Telegraphic instrument for tapping out and receiving telegram messages at Scarinish Post Office between 1888 and 1930. Originally from Skye and probably operated by Margaret Robertson (Mona’s mother), who is listed as the telegraphist in the 1911 census of Tiree. There is a key for sending messages and a sounder for receiving. Known as a KOB set (key on base), it is marked “20 ohm” on the base. The lever of the mechanism is steel and unmarked.
Large craggan made on Tiree in about 1870, bearing a handwritten label from the period.
The label reads “Croggan from Tyree 1879. Specimen of native pottery. The peculiar nature of the c[roggen] is suposed to render the milk boiled in it condusive to the cure of consumption. Presented by Rev. William Ross, October“.
William Ross was one of the founder members of the Archaeological and Physical Society of Bute, a group of Victorian gentlemen who put together a collection of objects and natural history specimens from around the world, thus forming the first Bute Museum. When the museum moved premises in 1907 it was decided that the collection would concentrate on Bute alone, and the non-Bute items were distibuted. This Tiree craggan remained in the Bute Museum until it was given to An Iodhlann in April 2016. Includes a handwritten display label from the Bute Museum.
Photocopy of a hand-written account of the story of Donald ‘The Pilot’ MacLean, Ruaig (born 1727), who piloted Bonnie Prince Charlie’s rescue ship after the Battle of Culloden in 1746. The seven-page letter was written on small pieces of paper around 1900 by Donald’s grandson, also Donald MacLean (1817-1907), who lived at Hynish House. It begins “the following is what report I heard from my father over 70 years ago”.
Oval, wood-framed profile of Captain Donald MacKinnon, Heanish, moulded from white wax in 1867. Captain MacKinnon was captain of the tea clipper ‘Taeping’ which won the Great China Tea Race of 1866. The portrait is believed to have been made by William Murray of Glasgow, whose daughter, Margaret Anne Murray, married Donald MacKinnon in 1855. William Murray is known to have made wax and plaster portraits of his relatives as gifts, and probably sent this one to Captain MacKinnon to celebrate his success in the race. After Captain MacKinnon died aboard ‘SS Roman’ in Table Bay, South Africa in 1867, the plaque was most likely still among his possessions aboard ‘Taeping’, and would have been retrieved by his wife when the ship returned to London.
The portrait hung on the wall of the donor’s mother’s home (near Oban?) for many years, from at least 1970 to 2015. The family connection is not certain although there is a Flora MacKinnon born around the 1760s in the family tree, and who may have been a relation of Captain MacKinnon’s grandfather.
When the portrait arrived at An Iodhlann, the wax was broken into many pieces and the label on the back had been cut out. It was sent to the Scottish Conservation Studio at Hopetoun House, Queensferry for restoration, where conservators discovered that there had been two previous attempts to repair it, once with candle wax and once with sellotape.
Portable sewing machine, ca 1900
Ornate, pearled, hand-operated, `Medium` sewing machine in an ornate wooden carrying case, made in Glasgow by Kimball & Morton between 1887 and 1910. Includes cotton thread manufactured by J&P Coats, Paisley. Belonged to Maggie Robertson. From the belongings of Angus MacLean, Scarinish.
Women`s Voluntary Service badge from WWII
Silver square pin badge with red-embossed crown and “W.V.S Civil Defence”. It was worn by a relative of the Campbells of Cornaigbeg, while she was serving in the Women`s Voluntary Service on Tiree during World War 2. The WVS was set up to help local communities prepare for potential air attacks, but was also involved in the evacuation of children from cities, and the distribution of clothing and food to returning soldiers and the war-affected.