Astounding Inventions

Each year the East Riding Archives and Museums take part in the national Heritage Open Days celebrations, inviting everyone far and wide to be inspired by our collections and offering an insight into behind the scenes. “Astounding Inventions” was this year’s theme, and it proved to be a fascinating topic indeed! Keep scrolling to find out more…


Bitesize Videos

Watch our short, captioned video clips to learn more about some of the Hull and East Riding innovations documented in our archives:

Crosskill’s Agricultural Machines

Pamphlet from Crosskill’s Iron Works, Beverley, c.1846 (East Riding Archives DDX51/4)

Rose, Downs and Thompson’s Kingston Dredger

Description and illustrations of the patent ‘Kingston Dredger’ manufactured by Rose, Downs and Thompson, Old Foundry Hull, undated (East Riding Archives DDBD/89/64)

The R100 Airship

Postcard of an airship at Howden, c.1929 (East Riding Archives DDX1017/1)

Tours and Talks

On Saturday 10th September, visitors were welcomed to join Treasure House Curator Sally Hayes, East Riding Archives Conservator Kat Saunt and Archivist Hannah Stamp for carousel-style tours during the day. It was a pleasure to showcase our wonderful collections, from a basket helmet and swimming costume in the Museum, to the innovation behind environment-controlled repositories, patents, catalogues and deeds in the Archives, and exploring the development of books with our Conservator. Families were also able to go on a fantastic journey seeking astounding inventions on a trail around the building. 

Whilst tours were underway, the Beverley Civic Society hosted a popular talk (in the morning and repeated in the afternoon) entitled “A History of Gas”. In this talk, Professor Russell Thomas, internationally acclaimed historian of gas, spoke on the origins and development of this life-changing invention. Thank you to Professor Russell Thomas for illuminating us about this fascinating subject! Locally, Beverley had gas street lighting early and still has its Georgian lampposts, so do head into town and try to find these.

‘Astounding Inventions’ from the Archives collections on display for the Treasure House tours

And Finally

This year we were thrilled and honoured to be accompanied by Sarah Holloway, Heritage Open Days Programme Manager. Sarah joined us at the Treasure House for Professor Russell Thomas’ talk on “A History of Gas” and our afternoon Treasure House tour. Thank you for coming by Sarah!

Left to right: Hannah Stamp, Archivist, and Sarah Holloway, Heritage Open Days Programme Manager

And, as always, our thanks go to Professor Barbara English who every year coordinates the Beverley and East Riding offer, and endeavours to make Heritage Open Days in the region such a success! 

You can see previous Heritage Open Days content on the themes of ‘Edible England’ and ‘Hidden Nature’ on our HODs web pages

Keep an eye out for our next Heritage Open Days blog update from our Conservator coming soon!

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