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Casglwyr a Chasgliadau

Rhagfyr 2014

First World War collections

Postiwyd gan Elen Phillips ar 17 Rhagfyr 2014

After months of behind the scenes activity - rummaging in stores, researching, documenting, conserving and digitising Amgueddfa Cymru's First World War catalogue is now online. At the moment, the catalogue includes over 500 records from archives, photographs and objects from the collections housed here at St Fagans. New records will be uploaded over the next few weeks, including some fantastic additions from the industry collections. We'll keep you posted.

I can't tell you how much this project has meant to me and my colleagues. It may sound corny, but we really do feel emotionally connected to the people whose lives are commemorated in the collections. From Walter Stinson's delicate beadwork jewellery, to Brinley Rhys Edmunds and his typo-ridden memorial plaque, these stories have captured our imagination. To us, Walter and Brinley are no longer anonymous names on file.

Talking of files, it hasn't been easy to pull-together our First World War collections. When curators speak of "newly-discovered" or "hidden" objects, please don't think that museums are full of misplaced or lost items - there are no "dusty vaults" here! The issue is usually a lack of documentation - the information stored on file which helps us to locate and interpret the collections in our care. Collecting methodologies have changed over the years, so too standards in documentation.

Many objects featured in the database were originally catalogued according to their function, making it difficult for present-day curators to draw-out their First World War significance. A classic example being a set of prosthetic arm attachments used by John Williams of Penrhyncoch. These were found in the medical collections, catalogued in 1966 under "orthopaedic equipment". By chance, I was looking at the accession file a few months ago and found a scribbled note saying "wounded in one arm during WW1". If only the curator had asked more questions at the time, especially given that John Williams himself donated the arm attachments to the Museum!

Thankfully, accession files are never closed indefinitely. New research and the reassessment of collections through community partnerships means that we'e constantly editing and tweaking our records. So, if you knew a John Williams from Penrhyncoch who lost an arm during the First World War, please do get in touch.

Tachwedd 2014

A Window into the Industry Collections

Postiwyd gan Mark Etheridge ar 28 Tachwedd 2014

The 14th October 2014 was the 101st anniversary of the Universal Colliery disaster at Senghenydd. 440 people were killed in this disaster on the 14th October 1913. It is still the worst mining disaster in the U.K. Last year on the centennial of the disaster a Welsh National Memorial to all mine disasters was unveiled on the site of the pit head. The memorial can be seen on the front of this memorial service programme acquired recently.

You can read an article on this disaster on our website. It is also possible to view all the objects from our collections that relate to this disaster on our ‘Images of Industry’ online database. Check it all out here

This interesting autograph book was donated this month. The book contains autographs, inscriptions and drawings connected with the South Wales Miners Federation, and most date to 1926. There are also some inscriptions relating to the Spanish Civil War. The photograph here shows the main inscription on the inside of the front cover.

This month also saw the launch of our First World War online database. It currently contains all objects and documents from the social & cultural history collections. It will soon include all our WW1 related objects from the industry collections as well. The site can be viewed here

To complement the launch of this database, staff from across Amgueddfa Cymru were involved in an ‘Explore Your Archives’ event held at the Oakdale Institute at St. Fagans: National History Museum. This event was an opportunity to show some original documents and photographs to members of the public, and promote the work we do in looking after these important collections.

Mark Etheridge

Curator: Industry & Transport

Follow us on Twitter - @IndustryACNMW

Hydref 2014

Golwg ar y Casgliadau Diwydiant

Postiwyd gan Mark Etheridge ar 28 Hydref 2014

Buom yn ffodus iawn ym mis Hydref o dderbyn yn rhodd y bag powdwr gwn diddorol hwn a ddefnyddiwyd yn ffatri Curtis's and Harvey Ltd. yng Nglyn-nedd. Mae eu monogram i’w weld ar flaen y bag. Cafodd ei ddefnyddio gan Elizabeth Thomas, hen famgu y rhoddwr. Dyma hi’n gadael yr ysgol yn 14 oed i weithio ar fferm, cyn mynd i weithio yn y ffatri powdwr gwn yn ystod y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf. Mae’r rhodd amser yn berffaith ar gyfer arddangosfa Gwaith a Buddugoliaeth: Diwydiant Cymru a’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol y Glannau, Abertawe sydd ar agor tan 15 Mawrth 2015.

