The Museum Collection: Plumbers

The Museum Collection: Plumbers

A ceramic handle and chain for a high-level toilet cistern (left). It bears the name of the plumbers Beaven & Son. Ebenezer Beaven was listed  as a decorator and glazier as well as a plumber in local directories from 1848; he was joined by his son from 1867 and they were based in Mason’s Lane until at least 1911.

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The Museum Collection: Iron & brass foundry

The Museum Collection: Iron & brass foundry

Bradford on Avon Museum has a collection of cast iron objects that were made by the three iron foundries that worked in the town. Mostly these are items of street furniture: gully gratings, manhole covers and stop valve covers. Although the Museum is fortunate to have them, they are better displayed in situ in Bradford’s streets. However, they are quickly being...

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Museum Collection: World War 1

Museum Collection: World War 1

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Blackout measures against the risk of night bombing is something that is associated more with the second war than the first. This air-raid precautions poster was sent to the Spencer Moulton rubber works in Bradford in 1915 and gives detailed instructions for cutting down on light under the authority of the...

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Museum Collection: World War 2

Museum Collection: World War 2

Click on the thumbnail pictures for a bigger view

This hand-painted poster was produced in the offices of Bradford’s Spencer Moulton rubber company. It was part of the government’s drive to pay for the war effort by getting the people to save money, or even paying money. Warships Week in February 1942 was to raise awareness (and cash) towards...

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Glass bottles: syrup rounds

Glass bottles: syrup rounds

The syrup bottles in Bradford on Avon Museum’s pharmacy are of mouth-blown blue (cobalt) glass with flared necks to give easy pouring and loose-fitting stoppers that can be opened even if the syrup has stuck them to the opening. Each has a label with the contents in abbreviated Latin. Most of these mixtures were to be used in treating coughs or were ingredients of...

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Glass bottles: powder rounds

Glass bottles: powder rounds

Powder rounds are cylindrical bottles which have a wide mouth so that a spoon could be used to scoop out amounts of the contents. The bottles are usually mouth-blown, so have the pontil mark on the base where a rod was fixed so that the neck could be formed at the other end; in the poshest bottles the mark was polished away afterwards. The glass lids have been ground into the mouth so...

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The chemist shop history

In October 1863 Thomas Prideaux Saunders opened a chemist shop in Silver Street in Bradford on Avon. Right from the start he was supplying some of the leading families in and around the town. He must have had some good connections in Bradford, although he seems to have come from Wiveliscombe and had been born in Bruton, both in Somerset.

Saunders was only 45 in 1881, but his health was...

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The Bronze Age

The Bronze Age

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The Bronze Age in Britain is the period of prehistory between about 2,500 and about 800 BC which is characterised by the making and use of tools, utensils and weapons of bronze. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. In the Wiltshire area the Bronze Age is the period when the great megalithic monuments -Stonehenge and...

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The Christopher Pharmacy

The Christopher Pharmacy

 

The shop is the reason for the Museum’s existence. When Miss Christopher was to retire in 1986, the shop would close for good and all its antique features would be sold off and dispersed, or consigned to a skip. With help from a grant from the Science Museum the newly-formed Museum Society purchased the furniture and old contents. A recreation of the shop was built...

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The Museum Collection: Roman

The Museum Collection: Roman

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Bradford on Avon Museum does not hold excavated material from organised archaeological digs such as those at the Atworth and St Laurence School Roman villa sites. Objects excavated there are held by the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes, except for the St Laurence material from 2002 and 2003, which is still being examined at...

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Pharmacy equipment: Unguent jars

Pharmacy equipment: Unguent jars

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The Christopher Pharmacy, Bradford on Avon Museum

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Creams and ointments -medicines mixed into fats and emulsified oils- which were mainly for treating skin complaints, were kept in ceramic jars with lids. Inevitably the lids got broken, so most...

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Pharmacy equipment: shop rounds

Shop rounds are the bottles that line the shelves of the chemist shop. They contain the ingredients of most of the everyday medicines made in the shop: tinctures, essences, powders, oils.

Tincture rounds have narrow necks for pouring liquids. This contains Tinctura Stramonii -tincture of thorn-apple, a poisonous plant.

Powder rounds have...

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Pharmacy equipment- Pill machines

Pharmacy equipment- Pill machines

The word pill is now used of almost every solid form of medicine, but it really refers to a spherical object. The usual modern flat “pill” should be called a tablet.

Pills were made in the pharmacy with a pill machine. The medicine in powder form was mixed with flavourings and sweetening and a binder such as glycerine or tragacanth and rolled out into a “sausage” of a...

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Pharmacy equipment – Tincture presses

Pharmacy equipment – Tincture presses

Tinctures are extracts that are made from plant material -wood, bark, roots, seeds, stems and leaves- prepared by boiling or soaking in water, alcohol or other liquids to release the medicinal chemicals they contain. This stage of the process is called maceration.

The screw presses are used to crush the macerated source plant to get as much of the active ingredients as possible, which...

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Pharmacy equipment: Powders

Pharmacy equipment: Powders

Taking medicine in the form of a powder, usually stirred into a glass of water, was more normal in the past than today, especially on the continent. Now you might take Andrews’ salts or a hangover cure such as Resolve.

Powders are made by grinding and mixing the ingredients in a mortar, then weighing or measuring them into doses.

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Winsley Sanatorium

Winsley Sanatorium

Winsley, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire .

In the 1890s a consortium of health officers from the counties of Wiltshire, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Bristol decided that the old quarries at Murhill, Winsley would be the ideal place to site a hospital for the treatment of tuberculosis...

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Atworth

Atworth

Most of the present parish of Atworth was originally part of the Manor and of the Ancient Parish of Bradford and its church was a chapel of Holy Trinity in Bradford. It was also known as Atworth Magna to distinguish it from a smaller area which was called Atworth Parva, Little Atworth or Cottles. The modern Civil Parish of Atworth was created on 19 December 1884 by detaching the...

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The Museum Collection: Mollusc Shells

The Museum Collection: Mollusc Shells

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Bradford on Avon Museum has to be selective about objects of natural history that are added to the collection. This is because of the difficulties in preserving organic material. This restricts the collection to just mollusc shells and some skeletal material and teeth of vertebrate animals. However, the Museum is keen to...

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The Museum Collection: Fossils

The Museum Collection: Fossils

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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The environmental conditions at the time the sediments that made the rocks around Bradford were deposited (Middle Jurassic period) were tropical with warm shallow sea and low islands, rather like the Bahamas and Florida today. The fossils found here reflect those conditions: marine shells, corals, fish and...

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Chemists & Druggists

Chemists & Druggists

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Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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Bradford on Avon Museum’s main exhibit is the reconstructed Christopher chemist shop. There were and are others in Bradford, oddly all in Silver Street too, as well as grocers who sold patent medicines.

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