Thimbles in Their Nose?

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Thimbles in Their Nose?

 

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Cornwall Community Museum – WordPress.com

It seems that the thing to do in the late 1800s was to swallow a thimble. I counted at least 34 news items about swallowing a thimble. Here is a local story.

Almonte Gazette–May 7 1897

*Dr. Birkett, of Montreal, has succeeded in removing a large tailor’s thimble from the nose of Miss Annie McDonell, a teacher in the Lancaster. Miss McDonell swallowed the thimble when she was a little child, eighteen years ago in public school. Evidently it remained lodged in the passage between the nose and the throat where it was found. It caused her , considerable throat trouble for same time past. Surgeons say the case is almost without a parallel. The surgery was done by Dr. Birkett in Cornwall.

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The Indiana Progress05 Feb 1874, ThuPage 6

 

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The Daily News19 Nov 1906, MonPage 1

 

 

The dawn of the Victorian era marked the start of thimble collecting. Roads had improved and people began to tour. The Great Exhibition, a kind of world’s fair, was held in Hyde Park, London and attracted large crowds. A commemorative thimble was issued to mark the event. The concept of commemorative thimbles caught on with collectors. It was also at this time that advertising thimbles became popular.

In Victorian times, a silver thimble was regarded as a highly appropriate gift especially for a man to give a woman. Victoria women carried a chain-like device called a chatelaine, to which sewing items such as small scissors and a needle case could be attached. Thimbles were enclosed in a decorative thimble case that could be attached to this device as well. Sometimes the couple would remove the cap from a thimble so it could be used as a ring.

We are all aware that sewing is the primary use of the thimble. But did you know that a slightly larger thimble, usually two ounces, was used to measure spirits? And did you know that 19th century prostitutes used them to tap on their clients’ windows and Victorian schoolmistresses used them to knock recalcitrant students on the head?

 

historicalnotes

*Did you know that Dr. Birkett began the Department of Otolaryngologist at the Royal Victoria Hospital and had no assistant for the first two years but W. H. Jamieson was appointed clinical assistant in 1900 1864-1932 he graduated in honours at the age of 22 from McGill University with Golden Honours

 

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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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