Yn ystod y mis prynwyd tair tystysgrif ar gyfer ein casgliad pwysig o dystysgrifau cyfranddaliadau Cymreig.

Mae’r cyntaf am bum cyfran gwerth £100 yng nghwmni Abercwmeiddaw Slate Quarry Company Limited ac yn dyddio o 1898. Cofrestrwyd y cwmni yn Lerpwl ym 1876 i gaffael chwarel llechi o’r un enw yng Nghorris a agorwyd yn y 1840au. Roedd y cwmni canolig ei faint yn cyflogi 188 o ddynion ym 1882 ac yn cynhyrchu 4,000 tunnell o lechi, ond cafodd ei ddirwyn i ben ym 1905 gyda’r lleihad yn y galw am gynnyrch Cymru. Sefydlwyd cwmni ag enw tebyg ym 1911 wrth ailagor y chwarel ar raddfa lai, cyn i hwnnw ddod i ben ym 1938.

Mae’r ail yn dystysgrif am gyfran gwerth £50 yn y Pen-y-Bryn Slate Company Limited, yn dyddio o 1882. Cofrestrwyd y cwmni ym 1881 i gaffael chwareli llechi yn Nantlle a agorwyd gyntaf yn y ddeunawfed ganrif a’u rhedeg ar raddfa fawr ers y 1830au. Cwmni canolig cyffredin oedd hwn yn rhedeg pedwar chwarel dan law Blondins mewn dull oedd yn nodweddiadol o Ddyffryn Nantlle. Ym 1883 roedd yn cyflogi 240 o ddynion ac yn cynhyrchu 5,000 tunnell o lechi. Aeth y cwmni i’r wal ym 1887 a caewyd y chwarel tan 1895 pan gafodd ei ailagor ar raddfa lai a’i weithio tan y 1940au.

Mae’r dystysgrif olaf wedi’i hargraffu ar femrwn – cyfran gwerth £50 yn y Blaenavon Iron & Coal Company, wedi’i dyddio ar 8 Medi 1836. Sefydlwyd y cwmni cyfranddaliadau cyfun cynnar hwn (gyda chyfalaf anferth o £40,000) i gaffael gweithfeydd haearn a glofeydd y teulu Hill a’u partneriaid. Dyma’r cwmni newydd yn ehangu’n sylweddol ar y gwaith gan agor gwaith newydd Ger yr Efail, adeiladu nifer o dai a chyflwyno trenau stêm. Tyfodd y gweithfeydd yn un o brif gynhyrchwyr dur Prydain a daeth yn gwmni atebol cyfyngedig ym 1864.

Ar 26 Awst 1892 lladdwyd 112 o ddynion a bechgyn mewn ffrwydrad yng Nglofa Slip. Mae’r caffaeliad newydd hwn yn un o ddau lyfryn o lythyrau ar gyfer Cronfa Gymorth Ffrwydrad Tondu (Caerdydd) fyddai wedi cael eu dosbarthu i godi arian. Cawsant eu dyddio yn Neuadd y Ddinas Caerdydd ar 3 Medi 1892.

Mae gennym gasgliad bychan o wrthrychau a ffotograffau yn ymwneud â’r digwyddiad gan gynnwys mwg coffa

Cynhyrchwyd y fricsen hon yn un o lofeydd y brodyr Hedley, mwy na thebyg yn ardal Bryncoch. Cafodd ei achub o’r adeilad a elwir yn Ysgoldy Sant Pedr ar Ffordd Aberhonddu, Abertawe. Amgueddfa Cymru yw ceidwad casgliad briciau cenedlaethol Cymru, ac mae hwn yn atodiad gwerthfawr.

