…seemingly, without me finding some cloth-covered wire. My latest encounter with finding it unexpectedly started in a way not associated with wire at all. It started out with ocean liners.
Since May, when their ocean liners exhibit opened, I have been wanting to go to the Peabody Essex Museum, in Salem, MA, just a couple of hours from Sundial Wire™. The exhibit closes on October 9, so I was getting quite nervous about running out of time. I have a particular interest and love for ocean liners, in spite of my never having been on one, because my grandfather ran White Star Line for all of Europe during the 1920s and 1930s. I think White Star was the only company he ever worked for, starting from when he was a 16-year-old in Southampton, England, where he was born and where White Star Line was based. I wish he was still around for many reasons – he was a truly wonderful person. I would ask him about so many things, including his work. I know that he adored ships and that he felt like a truly lucky man that his work could revolve around his great love.
During World War II my grandfather’s work with White Star Line helped the war effort in two ways. First, the British Navy gave him the rank of brigadier, the highest rank they could give a civilian, because his great knowledge of shipping in the Mediterranean could be applied to how to move ships around as safely as possible during wartime. The second way that his work helped the war effort is more indirect. Because he was based in Hamburg, Germany, starting in 1922, my mother, born in 1920, was more than fluent in German, even having a Hamburg accent. During the war she worked for British Intelligence and in the British Navy. Her speaking like a native (people still don’t believe she’s not German when she speaks the language), allowed her to do vital translations, interpret German fighter plane pilots through static and other interference, and even broadcast propaganda into Germany. That is the family history that made getting to the exhibit important to me.
The exhibit had loads of beautiful and fascinating artifacts, posters, some engineering items, lots of decor and furnishings, and many other items. It did not have a lot of White Star Line artifacts, more from Cunard, with which White Star merged in 1934, and other companies, but I still enjoyed it thoroughly.
There was some lighting, gorgeous 1950s sconces from an Italian liner.
It was not in the ocean liners exhibit, but in the Yin Yu Tang house a complete house moved from China by the museum, built over 200 years ago and lived in until 1982, that I found cloth-covered wire. The house is just gorgeous, everywhere you look giving you a view that could be a painting.
This bulb hangs between the entrance and the courtyard. Its cord was quite weathered, which isn’t surprising as it is essentially outdoors since the central courtyard has no roof.
Another pendant with cloth-covered wire was in one of the bedrooms.
If you can, get yourself to the Peabody Essex before October 9 to see the ocean liners exhibit. If you can’t make it by then, the Yin Yu Tang house is a permanent installation, and there is a a wonderful permanent collection mainly centered on the New England seafaring trade, especially with Asia. And to ensure your visit is complete. be sure to check out the cloth-covered wire.
Oh, and there’s lobster and steamers nearby…. (I do love New England.)