Peter-dum-dick toy

Child`s toy made of the iron heel of a hob-nailed boot, twisted string and short length of wood. Known as a `Peter-dum-dick` and possibly used as a catapult or for making clacking noises. Presented to Alan Boyd by Hugh MacLean, Barrapol, around 1985.


Tiree in 100 Objects – 61 – Toys

The History of Tiree in 100 Objects

Object Details

Other Number: not specified

Peter-dum-Dick toy

Made in Barrapol from the iron heel plate of a hob-nailed boot, a length of twisted string and a piece of flat wood. It is not known exactly what the Peter-dum-Dick was for (or how it got its name), although it could have been used as a catapult or for making clacking noises.

Normal Location: Pedestal Unit 1: drawer 2
Current Location: normal location

3 thoughts on “2012.115.3

  1. Evelyn Adams

    Back in the 1950s my mother taught me and my brother a rhyme which was supposed to be the sound of a steam train going over the tracks:
    Peter dum dick / When did you quit? / Yesterday morning at half past six

  2. Donald Bissell

    I used to holiday with my family in Tiree in the late 50s and early 60s. When we took the steam train to the boat my mother would always recite that rhyme. Only time she ever mentioned it. I hadn’t realised that it was specifically related to Tiree but makes sense. Almost all locals at that time spoke Gaelic


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