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'A History of the World' in Essex
Tom Hodgson
Tom Hodgson has been involved in selecting local objects

'A History of the World' is a project exploring historical artefacts which tell a story about Essex and our relationship to the wider world.

A partnership between the BBC and the British Museum, the objects will help to form potentially the biggest digital museum in the world.

You can add your own historical objects to the BBC's website, along with items already included from local museums.

Tom Hodgson, from the Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service, tells us more.

1. The Waltham Abbey Bible

"This artefact dates back to the Middle Ages and it tells us about how important religion was during that period.

"The Bible was part of the library at Waltham Abbey and was more of a working copy used by the Prior."

2. AD65 EKCO radio

Ekco radio
Ekco produced these iconic radios in Southend

"This model was an iconic one, and sums up the art-deco style, thanks to the bakerlite case.

"Pictures of the Ekco radio have gone around the world and helped to start the communications revolution."

3. Tombstone of Longinus Sdapeze

"One of the star attractions at Colchester Castle is the tombstone of a Roman cavalry man.

"Longinus Sdapeze made quite an entrance into the town as he arrived on an elephant."

4. Shoemaking tools used by Kazimierz Hurlo

"These tools were probably made in the UK by a Polish man, Kazimierz Hurlo, after he had escaped from the Russians.

"He walked into Iran and then came to Britain and stayed here after the end of the Second World War, moving to Colchester and meeting his Polish wife in the town."

5. Viking necklace

"The necklace illustrates the crossing of cultures, as there are Christian symbols mixed with pagan designs.

"'Dane Law' was in place in large parts of Essex, as the Vikings carved out a kingdom within a kingdom."

Kwame Kwei-Armah

Kwame Kwei-Armah's personal item

6. Queensway silk used during the Coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II

"Warners was one of the great textile companies here in the UK and had supplied garments for the Royal Family since Queen Victoria's days.

"A small part of the materials the company created for the Coronation can be seen in Braintree, along with velvet used in the Queen's robes."

7. Painting of the 'Battle of Gundamuk'

"The picture depicts the final stand of the Essex Regiment in 1842, taking part in an expedition to Afghanistan.

"This is not an easy scene as it shows a defeat, but would have been used to show how heroic the soldiers had been. It has resonance with out modern campaigns in Afghanistan."

Marconi's Hut
The Marconi Company made many historic broadcasts in Chelmsford

8. The Marconi hut

"A famous building where Marconi carried out early experimental broadcasts, particularly in June 1920 when Dame Nellie Melba sang on a pioneering radio broadcast from the hut.

"A part of the original hut is preserved in Chelmsford at Sandford Mill and regular transmissions from the hut happened between 1922 and 1923."

9. Crompton arc lamp

"Crompton's developed the potential of electricity and exported this technology and built the equipment to use it in all forms.

"The arc lamp was one of one of the first electric lights to be produced and works by allowing the electricity to arc through a gas, today we still use a form of this technology, the fluorescent tube is a type of arc lamp."

10. Tow rope from 'Endeavour I'

"This is a fascinating story that gripped the national newspapers when it came to light in 1937.

"The Endeavour I took part in the America's Cup sailing race and the yacht was thought to have sunk, when it reappeared the story caused a storm."

Museum extension set for opening
18 Jan 10 |  Things to do
A History of the World
10 Nov 09 |  History


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