Our Regional Services Program recently held a conservation workshop in the small town of Eden, NSW. This intriguing object was brought to the workshop by Joanne Grant of the Mallacoota Bunker Museum who was seeking advice on its conservation.
The wooden box contains the remnants of an apparatus for administering electrical shock treatment. It states on the inside lid that it was used to treat nervous conditions, but at the time these devices were believed to cure a wide range of ailments from hair loss, to cancer.! It is believed to have been used on the Yambulla goldfields and was found discarded in the bush in the 1960s or 1970s.
Tim Morris, conservator, Powerhouse Museum, and Joanne Grant from Mallacoota Bunker examining the medical equipment thought to have been used to administer shock
After inspecting the box conservator Tim Morris suggested using ‘animal glue’ to repair some of the damage, and offered further support and assistance in preserving the device.
Workshops, such as the one held in Eden, are important in providing advice on how to preserve objects of historical importance that are held in small museums across the country.
Joanne states that ‘I am not a professional – just a volunteer at the museum who obviously loves history and does the best that I can enthusiastically, but with limited resources! I was very grateful for the opportunity to attend the workshop with Tim and learn about his work. I wasted no time in checking the Powerhouse website to look at some of the resources that he mentioned and feel sure that this will be accessed frequently in future! Thanks once again for your interest and your valuable assistance.’