Saturday, April 9, 2022

Happy Antique Day!

Today is National Cherish an Antique Day! In the photo above, my son is posing with my grandfather's coal miner's helmet. It is now a treasured family heirloom. My grandfather was about ten years old when he started working in the mines. 

The thrill of antiques cuts across the generations. For a while now, the Conway Public Library's Henney History Room has been doing an outreach program at the Mount Washington Valley Adult Day Center using historical artifacts from the collection of the Conway Historical Society. 

Our program is just one of many that the Center provides with the help of local resources including health, fitness, dance and craft programs. 

We present a new program a couple times a month. In our "hands-on" program we use these artifacts to stimulate exploration and discussion about the larger cultural stories that these items tell.  

We have covered themes such as women's work, farming tools, and keeping warm for the winter. 

We offer similar programs for free to local schools and community groups. One school asked for a program on the history of local crafts and trades. 

One of the collections we included in that program were these wooden shoe heel blocks showing the stages involved in making historic shoes. The heel factory building these were made in still exists on Conway's Main Street just a short walk from the library. 

Recently we did a program of "mystery items." As soon as I pulled the item below out of a box one of the participants immediately recognized it and told us all how she remembered standing over one of these with her mother adjusting the hems on dress she made. 

This was a new discovery for me and after closer examination we did find the word "hem" stamped on it. 

We also found who made it and the patent number. FMI see the link here.

We soon looked it up on Google patents and learned even more. 
Another participant told us about this glass item and said it was for cutting the dough for tea biscuits that were boiled in water. 

Does anyone know more about this item? I have not been able to find another documentation on it yet. 

In previous blogs we have looked at antiques used as lawn decoration. 

FMI see this link here

Another interesting antique that serves as the Conway Public Library's official mascot was featured in our previous blog here

If you have cherished antiques of your own and want to learn more about saving or preserving them, searching or researching them and sharing them through family stories, scrap books or your own family history website let us know and we can suggest the best ways and more importantly the methods not to use. Did you know there are "good plastics" and "bad plastics" to keep your priceless heirlooms in? Especially bad are those so-called "magnetic" photo albums that were popular a number of years ago. 

So be careful! Be educated! And enjoy!

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