St. James Museum

Just before touring the old cemetery of yesterday’s post, I went to the St James Museum.  The museum consists of 3 buildings.  The first is a municipal hall building from 1911.This building contains some items that came from the surrounding area.  Most items are  fairly typical of a museum but there were a few pieces that I had never seen before.

A string dispenser that may have been used to tie packages at a store. I thought it would be awesome for knitting too.

Then there was this horror!  Hair perming machine.

Looks more like a way to extract secrets from a spy than a beauty device!

The electrical wires are frightening….

The second building was a modern building that was put up for displays for blacksmithing, farming and travel.  The items in this building were nice but fairly common.

The third building was a house built in 1856 in Headingly Manitoba and moved to Winnipeg in the 1950s.

Needs a little paint I think….

It was built by William Brown and his second wife Charlotte Omand who was Metis (half aboriginal half French).The house had the usual house stuff but it did have the odd unusual thing that caught my eye.

Old Bible…beautiful cover!

Then there is this little doll which I was told was a toy….

Mini hand cranked sewing machine.

The needle went up and down when cranked and the wheel under the foot plate turned….

Which got me wondering if it actually sewed.

I just couldn’t figure out where the bobbin was/went.  So I Google searched and found it WAS sold as a toy.   I  also found some information that says “Some of the examples produced were offered as real machines to compete with more expensive machines, but like other toy machines from this period they typically just sewed a chain stitch without a bobbin or second thread.  Not really a workable stitch for regular use. ”  This quote wasn’t speaking specifically about the Baby machine and it wasn’t clear if this little machine was the bobbin machine variety or the chain stitch variety.  If I was a child over the age of 5, I would have been annoyed that my stitches didn’t stay.  So not being satisfied with the idea of a toy that would have frustrated a child and not really knowing which type of machine this one was I kept looking and found this site….  If you scroll down about a quarter of the way, there is a little video of how the chain stitch would have worked.  It would have actually held two pieces of fabric together well enough for a child to make doll clothes.  It also would have worked for an emergency patch job while travelling.  But, the look of it would not have inspired an adult to make a whole dress out of it.  So now I know.  Makes me want to have one of these things.

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