Picture This

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is a well known phrase, reportedly first used by Frederick R. Barnard, in Printer’s Ink (December, 1921), commenting that an image can explain as effectively as a large amount of descriptive text.

Whilst we have not been able to be open to the public we’ve been using some of the time to take images of our stored objects. These images can then be added to the records on our database, an option that was not available when it was originally set up.

With over 11,000 objects in our collection it is not the job of an afternoon to photograph them all, but steady progress has been made.

Images can be incredibly useful when identifying objects. To the untrained eye one dibber looks much like another, so an image is of great help in deciding which of our dozen different dibbers you might be interested in.

Another complication is that item may have been given a very precise technical name, but unless you happen to know that, for instance, a kettle lid swage has nothing to do with making tea then you may be somewhat confused when it comes to identifying it.

A Kettle – with lid
A Kettle Lid Swage

A swage is a shaped tool or die for giving a desired form to metal by hammering or pressure. The swage allows the metal to be held with greater precision before being walloped or squeezed. In the picture above the ‘pointy bit on the bottom left would be placed in a square hole in an anvil or similar so that the swage is vertical and the metal to be swaged put between the flat pieces of the opening section’. Would have been so much easier to explain if we had a picture to illustrate it in action.

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.