Heritage Day display brought antique tools aplenty to Historical Society celebration

(Fran McCarthy, GTHS member discusses a folding carpenter ruler with attendees at the Heritage Day celebration on February 15, 2020. Photo: Phil Sweetnam)

The Goulbourn Township Historical Society celebrated Heritage Day in Stittsville on February 15 at the Stittsville Public Library. Not only was there a good turn-out for the event, but the large number of heritage tools on display were a learning moment for those who attended.

Like the huge plunger looking implement that Past-President, Barb Bottriell was quick to tell of its exact use – an early agitator used for doing laundry. For clothing that may have been especially soiled, the agitator (also known as a rapid washer) was brought into action to, well as its name insinuates, agitate the dirt to become loose for easier washing. There were no washing machines and most laundry was hand washed in a large tub on a wooden stand. The notable Canadian name in laundry implements was Beatty Bros. of Fergus, Ontario, of which this editor is fortunate to own both their stand and tub from around 1920.

(Barb Bottriell shows off the antique laundry agitator at the GTHS Heritage Day celebration at the Stittsville Public Library on February 15, 2020. Photo: Phil Sweetnam)
(The Beatty Brothers of Fergus, Ontario, washstand and wash tub circa 1920. Photo: Stittsville Central)

There were numerous antique carpentry tools on hand — nothing electric, battery or solar powered were anywhere to be seen. You could find wood smoothing planes, gougers, paring chisels, plumbs, pincers, gimlets, brad awls, egg beater hand drills, folding wood and brass rulers, various hammers, hand and rip saws, spirit levels, rasps, square bevels, compasses, bit braces, dividers, wrenches and so much more.

GTHS Board member, Lee Boltwood, talks about the folding ruler. Photo: Phil Sweetnam)

During the month of February, the GTHS has set-up a photo exhibit on the Art Space wall at the Library of various antique tools used from the past in different situations – in the home, on the farm and for gardening. They also have antique tools displayed in the glass curio display case at the Library.

     (Photos on display at the Art Space Wall at the Stittsville Library for the GTHS Heritage display, February 2020. Photo: Stittsville Central)
     (Just some of the antique tools on display at the Stittsville Library for the GTHS Heritage Day. Photo: Stittsville Central)

If you didn’t have the opportunity to attend the GTHS Heritage Day celebration, drop into the Library and take in the photos and the display of tools — they are there until the end of the month. We wonder how many you will know for what they were used.


Leave a Reply