Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Orange you glad you know the story?

My home page is BBC News and today I noticed a news article of interest to collections types.

A museum in Staffordshire (UK) was recently presented with a dried out old orange.

Ew, you might say, nasty old fruit. But this orange is 116 years old and tells a poignant story about a mining disaster in 1891. A man had packed his lunch for the day - including this orange - and went to work. There was an explosion and he was fatally wounded, later dying in a hospital. His effects, including his lunch box containing this orange, were returned to the family, who kept them. The orange, over the course of time, dried out and blackened. He never did get to eat it for his lunch.

I'm sure people local to the area knew the story of the mine disaster, but to learn one of the smaller stories, a story that includes a remarkable piece of fruit such as this, makes history somehow more present.

*image borrowed from a google image search

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