Insight to the 1890’s

Tea, concert and ball newspaper

At the SHH&M new premises, where we are currently “Hacking the space”, as well as having found the knives, we have also found multiple sections of newspapers, ranging from the later part of the early 19th century to early 20th century (see photo). Many of these were actually fashioned into a wrapping, held together with a single length of tied string, which look to have been used to cover the knife blades. The advantage of these is that the newspaper clippings are relatively well preserved. Other pieces of newspaper have been rolled up into balls and are less easy to read.

Among the items that could be read was a flyer for the Sheffield Table Blade Grinders’ Association “Tea, Concert and Ball” on Thursday 31st December, in Lower Cutlers’ Hall. Unfortunately, a section on the left hand side has been removed, but what remains tells of “Tea at 5 o’clock, including Ham, Tongue and Beef Sandwiches, Pork Pie, &C., of the finest quality”. This will be followed by the concert at 7 o’clock, with performances from Mr F Barraclough (a Comic) and Mr H Ashmore (a Tenor), as well some acrobats.

newspapers crumpled

Prices for the event were 1/6 for Gentlemen and 1/3 for Ladies as perhaps they didn’t eat as much, given that tickets for just the Concert and Ball were 1/- each.
Janine

An exciting find!

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An exciting find while renovating the small room at our new HQ. Found in the ceiling were a collection of about 20 different knives and blades (finest Sheffield Steel of course!) wrapped in newspapers dating from 1890, 1885 and 1881! The Portland Works was home to Robert Mosley, the first manufacturer of stainless steel cutlery that carried our city’s name into kitchens and dining rooms across the world, and this looks like his work. Maybe SHH&M’s new home is one of his old workshops? After getting a lot of interest, we’ve passed them to the resident historian at Portland Works to make sure they’re properly preserved and put on display.

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Click through for more images of the trove!
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Hacking the space!

#HackTheSpace

Exciting times here at SHHM! We’re moving into our new space at the Portland Works. It’s an amazing building that’s been central to Sheffield’s industrial history, and is now run as “a community owned home for traditional crafts and creative arts”. We’ll fit in well!

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We have big plans for this space: as a workshop for your projects, a classroom to learn new skills and techniques, and a social hub for hackers, makers and geeks in Sheffield. For now, though, we’re stripping it back to the bricks and making a blank canvas to work from. Everyone is very welcome to join us, but for the next few weeks while we’re building you should expect to get dirty!

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Retro IBM 12″ VGA monitor (8512) attached to a Raspberry Pi!

Retro IBM monitor with raspeberry pi
One of our members, James Muirhead, managed to get a classic IBM monitor working with his Raspberr pi! He says:

Reasons for doing this…

I’ve had this monitor knocking about in the attic (used for years in the 90s) for years and I’ve wanted to do something like this. It’s taken me a while to get an HDMI to VGA adapter which actually supports 640×480 @ 60Hz.

I was partly doing this for estetic reason (it’s awesomely retro) and partly because it’s an old device I wanted to breath new life into. I always try to reuse before recycling.

Required config.txt changes

hdmi_group=2
hdmi_mode=4
hdmi_drive=2 (if audio supported by VGA adapter).

When it first started I saw nothing but green snow. I thought it wasn’t working so I tried all the different relevent settings. It however turned out that I needed to restart the Pi somehow, whether by bridging the reset pins (this requirtes a Revision 2 Raspberry Pi), or by using sudo reboot from SSH command line (via network).

Future expansion

If I were to make this a perfamant build (I don’t have the desk space or the spare Pi right now).

  • I will likely wire a Solid State Relay to control power to the monitor from a pin on the GPIO (this monitor is way too early for automatic power control).
  • I would also probably create some from of circuit to reset the Raspberry Pi automatically (to avoid green snow). Either using a 555N in monostable mode or a suitably programmed ATtiny45/85.