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good stuff vrs not so good was...Re: Tools

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  • Jared
    --Certainly as a culture, we are at the current peak of disposabilty with each passing day, this applies to tools, furniture, cars and homes and whatever else.
    Message 1 of 86 , Feb 4, 2006
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      --Certainly as a culture, we are at the current peak of disposabilty
      with each passing day, this applies to tools, furniture, cars and
      homes and whatever else. Hopefully it dosent get any worse. But are
      we also at some sort of a peak of fascination with the past? Does the
      obvious crap that we see every day make us long for something better.
      I know I like to think of things on a much more pemenent level. I
      have a brace and bit set, with all the wood augers still intact, and a
      full set of steel boring bits for it. I know this to be from my great
      grandfather, so we're talkin four generations, it is possible that I
      value these pieces even higher than the original owner. Im sure any
      of us who came across a similar item, be it a hammer or hand plane,
      or anything else, in an "antique" store would grab it up and take it
      home and prize it highly. So today, maybe even moreso than earlier,
      granpa's junk, has become a treasure. There are tons of shops around
      here that survive on people's fascination with these older items, some
      of them may be "antiques" and a lot of them are just junk. Certainly
      most are puchased as a novelty and hung on a wall, but it still
      demonstrates that fascination with the past and the perception of
      things being made to last. I can only hope that the economic climate
      will change in favor of quality.


      - In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "James Winkler" <jrwinkler@...>
      > >> Conal... of course the good stuff lasts longer. It's like, when
      > look at a home made 100 years ago and say "... They really knew how to
      > make things then.." Yes they did. But wedon't see the homes they built
      > quick and cheap, cause they have already fallen down. <<
      > A good point... but I'd also like to throw in the hypothesis that
      there actually is a fair amount of cheap stuff that lasted longer
      because folks were less inclined to the 'disposable society' that we
      have today. There are a lot of old homes that are really *very*
      poorly built by today's standards but are still up and functional
      because they were cared for... and cared for because the economics of
      the time said... "Thou shalt maintain thy stuff that it may maintain
      thee..." [Note: the discourse of the tools...]
      > In any case... what would be interesting is to see at what point in
      time these ancient marvels started finding their way to the trash
      bin... was it related to the time of their use... or related to
      generations distant from their use who found them to be "grandpa's
      > Hummm....
      > Chas.
    • JBRMM266@aol.com
      Some years ago, I visited the Virginia Museum in Richmond with the lady who is now my wife. In the Mediaeval section there were several religious statues,
      Message 86 of 86 , Feb 16, 2007
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        Some years ago, I visited the Virginia Museum in Richmond with the lady who is now my wife. In the Mediaeval section there were several religious statues, including one of St. Denis with his head tucked underneath his arm (cue music about Anne Boleyn's ghost).
        When my lady friend asked why he was so depicted, I explained that martyrs were often depicted in ways that identified how they were martyred . . . at that time I hadn't heard the legend about him picking his head up and carrying it back to the church.
        A docent heard me and asked if I knew why another statue (I forget who it depicted) had these little glass or crystal panels in the chest. The identifying sign clearly described it as a reliquary statue, and I explained how the statue had at least originally contained some part of the saint's skeleton, probably a rib or two, considering where the panels were.  She appreciated the explanation, and it left me wondering how much more about the works in that section she didn't know.
        When we visited the Treasure Houses of Britain exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, there were no docents anywhere in the Mediaeval/Renaissance area.  I spent a lot of time explaining the armour, and both of us spent even more time explaining that the children in the family portraits were not all girls despite wearing dresses (boys not yet breeched) or that that was not a noble but a royal family (Henry VIII and all his children, who were never all together in one room like that), and so forth.
        But the armor and the paintings were right out there, and one could easily have touched them. My wife almost fainted a couple of times when I pointed out a detail in a painting, my finger about an inch away from the surface. "Don't touch it, don't touch it!"  Well, I wasn't going to, but there were no barriers to it.

        -----Original Message-----
        From: tstar2000@...
        To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 5:15 PM
        Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Tools

        I will have to agree with you, Will. The museums I have visited in the US have the attitude that you shouldn't touch or photograph anything. This was a real shock to me when my wife and I managed a trip to London a few years ago. Unless it was cordoned off or behind glass, the British museum didn't seem to care if you were to actually touch such sculptures as the Discus Thrower or some of the carved lids on various Medieval tombs. This became especially apparent when the Egyptian exhibit came to Oklahoma city form the British Museum. The very same sculptures that I was permitted to touch in London were so off limits in my home town that I was given a hard time for leaning in too close. Also, the curators here on the States don't seem to know much, or they just won't sacrifice the time to talk with a mere amateur historian. Both at the British Museum and the Tower of London I was able to engage into in depth conversations with the experts, even to the point of being introduced to the curator of the Crown Jewels at the Tower. Most enjoyable and informative - and in London they were QUITE familiar with the SCA, showing enthusiasm for someone who obviously had a genuine interest. ; )
        In Magical Service,

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