Shared Knowledge in Priceless

Pin - Tillsonburg

Taking the time to network with colleagues in your field can bring forth an abundance of valuable knowledge.

We are all experts in our field, to a point.  We rely on years of training and practice at what we do, however we cannot ever expect to have a complete set of tools.

Glass specialists, military specialists, appraisers, art experts, antique dealers and enthusiasts all bring something to the table for the museum professional.

We should be encouraged to ask questions of our colleagues in other or the same profession as ourselves. Between us we likely have the whole picture if we pool our knowledge.

Recently on the Ontario Museum ListServe email circulation, I saw answers of a question come from different people, that gradually build the picture.

Annandale National Historic Site at Tillsonburg shared this pin, and wanted to know what the PM stood for. They had knowledge that the lady who owned it was part of the IODE in the early the 1950s.

The knowledge network them jumped into play, when a colleague on the network stated:

“The cross, anchor and heart symbol on your pin would indicate that it would be associated with the Ladies Orange Benevolent Association, or LOBA, and therefore connected to the local branch of the Orange Order.”

and another,

“The PM typically indicates that this is a Past Masters or Past Mistress Jewel.”

More information has come to light…. kindly posted by Forrest D. Pass, PhD, Exhibition Development and Research Officer, Ottawa. This brings together the previous ideas, and confirms the pin is an LOBA pin for a Past Mistress.

“I’ve pasted below a page from the Orange Family Regalia Catalogue, issued by Dominion Regalia Ltd. of Toronto about 1958 (the copy I have scanned is from the Roxborough Loyal Orange Lodge #623 fonds at the Archives of Ontario). You’ll see that your jewel is No. 227 at the top centre. According to the accompanying price list, it sold in 1958 for $13 in gold-plated sterling, or $26.75 in 10K gold, a little less than the #229 and #669 next to it; engraving was an additional eight cents per letter.”

loba-pin-past-mistress

We each carry memories of the items we have processed and worked on, plus the research we have discovered….. but together with combined shared knowledge, we can be all the more successful.

Group Support for PastPerfect Users

Join our PastPerfect User Group community!

pastperfectforum

We are a group of Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Societies all using the museum software – PastPerfect.  Most of us are located in Southern Ontario, with some further a field.

For a decade we have met to exchange ideas and experiences using PastPerfect.  The benefits of this exchange are enormous…..

PastPerfect is a comprehensive museum software which comes with a great deal of training opportunities, online, classes (note in Canada), CDs and knowledge-based videos and more.  Building on  this training, our group offers the added benefit of meeting in person to discuss and exchange exchange ideas and experiences with a particular emphasis on the Canadian environment.

New-comers to the group tend ask similar questions. We have started a Technical PastPerfect Forum, so they can search on our previous discussions. All our users can ask questions, get advice and exchange ideas.

If you use PastPerfect – you may join our Forum.  Be sure to identify yourself, your location, and your museum.

Register – Login – Update your Preferences and User Control Panel – Add the group members as your friends….

Whether you join our twice-yearly meetings-in-person or not,  you will be able to connect with other users, get answers to your questions, and search on past minutes. Welcome!

(The Forum is run by Alison Hird, Trainer and Consultant with Treasured Collections.  Any questions drop me an email)

Vintage Bus Ticket Technology Provokes Fond Memories

Intriguing technology from the past – provokes fond memories!

Almex Bus Ticket Dispenser
Almex Bus Ticket Dispenser

As you entered the bus the bus driver would take your fare and print your ticket, as some still do today.  These early ticket dispensing models were mechanical, with dials to print different fares.

I recall however, in earlier times, the driver just drove the bus and there was also a ‘bus conductor’ who rode on the bus with the passengers. He would moved around the bus, upstairs and down, sell and dispense tickets, inspect and clip tickets to show they were used. The bus conductor wore crossed leather straps, with a money bag on one side and a ticket dispenser on the other. He also had a hand-held clipping devise. To us he was fondly known as the “Clipper” or “Clippy”.

Of course staple to my home towns of Portchester and Portsmouth in Hampshire, we had the fun of riding on a double-decker bus. The red buses were Corporation buses, and Green were from a private-run company Southdown Motors.

