Many museums do not have the space to display all of the objects held in their collections. Unfortunately most will remain in storage. Producing exhibitions and changing displays brings out more objects, but other equally interesting pieces must be left behind, waiting for their turn. So they don't wait too long, whenever there is a spare moment we will rummage in the stores and dig them out to show here.
Not the most attractive pieces, these mould blown Punch and Judy figurines would stand out on anyone's mantelpiece. This set was made by the John Derbyshire company of Salford, c1875. There are two sets in the collections, but this one is interesting because the colourless glass has been painted to give a bronze effect, hiding the cheap glass.
Although landlocked, it is interesting to know that Smethwick was home to a manufacturer of lighting systems for lighthouses and other maritime navigational aids. Chance Brothers established their lighthouse division in 1851 and kept it until 1953. This produced lenses and mechanisms that were sold across the world.
Fresnel rectangular lens: This type of lens was made for a large structure, being one of many placed within a metal frame to form a magnifying box around the light source.
Cox & Co. produced a range of teaching aids describing every day materials and processes. This is their Practical Object Lessons. Series 33, "Glass Making", c.1900. Attached to the sheet of card are various samples of ingredients, stages of production and types of glass. The teacher would also have a set of notes to explain the different samples.