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Shopping in the Past

Last weekend I traveled south to the famous ‘re-enactors fair’, as is my wont about once a year. There I was on the look out for new, old things – if you see what I mean? Among the items I purchased were the following three rather contrasting items …

It is hard to say which is my favourite out of these three. The leather flask, shaped like a bottle, is just gorgeous. It is lined with pitch and was the sort of thing used throughout the period all my characters hail from, and so it should prove very useful for keeping my throat moist, as well as an interesting artifact to look at.

The chain shot is something I have been after for some time. My pirate captain Burwash has oft’ spoke of such shot – the sort used to break a potential prize’s spars (masts and yards) and rigging – but up until now he has only been able to show round shot and double head. Now the children can see another variety of artillery shot too.

The little flea glass is a lovely thing, made of wood and horn. It is intended for my character Sir William Petty when I start doing Scientific Revolution sessions with him (which will very much suit the new national curriculum). I am currently tracking down a variety of instruments and apparatus he can demonstrate – from Napier’s Bones to a camera obscura, from┬áVan Leeuwenhoek’s early microscope to a glass prism, to name but a few of the things I would like to get.

I’ll put up news stories here as I obtain or make more things.


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