Get One While It’s Hot

Imagine their curiosity, in about 1910, when young sister-spinsters Ada Maud (1888-1970) and Ella Mellshimer of Ulladulla learned that a self-heating fuel iron was available. They had grown up doing the ironing the hard way. Ironing had always been exhausting work, and hot. Maud and Ella had seen how their mother Mary smoothed the wrinkles […]

Read More…

The Volatile Helper

Gone were the days of sweating by the wood fire stove in summer while waiting for a flat iron to heat. In the 1930s, this Coleman Self Heating Iron Model No 4A, with ‘Cool Blue’ enamel was the state-of-the-art ironing aid that every home needed. Heated with a gasoline fuel burner, which lit instantly and […]

Read More…

Hurled to Eternity

In the early hours of a Monday morning in March 1898, the sound of a major explosion rocked Dudley, a small mining town just south of Newcastle. As plumes of black smoke spewed from the shaft of the Dudley Colliery, the mothers, wives, and children of workers ran to the site. Fifteen identity tags hung […]

Read More…

Slow to Turn

Its been more than 100 years since electricity was installed at West Wallsend. The bulb and fitting shown here is an electric light that belonged to undertaker and carpenter William Turnbull (Snr). It dates from the era when West Wallsend, then a small coal mining town, switched to using electricity. Today, safe, reliable lighting in […]

Read More…