My first memories of the double-deckers, were “trolley” buses, driven by overhead cables. The trolley buses of which there were 100 or so, ran on nine routes across the City and its outskirts.  Trolley buses ceased operation in July 1963.  The predecessor to the trolley bus was the tram system, run on ground rails. That system closed in 1936.

So, more about the technology of printing bus tickets onto plain paper…. on the go!

The Setright was a mechanical ticket dispenser invented by Australian Henry Roy Setright and patented in 1922, made in the London by Setright Registers Ltd.

Setright Bus Ticket Dispenser, Boxed
Setright Bus Ticket Dispenser, Boxed

The Almex is a Type A. This mechanical ticket machine was created by A B Almex of Sweden, launched in the late 1940s.  These were still in use up to the 1980s.

Almex Bus Ticket Dispenser, Boxed with Blank Paper Ticket Roll
Almex Bus Ticket Dispenser, Boxed with Blank Paper Ticket Roll

These images were shared in a recent post on a group page of history buffs from my home-town!  (Shared here with permission). Seeing the images bought back a swarm of fond memories.

I find it is the quirky, everyday or unusual items that provoke the best stories! Do you agree?

What to avoid using in your antique vase!

When re-arranging some dried flowers, I discovered an issue.  Florist putty used to hold the flower in place had become old and extremely sticky. Once carefully removed (some residue oil still remains), I researched the vase that was once of my Nanna’s favourite.

Constance Spy Mantle Vase Fulham Pottery, London circa 1940
Constance Spy Mantle Vase Fulham Pottery, London circa 1940

Passed to me by my paternal grandmother Irene Evelin (Symes) George (1903-1996) it’s warm cream colour, low profile and elongated shape makes it perfect to create unusual flower arrangements.

Made by The Pottery, Fulham, London, originally founded by John Dwight in 1672. The Pottery, famous for Salt Glazes Stoneware was located at the junction of Kings and Burlington Roads in Fulham in the London Borough of Putney.

A cute paper label with my Grandmother’s handwriting allocated it to me. I have sentimentally left it in place.

Maker's stamp, The Pottery, Fulham, Made in England. FMC.
Maker’s stamp, The Pottery, Fulham, Made in England. FMC.

Research from the stamp and cream coloured glaze leads me to understand that this item is a Constance Spy Art Deco vase designed in the 1930s. Noted as Spry Fulham Pottery Vase (R/0117/ET / LA52215) it was likely made in the 1940s.  The maker’s initials inscribed are FMC.

The frog appears to be the original, the metal is in tact but the centre rubber piece has become hard and brittle.

Flower Frog 1940s

So, although we encourage everyone to use and enjoy their family heirlooms, may I share a little advice of what NOT to use in your special antique vases… avoid florist putty!

 

PastPerfect Handy Hints – Watermarks on Images

Many of us are too busy in our daily work using PastPerfect, to notice some of the wonderful special features that it brings, that as yet,  we haven’t discovered!

Recently I saw a posting about using Watermarks on PastPerfect Images.  This is useful when posting your collection online, or providing images for external use.

Creating a watermark is fairly intuitive – within a catalogue, once in image management you will notice the selection on the right hand side.  Be warned, once a watermark is applied, it is permanent and cannot be undone.

ppwatermark1

Select Watermark

ppwatermark2

Create your Museum’s Watermark, grey or white, select the position.

ppwatermark3

Similarly, you can add your Accession Number or Catalogue ID onto the photograph.  This is particularly useful if someone returns to the museum with an image given to them in the past, or for use in publications.

ppcataloguenumber

There are likely many different handy hints to be discovered.  Let me me if you have discovered something that may be beneficial to others….

PastPerfect Handy Hints – Custom F Keys

Have you discovered the short-cut using  F Keys or Function Keys on your keyboard?  If you are working on a sizeable project, or complete data entry for a recurring subject…. see how you can speed up your data entry.

To customize you F Keys select: Setup, Function Keys

You will see:

F8 has a ‘coded’ date.  Select F8 within your data entry Today’s date will appear.

F7 is reserved for use with Authority Files – to access your authority files you can use Right Click on your Mouse or F7.

