Oct17TueRetrospective #32 October 17, 2017 Randy C. Hicks
Retrospective #32 The Thingamajig!
Randy C. Hicks
I noticed it on maybe the first or second day of my arrival here at 26 Howden Road. Not wanting to appear stupid I said nothing about it but, in the meantime, I’ve been trying to come up with an explanation as to what it is. So far I have determined that it must be a mold of some kind as it is about the size of a basketball or a person’s head, made of solid wood (the mold, not the head!) quite heavy and it has an irregular shape; although now faded and somewhat worn it appears to have at one time been painted black; on the same shelf and the shelves around it are a number of oddly shaped boxes/containers, perhaps big enough to hold the “mold,” with handles and zippered or old-fashioned suitcase locks/closures. The mystery has been haunting me for weeks now. Yes, there is a file number attached and therefore yes, I could look it up in our data base but that would spoil all the fun.
Do you know what I think?
I think it’s a design for a proto-type-crash-helmet!
It has to be! I mean, what else could it be?
Now I’ll look up the answer and pat myself on the back for having such a brilliant mind!
From the Arthur Rossiter Collection - 1 bonnet block (2 sizes with history)
(See explanation in “picture section” below)
Ok, ok, so it’s not a mold for a proto-type-crash-helmet but I was close! It’s a “Bonnet Block” – a tool used to repair damaged bonnets which, sad to say did at times act as a protective helmet or head covering (the bonnet, not the block!), not a particularly good one mind you but a small measure of safety just the same.
As we had our beginning in Victorian England one can understand our forebears utilizing this particular item of ladies fashions from that day - that it would still be found on the heads of Sally Ann lassies one hundred plus years later, for some, boggles the mind. There are those among us who still sing its praises and rue the day we stopped using it (and some of them are women!). Should you wish to discuss it with them you would be well advised to wear an actual crash helmet as emotion, a certain passion, may get the upper hand in the discussion and then your head may “get the upper hand!”
All is not lost. We still have our “Banners” and “Drums!”
I saw that hand!
Were you waving to me or was that a right hook (upper hand)?