Resource : Five objects from I object: Ian Hislop’s search for dissent

September 7, 2018 - Richard Moss

Ian Hislop has been on a mission to find stories of dissent, subversion and satire hidden within the vast collections of the British Museum for a new exhibition I object: Ian Hislop’s search for dissent. Showcasing over 100 objects that challenge the official version of events and defy established narratives, the items span three millennia […]

Resource : Bone ship model

During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, prisoner exchanges between Britain and France only occurred rarely, meaning large numbers of captives were held for long periods in each country. French prisoners in Britain were often invited or compelled to practice crafts, and manufactured many intricate models made from bones and other recycled goods.

Resource : Banner from the “Peterloo Massacre”

This protest banner was one of many carried to a Reform meeting convened by the Manchester Radical Union at St Peter’s Field in Manchester on 16 August 1819. By mid-afternoon as many as fifteen people, including four women and a child, were either dead or fatally injured. A further 400-700 suffered serious wounds, including Thomas Redford, who carried this banner.

Resource : Nelson’s Coat

This is a Royal Naval undress coat of the standard pattern for 1795-1812, worn by Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson when commanding the British fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. In this major naval battle, the British defeated the combined fleets of French and Spanish navies, ending Napoleon's threat to invade Britain. However, Admiral Nelson was shot at the height of the battle and mortally wounded. Ten years later, Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo would end his threat to Britain forever.

Resource : Weir smallpox vaccinator

In the 1700s smallpox was probably the single most lethal disease in Britain – especially among children. But in 1796 Edward Jenner made a discovery that would eradicate the disease and lead to a revolution in public health – it would become known as vaccination.

Resource : Davy lamp

A lamp that could light the way, without causing a disastrous explosion, was as essential a piece of a miner’s kit as a pick-axe.

Resource : Jacquard Loom

The loom contributed to the transformation of textile weaving from a ‘cottage industry’ to a focus of mass production on an industrial scale.