Saturday 27 July 2019

Busy Bee Series: Fulling Bee

This week our featured artifact is a photograph of a Fulling Bee

Glengarry Pioneer Museum Collection

During these bees Gaelic songs would be sung to keep the rhythm as participants grabbed and passed newly woven cloth along. Agitating the fiber of the wool with warm soapy water would felt a blanket. 

Saturday 13 July 2019

Busy Bee Series: Chicken Plucking Bee

This week our featured artifact is a photograph of a Chicken Plucking Bee circa 1915! 
Chicken Plucking Bee ca. 1915

In the foreground of the photograph are basins which feathers could be placed in. On the left you can see there is a small stove used to heat the water used in the plucking operation. In the center of the group is a small table that a chicken could be placed on. This particular Chicken Plucking Bee took place at a MacGillivray home

Getting together with friends and family would make this hard work much more enjoyable; probably something to look forward to! 

Busy Bee Series: What is a Work Bee?

Community work "bees" were an event where neighbours, family and friends got together to quickly complete a task for a particular family. Whether it be a barn raising, stone picking, wood cutting, threshing, the whole community turned up to help out. 

Bees were not only for work, they were also very social events, allowing people to catch up and exchange stories. Work bees were also a time to show off your best pie pastry among the spread of food prepared for the large group of people. Once the task was complete, tables and chairs were cleared for the ceilidh that followed in the evening. Fiddlers, pipers and Gaelic songs were common at Glengarry work bees. 
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Thursday 4 July 2019

GPM Collection: Phrenology Craniometer

In the GPM collection, we have many strange and fascinating artifacts that would have been used in the medical field in Pioneer times...

Will you become a criminal? Be overly cautious? Have a poor memory? Find out your fate by learning about the uses and history of this weeks featured artifact - the Phrenology Craniometer

Metal Craniometer from GPM Collection

Phrenology, a science popular from the early to the mid-nineteenth century, was dedicated to the discernment of one's character or traits of personality from readingthat is, feeling the shape and size ofthe bumps on one's skull according to the hypotheses of Franz Joseph Gall (1758–1828). At the time, this practice functioned as a kind of science-based fortune-telling experience. 
Detail of Metal Craniometer from GPM Collection

The shape of your skull could tell any number of things about yourself such as your propensity to destructiveness, secretiveness, self-esteem, cautiousness, benevolence, hope, ideality, wit, individuality, form perception, colour perception, memory of things, time perception, and metaphysical spirit.

Image result for phrenology craniometer

This method, however, depended on anecdote and striking confirmation rather than rigorous experimental testing of Gall's theory. Originally claimed to be based on empiricism, eventually phrenology was deemed a pseudoscience when
it was found that since skull thickness varies, the surface of the skull does not reflect the topography of the brain, invalidating the basic premise of phrenology. Even still, phrenology retained popularity well into the 20th century, especially in Britain and North America.  

Come by our Roxborough building to see more of the interesting tools that would have been used by Pioneer medical professionals...

Information Sources:
Phrenology -
Franz Joseph Gall -