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Tools of the trade

Alongside papers and photographs, the Mills Archive also collects small milling artefacts. These are some I recently added to our catalogue from the Thompson Family Collection. Can you guess what these items were used for?

Poster Image

This may look like something that would come in handy in the zombie apocalypse, but it is in fact a sack grabber, used to help with lifting sacks of flour.

This also looks like it could be used as a weapon, but its real purpose is to measure the diameter of wires and sieves, such as would be found in a plansifter.

This is in my opinion one of our most visually attractive artefacts – reminding me of a seahorse’s tail, or a frond of fern. It’s really another way of measuring wire diameters.

This object was used on a plansifter to correct the swing

These are flour spatulas.

Finally, there are also some items we can’t identify. Get in touch if you know what these are (or if you have any more information about the items above).

Given to us by J G B Thompson in July 2016, the Thompson Family Collection collection relates to the history of the Thompson family firm, millers at Skidby Mill and Grosvenor Street Mill. A catalogue by volunteer Chris Viney is available on our website.

To see some of our other milling artefacts take a look at our gems page.