Monday, November 30, 2015

Are You on Board for Another Mystery?

This week our mystery artifact is this one!:

As you can see, It is a long flat piece of wood with a handle on one end.

It has a number of designs carved into it as well.
To give you an idea of its size, it is about 33 ½ inches long and 5 ½ inches wide. 

Do you know what it is? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page. And as usual, you can see this and many of our past mystery artifacts in the museum, so come visit!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Getting Carried Away?: This Artifact Revealed!

Hello all! Sorry for the delay in the posting of this reveal
We only got one guess on this one...which was a cheese grater. I suppose it could look like one of these? Maybe...

But seriously, this mystery object is… a book carrier! 

Ooh ahhh.

It is also, as I learned while I did research for this post, known as a “shawl strap.” Shawl straps were made to carry any number of things, and as this listing in the 1895 Montgomery Ward catalogue says, it “will adjust to any ordinary package.” As their name suggests, they could be used to carry a shawl, blanket, or similar items, used while traveling.  

Before the widespread use of backpacks or satchels, this kind of carrier was also commonly used to carry schoolbooks. The straps here could be lengthened or shortened in order to hold onto however many books one needed.
Many people (schoolchildren, mainly) might have also used leather straps or belts that looked like this as well:

Personally, I think I’d rather use the wooden handle.

While we're on the subject of the school supplies of yesterday, here's a list of them that you might find interesting.

As we always say, please come visit us and check out this mystery artifact up close!
(Also check out the rest of the museum, it’s pretty cool.)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Strap In for Another Artifact

Here we are, at it again with another Mystery Artifact. This one might be a little I’ll keep it short!

This artifact is basically a handle and some fabric straps.

The straps make a loop that comes down off of the handle part and they can be shortened or lengthened when needed.  

(If you're wondering why there's a metal loop only on one side, something's missing. There should be one on each side.)

  Our records show that this artifact is from the early 1900s, though it might be from a little earlier than that. 

As always, please come get a closer look at this object if you come visit us at our museum! Also, leave any guesses in the comments here or on our Facebook page.