Thursday, March 6, 2008

Reflecting on breakfast in times past

Volunteer Marywinn Amaya of Shelby, N. C., prepares to document an old waffle iron during a recent workday for volunteers inventorying historic artifacts in the old Cleveland County courthouse building. The iron (enlarged, inset) features an elegant handle that opens the device when lowered, gracefully curved legs, and heavy iron-like waffle plates. The device has a detachable fabric-covered electric cord (remember them?), frayed with age.

It’s easy to imagine a Cleveland County homemaker decades ago, making a Sunday breakfast with what surely was the latest in kitchen appliances in its time.

“Just beautiful,” Marywinn said. “I think perhaps with a new electrical cord you might even get it to work once again….”

She and other volunteers wear white cotton gloves when handling metal objects, to protect them, and use The Revised Nomenclature for Museum Cataloging, the book shown bottom right, to find the standard name and classification for objects. A yardstick is handy to measure object dimensions.

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