Llathen fesur swyddogol (neu Ffon y Dirprwy) yw’r gwrthrych olaf y mis hwn. Cai ei defnyddio gan Reolwr Bwrdd Glo Cenedlaethol olaf Big Pit cyn i’r pwll gau ym 1979. Byddai swyddogion yn cario llathen fesur ac yn ei ddefnyddio i brofi am nwy. Cyn y 1960au byddai’r Dirprwy yn gallu hongian ei lamp drwy’r twll yn un pen a’i chodi i’r nenfwd i brofi am nwy. Yn ddiweddarach byddai falf samplo arbennig yn cael ei ffitio i fferel ar ben arall y llathen, a byddai hwn yn cael ei ddefnyddio i roi sampl nwy o fwlb samplo mewn lamp ddiogelwch Garforth.

Mark Etheridge

Curadur: Diwydiant a Thrafnidiaeth

Dilynwch ni ar twitter - @IndustryACNMW

Make an Aria

Postiwyd gan Sioned Williams ar 27 Hydref 2014

What is an aria? That was the question posed by Music Theatre Wales Director, Michael McCarthy to kick-off this very exciting collaborative project. The Make an Aria scheme is a partnership between Music Theatre Wales (MTW) and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (RWCMD) giving young composers an opportunity to have-a-go at opera. This time, they are using St Fagans Castle and the Museum’s collections as their inspiration. A group of composers from RWCMD teamed with creative writers will ‘make an aria’ from scratch.

So where do you start? A speed-dating session was a good way to establish the best creative match for composer and writer. When everyone was paired-up, curator Elen Phillips gave an introduction to the material for the arias – the story of St Fagans Castle during the Great War.

The Windsor-Clive family of St Fagans Castle were at the centre of events during these turbulent years; Lord Windsor as chairman of the Welsh Army Corps and Lady Windsor as President of the Red Cross Society in Glamorgan. Grief-stricken by the loss of their youngest son, Archer, who was killed in action, they opened the Castle grounds to set-up a hospital run by volunteer nurses or VADs.

The stories were brought alive by looking at objects from the Museum’s collections; a nurses’ uniform from the hospital, a delicate necklace made by one of the wounded soldiers and a field-communion set used on the battlefield. At this point we were joined by members of the Armed Forces community, the 203 Welsh Field Hospital Medics who gave us a completely new take on some of these objects and stories. It just proves that working collaboratively can bring some unexpected and rewarding results. We will continue to work with the Armed Forces in co-curating some of the exhibits in the new galleries at St Fagans but that’s another blog for another day.

We then led the composers and writers on a tour of the Castle and grounds; the old site of the WW1 hospital, the Italian garden where the soldiers recuperated and the greenhouses where the land girls may have worked. Any of these locations could be the setting to perform the arias in the summer of 2015. I think that everyone left with their heads bubbling with ideas. All we can do now is wait.

Fanny Eaton, the Jamaican-born model in Millais' Jephthah

Postiwyd gan Stephanie Roberts ar 23 Hydref 2014

Last month we were given a fascinating insight into the life of Fanny Eaton, one of the models for John Everett Millais’ Jephthah (1867), which is currently on display in our Art in Victorian Britain gallery. Fanny is the figure at the far right of the painting, standing just before a curtain and wearing a yellow hood.

We were delighted to hear from Brian Eaton, Fanny’s great-grandson, who came with his wife Mary to see the painting. They first became interested in Fanny while researching their family tree, and since then have done a considerable amount of research into her personal history.

At the same time curators and art historians have become increasingly fascinated by Fanny, particularly following the exhibition Black Victorians: Black People in British Art 1800-1900 at Manchester and Birmingham Art Galleries in 2005-6, and the accompanying catalogue written by the show’s curator Jan Marsh.

