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Not just a load of old metal

January 10, 2013

Wonder how to make that collection of old agricultural machinery interesting for the general public in your musuem? Well you are not alone, many a museum has a large pile of old equipment that does not immediately endear itself to all but the enthuasist. For instance an old plough. It has been the most important object in village life for centuries and their development have helped feed the country as the population boomed during the industrial revolution. Yet they can be hard to interpret to visitors.


Well help is at hand, the Rural Museum Network commissioned a short publication, “The Power of the Plough” which explains the basics of the object but more importantly handy hints on how you might tell the story of your plough.  As you would expect a displayed plough can help explore stories like the telling of the agricultural year, technical developments, design trends, the homefront and provide inspiration for artists. Maybe you could get your plough blessed (now is the time of year to do it!) or get involved in a traditional plough play. The publication also points to school curriculum links too and ideas to encourage community involvement. I even found out that delirium was a ploughing term, from the latin word lira meaning the ridge left by a plough, and ver de-lira’re to make an irregular ridge when ploughing. Deli’rus is one whose mind is not properly tilled or cultivated or not of sound reason, like a field full of irregularities!

What can work for ploughs can work for other large objects, you just need a bit imagination and little guidance.

From → galleries

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