowned Royal Sussex trug. Sussex based Thomas Smith reinvented heavy Anglo-Saxon 'trog' 1829 making it more lightweight https://sussextrugs.com

Object Week 30: Spong Hedge Trimmer An unusual hedge trimmer recommended for Privet, Yew, Box & could be used for grass. Manufactured Spong & Co e.1930s Spong famous for mechanical domestic gadgets mainly mincers 1870-1980s.

Object Week 31: Myticuttah Patented in 1888, made by The Standard Manufacturing Co. Prior to this, pruning would be carried out with a knife requiring the branch to be held with the other hand. The Myticuttah enabled both hands to be kept at a safe distance from the cutting blade.

Object Week 32: Dennis Z Type 24in Lawn Mower Manufactured by Dennis Bros of Guildford, supplied new in 1951 to Robert H Andrews, supplier of horticultural machinery. Dennis Mowers are often seen mowing cricket fields & football pitches and are still produced today.

Object Week 33: Leek Planter An unusual tool said to be for planting Leeks, removing a core of soil so Leeks can be dropped in holes. The advantage of this over a dibber tool is that the soil around it is not compressed. Anyone with further information on this item, please do contact us.

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