Weights and Measures

Weights and Measures

The pharmacist spent a good deal of time in measuring quantities of chemicals by weight and by volume. Until the late 20th century pharmacists were very conservative in their use of old-fashioned systems of measurement. As well as familiar pounds and ounces, pints and fluid ounces they used less familiar units, passed on from the old days of apothecaries, for measuring...

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The Museum Collection: Blacksmith

The Museum Collection: Blacksmith

Blacksmiths were common everywhere while there was a need for wrought iron to be shaped for individual purposes, especially of course for making and shoeing horses. The last one with a forge in Bradford was Albert Lailey’s in bridge Street. Today mobile smiths travel to the horse rather than the other way round and art smithing is done in mild steel.

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Pestles and Mortars

Pestles and Mortars

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Pestles and mortars were important pieces of apparatus in the old-time chemist shop and are used as an international sign for a pharmacist. They were used to bruise, crush, grind and mix chemicals and the raw materials from which medicines were derived. They come in all sorts of sizes depending on the amount being dealt...

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The Museum Collection: Schools

The Museum Collection: Schools

Bradford’s Free Grammar School, not as grand as it now sounds, was set up in the Saxon Church 300 years ago in 1712 and lasted until 1903. In the meantime, many private schools came and went and the Nonconformists set up the British Schools in Bradford and the Anglicans set up their own National Schools in town and villages. Secondary schools, Trinity and Fitzmaurice, came in...

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The Museum Collection: Rock and Stone Samples

The Museum Collection: Rock and Stone Samples

The rocks of the Cotswold Hills in the west of the Bradford Hundred are largely limestones and calcareous mudstones and clays. They include the fine building stones that are called Bath Stone and were important in the local economy. The lower land to the east has more of the clays with some limestone bands.

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The Museum Collection: Cobblers and Cordwainers

The Museum Collection: Cobblers and Cordwainers

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Bradford on Avon Museum, Wiltshire

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Cordwainers made boots, shoes and other articles from leather and are named after the Spanish city of Córdoba, which was famed for its leather workers. Generally they just referred to...

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The Museum Collection: House and Home

The Museum Collection: House and Home

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Heating

A cast iron Bath-pattern fire grate from the end of the 18th century. Coal became relatively cheap from about that time and through the 19th century and much of the 20th century. It came from a building in Silver Street, Bradford which was once a...

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The Museum Collection: Post-medieval Archaeology

The Museum Collection: Post-medieval Archaeology

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Bradford on Avon Museum, Wiltshire

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In this country, the Middle Ages are considered to have finished in 1485, when Richard III was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth Field. After that come the Tudor dynasty, the Reformation, the Stuarts, Georgians, the reign of Victoria and modern...

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Paintings, drawings and prints

With the possible exception perhaps of Gainsborough, the artists who have worked in Bradford are mainly notable only for recording the local area. Bradford on Avon Museum has no paintings by Gainsborough, alas.

> landscapes and townscapes by Elizabeth Tackle (1808-1877)

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The Museum Collection: Church and Chapel

The Museum Collection: Church and Chapel

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One of the largest objects in the Museum is the pulpit from Providence Baptist Chapel in Bearfield, Bradford. It was made of pitch pine as part of the furnishings when the chapel opened in 1858. The congregation of the chapel was always small and dwindled to the extent that it closed in the early 1980s. The...

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The Museum Collection: the Rubber Industry

The Museum Collection: the Rubber Industry

 

Bradford on Avon was the birthplace of a pioneering rubber industry. In 1848 Stephen Moulton, an Englishman living in New York and a friend of Charles Goodyear, came back and set up a factory to apply Goodyear’s discovery of vulcanisation in the redundant Kingston Mill. Moulton merged with a London company later in the 19th century, becoming George...

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Carboys

Carboys

A carboy is a large glass vessel for containing a big quantity of liquid.

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Four decorative carboys were displayed in the chemist shop windows and are again in the reconstruction in the Museum. Of a distinctive shape, they form part of the identification of a chemist shop; even today small versions can be seen at the...

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Syringes, enemas and nasal douches

Syringes, enemas and nasal douches

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Hypodermic syringe kit and its carrying box. These are designed to deliver a chemical or vaccine into muscle or blood vessel. The literal meaning of hypodermic is ‘under the skin’.

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Glass Bottles: Winchesters

Glass Bottles: Winchesters

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Winchesters are bottles of a gallon capacity, used for storage or for those chemicals of which larger quantities than the shop round bottles were needed.

This is one of a set of large bottles from the Christopher shop. They were made by Henry Ricketts in Redcliffe, Bristol to his 1825 patent for making...

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Old Photographs: The Town Bridge

See the Town Bridge today

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Old Photographs: The Priory

 The Priory was a late medieval mansion with later additions at the upper end of Market Street in Bradford on Avon.

The earliest parts were built in the latter part of the 15th century by Thomas Rogers, who was Sargeant-at-Law, a high-ranking legal official. The house would then have consisted of an open hall with wings at each end and a porch opening on to what is...

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Old Photographs: St Margaret’s Street

Old Photographs: St Margaret’s Street

see St Margaret’s Street today

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A flood in St Margaret’s Street with the water reaching right up to number 5. It was probably in the late 1890s. George Bush & Sons were carriage builders at number 4 from the the 1880s until the beginning of the 20th century. The building was...

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Old Images: Silver Street

Old Images: Silver Street

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Bradford on Avon Museum, Wiltshire

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Walter Henry Willson’s chemist shop, his assistant and sons in the 1890s. It had been opened by George Marks in 1828 and still retained his name above the door after...

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Old Photographs: Newtown

Old Photographs: Newtown

Look at Newtown today

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The Bell Inn as it was in about 1960 complete with its 3-dimensional sign of a bell on a wrought iron bracket. It closed just a few years later and was converted into flats.

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Old Photographs: The Shambles

As one of the most picturesque corners of Bradford on Avon the Shambles figures strongly  in old postcards. This was the area of the medieval market place and would originally have been temporary stalls (Old English scammel) put up for market and fair days. Eventually permanent stalls came, followed by houses. The Market Hall, with Town Hall on the upper floor was on the...

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