Show and tell
Annually, at the London and Middlesex Historical Society general meeting, we have a show and tell session. It’s a great opportunity to hear from other members and history enthusiasts about what they’ve found during the past year. Many items have stories associated with them and others are just fun finds or items that end up as a research subject.
One interesting find included a Great Western Railway lantern. It had different panels of coloured glass, allowing rail workers to change the signal when the lantern was lit by swiveling the casing around to communicate with approaching trains at different points before and after stations or switching areas. A pretty smart invention.
Another member brought in an unusual hand-mirror which had what appeared to be a commemorative image of London on it. The date said 1855 but due to the colour photo we’re unsure of the actual date. The other find that was brought in that was a great surprise was a receipt from London’s very first store, dated 1833! The bill was issued by O’Brien who is known to be one of London’s first merchants.
Our past president found this amazing British military shako plate (which went on the hats/helmets of personnel). It was from my favourite regiment, the 83rd regiment of foot, Wenman Wynniatt’s posse!
So what did I bring to the show and tell?
Two fun vintage finds from local shop, Lovesick.The first item was a mystery at first sight, but the owner of the shop quickly showed me that it was a genius of an invention to help ladies get dressed in the 50s and 60s…an extended zipper pull. I love the smart decorative case that it comes in!
The next item was an art deco brooch. Very much in tune with the fashion of decades past, the brooch also functions as a place to adorn yourself with a picture of a loved one. I love the photo that came with this brooch. Sample photos like this one are in themselves an interesting reflection of the period contemporary to the piece. While I didn’t bring it to the historical society’s show and tell, I also picked up some fun vintage clothes at Lovesick while I was there, antiques and shopping for clothing go very well together!
I also had some interesting finds earlier this fall at the Grand Theatre‘s costume sale. I got up at an ungodly hour on a Saturday morning to rifle through the items available from the local theatre’s costume department. Was it worth it? Absolutely! I got some amazing items and for a fabulous price too! My favourite items were a fun hat and fascinator, a 1920s inspired dress as well as a fluffy white 1950s dress.
2012 has been a fabulous year for history related outings. Finding shops that carry vintage clothes and accessories is a great way for the antique enthusiast or history buff to integrate the past into everyday life. It’s also a creative way to support your local economy and be a good friend to the environment by giving a good home to existing items.