Thursday 14 August 2014

Farming Fridays

This is an egg incubator which was used for hatching chicken eggs. Mechanical incubating was not invented until the year of 1749 by Reamur in Paris, France. Prior to this invention, one of the first recorded methods of incubating included using the heat of rotted manure to warm the eggs.

Although this incubator is mechanical, it was still before the availability of electricity to farms, instead, a coal oil lamp was used to heat water, circulating by convection through pipes around the perimeter of the incubator. This incubator is a cabinet style, made of redwood and could be suitable for indoor decor. Very few of these can be found today, making this item rare, especially because the incubator still has the original kerosene attachment. The cabinet style has drawer pull-outs for placing the eggs and for turning. Most incubators required hand turning of the eggs.

Saturday 9 August 2014

Farming Fridays

This McCormick Deering cream separator is used to separate fresh milk into cream and skim milk. Often the skim milk was consumed by the farmer and his family and the cream was saved to make butter, or it would be sold.
Before the centrifugal mechanism such as this one, milk was separated by letting it sit in a container until the cream floated to the top and could be skimmed off by hand. But the centrifugal separator makes it possible to separate cream from milk faster and more easily, without having to let the milk sit for a long time and risk it turning sour.
This one was originally a hand cranked machine but a motor was later added around 1925. The fresh milk gets poured into the supply can at the top, and then leaves the bowl through a valve on the side and passes into the disks where the cream separates. Good separators have a bell in the center of the gear (ours is missing); this allows the user to tell when the cream separator was being cranked at the right speed, usually 60 revolutions per minute. If the bell was ringing the cream separator needed to be cranked faster. This speed was very important for the cream separator to operate at peak efficiency. There are two different spouts at different heights, the top spout pours out the cream and the lower spout pours out the skim milk. Floor model cream separators such as this one often have a swinging platform where a bucket would go to collect the cream. 

Friday 8 August 2014

Glengarrians & The Great War

This unique wheelchair belonged to Pte. John Alexander Grant. Grant was born in Apple Hill on September 5, 1896 to Mr. & Mrs. Duncan A Grant. He enlisted in the Canadian army on March 11, 1916 in Maxville, ON.  He was stationed during the First World War in England and France. During his time in France, he suffered a severe  injury, which resulted in shrapnel wounds and the amputation of both his legs. He was given this wheelchair, equipped with operating handles, once he was discharged from the army. It is believed that he continued to have a military presence by becoming a recruitment officer for local military branches.

        His wheelchair was donated to the Glengarry Pioneer Museum by the Estate of Myles Edwards c/o Bill Edwards. Myles refurbished the wheelchair and obtained a copy of Pte Grant's service and medical records but the connection between the Edwards and Grant families is unknown because of the death of Myles Edwards.