Fanny was born in Jamaica in 1835 but by 1851 was working as a servant in London where she lived with her mother Matilda Foster. Within a few years had begun to model for several Pre-Raphaelite and Aesthetic artists including Frederick Sandys, Albert Moore and Rebecca Solomon, probably to earn extra income.  Her striking features made her a popular choice with 19th century artists. Dante Gabriel Rossetti compared her to the Pre-Raphaelite ‘stunner’ Jane Morris.

The earliest studies of Fanny that we know of are pencil studies drawn in 1859 by Simeon Solomon. These were used as studies for his Mother of Moses, now in the collection of Delaware Art Museum, US. When this painting was displayed in the Royal Academy in 1860, a reviewer for the Athenaeum thought her features represented 'an exagerated Jewish type’.1

This is one of the interesting things about Fanny. As Jan Marsh has pointed out in Black Victorians, although originally from Jamaica, she was described in her day as being of ‘mixed race’ and artists of the time used her distinctive features to represent a variety of different ethnicities or ‘types’. This is perhaps what attracted Millais to use her in Jephthah.

Jephthah seems to be the last painting to feature Fanny, although there may be more that are not yet identified. Brian and Mary Eaton are continuing with their research, and are particularly interested in finding out about Fanny’s early childhood in Jamaica and the circumstances that led to her moving to London with her mother.

We are grateful to Brian and Mary for sharing their findings, and hope that much more information about Fanny will come to light!

1. 19 May 1860, pages 688-90. Source: Simeon Solomon Research Archive

Medi 2014

A Window into the Industry Collections

Postiwyd gan Mark Etheridge ar 29 Medi 2014

Amongst the new collections we have received in September is this unusual miniature miner’s dial. This is a compass-like instrument used underground for the surveying of passages and seams. The engraved plate on the lid of the box of this example shows that it was presented to Mr. W. Meredith by the workmen of Tylecoch Colliery on Sept. 12th 1881. The manufacturer is unknown.

We have been donated two twist boxes this month. These twist boxes were used by miners to carry their chewing tobacco. They were not allowed to smoke underground due to the risk of explosions. The one on the left even contains some original tobacco! Both examples belonged to ancestors of the donor and were both used in south Wales collieries. Twist boxes are fairly common mining related objects. An excellent display can be seen in our galleries in the old pit head baths at Big Pit: National Mining Museum.

This photograph was donated along with the two twist boxes and is a souvenir of the stay in strike at Parc Colliery. The donor’s grandfather is one of the men in the photograph.

Finally the certificate below was issued by the Monmouthshire Education Authority to Abraham Evans in 1945.

Mark Etheridge

Curator: Industry & Transport

Follow us on Twitter - @IndustryACNMW

A Window into the Industry Collections

Postiwyd gan Mark Etheridge ar 3 Medi 2014

Amongst the new collections we have received in August was a collection of two ship models and six watercolours. The models and paintings are all by Mr Tony Jackson who was apprenticed to Sir William Reardon Smith & Sons in 1951. The two models are of the BP tanker British Sovereign, and a Liberty Ship. The six watercolours show the Orient City, Homer City, Devon City, Fresno City, Graig and Graigfelen. The photograph below shows Tony Jackson in his uniform aged 15. The next two show the ship model of the British Sovereign ship model and a painting of the Graig.

 

 

 

 

This photograph is one of three we received showing the basilica and copper mines at El Cobre, Cuba, taken in February this year. These mines were important as a source of ore to Welsh smelting works. We recently acquired a share certificate relating to the Royal Copper Mines of Cobre which you can see in my March blog.  

 

 

We have been donated a history of the Ely Brewery called ‘Beer and the Brewery’. This has been compiled by an ex-employee of the brewery who was an apprentice fitter and then fitter there from 1949 - 1962. This month we have also received 35 copies of the Ely Brewery house magazine ‘Mild and Bitter’. The image shows a front page from a 1956 edition.

 

 

We have purchased two interesting handbills for the collection. One is for the St. George’s SS Co. Ltd., and dates to 1910. The other is for a cruise along the Cardigan coast in 1968.

