Cotton reel and envelope used by the Chamberlain family of Armidale
This reel of cotton survived in the Chamberlain family as a memento of Dora Chamberlain's migration to Australia. From the date, address and text on the envelope that contains the reel, it appears that one of Dora's longest surviving daughters, Vere, recorded the significance of the cotton reel for posterity sometime after 6 January 1969.
People keep all manner of objects as material reminders, or mementoes, of people, places and events. Photographs, letters, and intimate possessions such as jewellery are among the more common mementoes. Sometimes, however, objects with an experiential or thematic association are kept. Having been brought shortly before Dora's departure from England, this cotton reel had an immediate relationship to migration. But its significance as a memento also relates to the Chamberlain women's love for needlework, so apparent in the other objects in this collection.
The manufacturers of the cotton, J. Brooks and Brothers of Meltham Yorkshire, were themselves a significant company. One of many textile related companies in Yorkshire in the 19th century, they pioneered the practice of corporate benevolence by providing pleasure grounds for the townsfolk of Meltham, and rest homes for employees.
Meltham Mills, England