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Rediscover the strange, unusual and forgotten

Roll up, roll up and witness some very curious oddities of yesteryear.

A new display at the Armidale Folk Museum has assembled some long-forgotten devices that have even local history buffs scratching their heads – but fascinated by equal measure.

Oddities and Curiosities went on display this week and will feature until the end of February.

“It is certainly a very unusual collection - from everyday objects to the wonderful and exotic,” Museum Team Leader Hayley Ward said.

“Despite being very popular in their time, many of these objects are no longer used today and their use has been lost to memory.

“We’re hoping some visitors to the museum will be able to identify the particularly mysterious items and tell us how they were used.”

The more intriguing devices include an unusually designed and unpatented cake mixer.

“Was this a prototype that never made the production line?” Ms Ward said.

“Our staff have been unsuccessful at finding information about anything similar.

“The museum is a fascinating place. Every day I find a new object that tells a fascinating story about our past and how we used to live.” 

Oddities and Curiosities also has some interesting medical equipment that was very popular in its day but has been since been shown by science to provide no benefits.

Armidale Folk Museum recently changed its opening hours to encourage lunch time shoppers to pop in and reacquaint themselves with the wonderful collection on display.

“The new hours, from 11am to 2pm, enable people to make the most of their lunch breaks and discover something about their local history,” she said.

Located on the corner of Rusden and Faulkner Streets, the Armidale Folk Museum is open seven days a week. Entry is by donation.

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