Spelling Machine

A home made spelling machine from Yorktown National School, dating from c.1880.

The machine consists of a tin box, with 7 windows cut out of the front. Behind each window is a roll of linen wound round a spindle.  Each linen roll is printed with every letter of the alphabet; upper case for the first window and lower case for the next six. Each of the spindles has its own handle at the base of the box. When a handle is turned the roll of linen turns so that any letter can be made to show through the window at the front. It has been set up to spell the word Museums.


Surrey Heath Museum Spelling Machine
Copyright: Image courtesy of Brian Wood

The museum curator has not seen another example so, although it is somewhat worn, it is one of the most significant items in the Surrey Heath Museum collection.

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19th Century Surrey

Surrey Heath Museum

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