 

 

 

This Sharp 'Font Writer' Personal Word Processor (Model FW-710 UM) was purchased by the donor to be used during her university course. The word processor was manufactured by Sharp Electronics (UK) Ltd. at Wrexham in about 1995.

 

 

Mark Etheridge

Curator: Industry & Transport

Follow us on Twitter - @IndustryACNMW 

Awst 2014

"Our Cats" by Harrison Weir [1889]

Postiwyd gan Jennifer Evans ar 15 Awst 2014

We recently participated in #MuseumCats Day on Twitter and this involved a quick search through our holdings for some interesting pictures of cats to Tweet and what a gem we have found! Please enjoy this selection of wonderful and [in some cases] bizarre illustrations of cats from the book "Our Cats and all about them" written and illustrated by Harrison Weir in 1889. 

My personal favourites are the surreal disembodied heads [see above], "Sylvie" [she of the magnificent moustaches] and the Russian cat who [in my opinion] has a most unsettling human expression.


Weir was a very interesting character; he was born in 1824 on May 5th [d.1906], and is known as "The Father of the Cat Fancy”. He organizied the first ever cat show in England, at The Crystal Palace, London in July 1871 where he and his brother served as judges. In 1887 he founded the National Cat Club and was its first President and Show Manager until his resignation in 1890. Our Cats was the first published pedigree cat book.

Weir was employed, for many years, as a draughtsman and engraver for the Illustrated London News as well as many other publications and in his lifetime he both wrote and illustrated other books such as The Poetry of Nature (1867), Every Day in the Country (1883) and Animal Studies, Old and New (1885). In 1845 he exhibited his first painting at the British Institution and during his career he was an occasional exhibitor at the Royal Academy.

He was a keen animal fancier, an experienced breeder of cats, carrier pigeons, and poultry and for thirty years often acted as a judge at the principal pigeon and poultry shows. In 1903 he wrote and illustrated the exhaustive book Our Poultry and All About Them.

More information on Harrison Weir via the following links: 

http://www.harrisonweir.com/ 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Weir 

http://www.nationalcatclub.co.uk/History.htm

This book was bequeathed to the Library back in May 1916 along with around 500 other books by the Welsh artist, champion of Wales’ cultural heritage and one of the founding fathers of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, Thomas Henry Thomas.

Along with the books, Thomas also bequeathed his entire catalogue of prints, drawings and watercolours to the Museum.

More information on Thomas Henry Thomas here:

http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/rhagor/article/2035/

The illustration above appeares in the Chapter "Performing cats". Other chapters include, "Cats as tormentors", "Dead cats", "Fishing cats" and "Lovers of cats" [would you believe... Cardinal Richelieu?].

This book is available to view electronically via the following Project Gutenberg link:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/35450/35450-h/35450-h.htm#Page_37

Biographical information on Harrison Weir taken from Wikipedia.

All photographs in this post taken by the author.

 

Fifty years of a golden reign: a souvenir of the Queen's Jubilee [1887]

Postiwyd gan Jennifer Evans ar 1 Awst 2014

Well now, here’s  a pretty thing…

A souvenir booklet celebrating the fifty year reign of Queen Victoria. It was published in 1887 by Eyre & Spottiswoode, who were the official printers to Her Majesty at that time.

Our volunteer [Alison] has been working her way through old pamphlet boxes and all manner of forgotten things and very kindly passes to me items that are interesting, unusual or just lovely to see, and this one falls into that last category.

It measures 11 x 13.5 cm, has 16 pages and, our accessions register states that it was donated to us in May 1935 by a Mr Charles Barnwell Esq.

The book also contains a poem written by Lord Tennyson especially for the occasion. Tennyson had been Poet Laureate since 1850 [after William Wordsworth's death] and held the position until his own death in 1892.

Interestingly, Eyre & Spottiswoode [established in 1845], went on to merge with Methuen Publishing in the 1970s.

All photographs in this post taken by the author.