The remainder are available for you to use. Simply type the phrase you need – F6 Smith & Company Ltd, or F7John (Smith) Jones (1844-1902), etc. Click on the F keys within your data entry and the phrase will appear.  Once your Smith project is complete, simply enter phrases for your next large project.

Setting up Function Keys for use with PastPerfect
Setting up Function Keys for use with PastPerfect

Function keys are individual to you and your sign-in.

Alison Hird provides free-lance consultant support for organizations in Southern Ontario who use PastPerfect.

What other short-cuts or handy-hints would you like to see?  Email Alison with your request.

Museum Software producers of PastPerfect shared the following video  U-tube.

 

 

A Gift For Seniors…

Are you stuck for ideas on what to buy parents and grandparents for Christmas…. then read on!

Seniors have collected and gathered wonderful items throughout their lives. Now they are surrounded by many precious items. They often say, “I don’t need anything!”  They have have all the ‘things’ they need.

However, among their collection, are likely a few very special items that have been passed down the family – family heirlooms. A vase and brooch that were Great Grandmother’s,  a quilt that she made. Military artifacts that belonged to Great, Grandfather etc.

Why not give a gift of having these few special items photographed and their stories gathered and ‘provenance’ documented.  The resulting booklet can be shared with grandchildren, can be in digital format or printed on paper.

If this is something you would like to arrange for your loved one. Contact met today. alison@treasurecollections.ca

WWII Woman's Land Army Arm Band
Documented – WWII Woman’s Land Army Arm Band

Share Your Family Bible

Family Tree and Genealogy
Leather-bound family Bible for Carnegie  family circa 1880

If you are lucky enough to be the keeper of your family Bible, wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to share its content with other members of your family?

Or maybe you know who holds your Bible, and they can share its contact with you?

Usually within the centre pages these large heavy leather-bound Bibles have family information handwritten by family members. Pages include Family Register, Parents Names, Children’s Names, Marriages, and Deaths.

Photograph the Bible from the outside, then each of the pages within.  Save the contents as an image. The images can then be packaged into one document ready for sharing, in paper format or in PDF by email.

Take a moment to verify the data contained. Cross check the information with your family free. Make a note any additional dates, missing information or incorrect spellings.

The family Bible in my possession features my Paternal Great Grandmother’s parents and grandparents.  The hand-written details  start with Frances Mary (Warner) Carnegie (1846-1928) daughter of William Warner (no dates included) and her husband Alexander Carnegie (1845-1892) the son of James Carnegie (1916-1892).

The family tree information notes he died 4 September 1891 the Bible states 14 September 1892. This mis-match of information will need to researched and clarified.

My Great Grandmother, who I was most fortunate to spend time with during my childhood,  is featured on the Children’s Names page.  Elizabeth Frances born Sept. 5, 1872. She lived until she was age 93 in 1965.

carnegie_family_bible

Treasured Collections – What Do We Do?

The word is getting out there.  I have been joining various groups around the community to spread the word to explain what exactly Treasured Collections does!

We offer a service to catalogue family heirlooms, sports memorabilia, military artifacts or historical business objects. We create a ‘package’ which includes photographs, description, background information along-with supportive archival documents. This digital or paper document can be shared with generations to come.

Join my upcoming interactive-talk – Preserving the Stories Behind the Artifacts – at Bolton Branch of Caledon Public Library. Click to Register

Thank you to Patti Foley for helping to spread the word … this month’s newsletter in Caledon JustSayin‘  featured Treasured Collections.

PastPerfect Hints – Keyword Searching for Dates

Did you know…. When using the Keyword Search on PastPerfect (Version 5) – the default does not search for a date (i.e. 1800) within your text?  If you include year of manufacture, a year of birth, or stated a decade of operation within your title or object description, you may wish to follow this simple update.

PastPerfect Keyword Search
PastPerfect Keyword Search

From the main menu select Setup, Keyword Search. On the top right hand side there is a box – Valid characters to include in keywords in addition to A-Z.
Type the following in the box ‘0123456789’.
Select Rebuilt Indexes. Now you can search and find dates that are  quoted within your text using Keyword Search.

Stay tuned for more handy hints, when using PastPerfect.

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