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Artefact of the Month


E.D. Smith's Refractometer

 200911844 Refractometre
The first of this month’s featured artefacts is E.D. Smith’s Refractometer, c.1940.

History: The Refractometer is a laboratory device used for measuring the refractive index and concentration of liquids. The process requires only a small drop of liquid to test. When light enters the liquid, the light changes direction—called a “refraction”; and the device measures the degree to which the light changes—call the “angle of refraction”. The device then takes the angles and correlates them to determine the index value. Using these values, scientists can determine the concentrations of liquid solutions.
Penny-Farthing Bicycle

586 Penny Farthing
The second of this month’s featured artefacts is a Penny-Farthing Bicycle, 1890–1899.

History: Also known as a high wheel, the penny-farthing is a type of bicycle with a large front wheel and a much smaller rear wheel. It was the first machine to be called a “bicycle”. The name “penny-farthing” comes from the British penny and farthing coins (one much larger than the other), so that the side view of the bicycle resembles a penny leading a farthing. The penny-farthing was first manufactured by the English inventor, James Starley, who built upon the industrious design of Frenchman, Eugène Meyer. Although the penny-farthing trend was short-lived, it became a symbol of the late Victorian era in the Americas, and its popularity contributed to the birth of cycling as a sport.
Park Road United Church Pulpit
9852495 a c Pulpit
The third of this month’s featured artefacts is the Park Road United Church Pulpit, from historic Grimsby Park.

History: The pulpit was originally used in the chapel at the site of Grimsby Park. The campground was founded in 1846 by Loyalist settlers, who chose Lake Ontario for the site of a ten-day temperance camp. The land was owned by J.B. Bowslaugh. By 1859, the area had become a popular site for regular summer events; and in 1875, Bowslaugh officially deeded 12.5 acres to the Ontario Methodist Camp Ground Company, and Grimsby Park was born. Cottages were built by Bowslaugh’s brother, Edward, and began to populate the divided lots. Steamships and rail lines allowed for easy transportation, and the influx of annual visitors made Grimsby Park the permanent site of a summer-long revival event.

Visit The Grimsby Museum to see these artefacts—and many more—on display as part of our summer exhibits!

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