Gorffennaf 2014

Golwg ar y Casgliadau Diwydiant

Postiwyd gan Mark Etheridge ar 29 Gorffennaf 2014

Croesawyd amrywiaeth o gaffaeliadau newydd i’r casgliadau Diwydiant a Thrafnidiaeth ym mis Gorffennaf eleni eto. Ymhlith yr eitemau newydd mae -  

Offer mesur danheddog a ddefnyddiwyd yn chwarel Dinorwig i farcio/mesur llechi to cyn eu torri. Safonwyd enwau a maint llechi to ym 1738 pan ddyfeisiodd y Cadfridog Hugh Warburton (cydberchennog Ystâd y Penrhyn ar y pryd) system enwi llechi o wahanol faint. Gan eu mesur mewn modfeddi, rhoddwyd enwau ‘menywod bonheddig’ i’r llechi fel Empresses, Duchesses Mawr, Viscountesses, a Ladis Llydan. Buan y daeth y rhain yn dermau safonol y diwydiant, er bod y meintiau yn amrywio o dro i dro ac o ardal i ardal. Mae cyfanswm o ddau ddeg tri ‘dant’ ar y ffon fesur sy’n 26 modfedd o hyd. Ar y pen mae tri ‘dant’ ddwy fodfedd ar wahân (yn y pen agosaf at yr hoelen) tra bod y dau ddeg saith ‘dant’ arall un fodfedd ar wahân.

Ffon fesur hir allai gael ei defnyddio i farcio a mesur llechi mawr maint ‘Queens’. Y llechen leiaf allai gael ei marcio gan y ffon hon yw'r ‘Narrow Ladies’ (16 modfedd o hyd neu fyw). 

 

 

 Ar y fforch dostio hon mae llun o löwr ac arysgrif 'BIG PIT BLAENAVON'. Byddai’r fforch yn cael ei gwerthu yn siop Amgueddfa Big Pit yn niwedd y 1980au/dechrau’r 1990au. Bellach mae Big Pit yn un o wyth amgueddfa genedlaethol Amgueddfa Cymru. 

 

 Potel wag o chwisgi un brag ‘Madeira’ Penderyn yn ei bapur gwreiddiol. Lansiwyd y cwmni yn 2000 fel y Welsh Whisky Company, cyn newid yr enw’n ddiweddarach i Penderyn Distillery gan fod y cwmni wedi’i leoli ym mhentref Penderyn, y tu fewn i ffin ddeheuol Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog. Lansiwyd chwisgi un brag Penderyn gan Dywysog Cymru ar 1 Mawrth 2004 yn Neuadd Dewi Sant Caerdydd. Caiff ei aeddfedu i ddechrau mewn casgenni bourbon cyn ei aeddfedu ymhellach mewn barriques Madeira arbennig.

 

Cwmni rheilffordd Neath and Brecon a gynhyrchodd y dystysgrif cyfranddaliad hon gwerth £10. Awdurdodwyd y rheilffordd gan Ddeddf Seneddol ym 1862 a dechreuwyd cludo glo i Gastell Nedd dan yr enw Dulais Valley Mineral Railway. Gwnaed y gwaith hyrwyddo ac adeiladu gan y contractiwr John Dickson ac ef dderbyniodd y dystysgrif hon. Wedi cael caniatâd i ymestyn y rheilffordd i Aberhonddu newidiwyd yr enw i’r Neath and Brecon Railway.  

 

Dau DVD yw’r eitem olaf. Ffilm am drychineb Glofa Albion ym 1894 wedi’i chreu gan staff a disgybl yn Ysgol Uwchradd Pontypridd yw’r cyntaf. Teitl yr ail yw ‘Memories of Old Clydach’ ac mae’n gasgliad o ffotograffau, dogfennau ac atgofion gan drigolion yr ardal yn y 1940au a’r 1950au. Mae un adran yn trafod Glofa Clydach Merthyr a gweithfeydd tunplat Players. 

 

Mark Etheridge

Curadur: Diwydiant a Thrafnidiaeth

Dilynwch ni ar twitter - @IndustryACNMW