Qu’est-ce que c’est ?


My computer is co-operating once more, thanks to Chris’s intervention, so I can put photos into my blog again!

I sent Ruadhri off on an egg hunt this morning as I’m convinced a couple of the chickens are laying – just not in the nesting boxes. However, despite an exhaustive search lasting about five minutes he didn’t find eggs, but he did find this:

I have no idea what it could be – possibly some kind of mixer? I shall have to do some research.

One object we found in the attic of Notaire’s House here at Les Fragnes when we moved in, and that we could identify, was a balance Romaine (steelyard).

Ruadhri weighing today's dinner!

How did it work? Over to Wikipedia for a snappy explanation:

The steelyard exemplifies the law of the lever, wherein, when balanced, the weight of the object being weighed, multiplied by the length of the short balance arm to which it is attached, is equal to the weight of the counterweight multiplied by the distance of the counterweight from the pivot.

You got that, right? In other words, hang your dead bunny/turkey/relative on the hook end and by, moving the weight up and down the shaft and using some nifty maths, you can work out how much it weighs.

One last intriguing object we’ve found is this one:

Possibly it’s a bed warmer? But I’m not convinced so any suggestions would be gratefully received.

If you like strange old things then check out:

http://grisetrose.canalblog.com/archives/objets_d_antan/index.html

The text is in French but the photos are beautiful and it’s still fascinating.

0 Replies to “Qu’est-ce que c’est ?”

  1. What interesting things you’ve found. I have no idea what the first item is; the second you have explained interestingly; the third is also a mystery. I don’t think it’s a bed warmer: they would have been flatter and without the lattice work grill at the top. It’s obviously intended for putting cinders in to warm something – but what? Feet? Dishes? I’ll be interested to know the answer.

    I must post up some of the things we have found around our place, mostly to do with its agricultural past.

    Amitiés,
    Vanessa

    1. I agree that it probably isn’t a bed warmer. It’s a puzzle. I’d love to see your strange articles when you do a post about them. I must find more of ours – we have two very odd items, but I’m not sure where I put them after the last tidy-up!
      Best wishes,
      Stephanie


  2. The steelyard exemplifies the law of the lever, wherein, when balanced, the weight of the object being weighed, multiplied by the length of the short balance arm to which it is attached, is equal to the weight of the counterweight multiplied by the distance of the counterweight from the pivot.
    m(da) = mass of the dead animal l(sba) = length of the short balance arm m(cw) = mass counterweight l(cw/p) = length between the counterweight and the pivot”

    So: m(da) * l(sba) = m(cw) * l(cw/p)
    (=) m(da) = ((m(cw) * l(cw/p)) / l(sba)

    So to find the mass of the dead animal, I’m guessing you move the counterweight around until it all balances, then you multiply the mass of the counterweight by the distance between the counterweight and the pivot, all of which you divide by the lenght of the short balance arm.

    Sounds a bit complicated for a 19th century farmer who didn’t even have a calculator…( unless they used abacuses(eseses)?)

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