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Furzupland, Kenwyn, Cornwall. Early 1900s Featured Print

Furzupland, Kenwyn, Cornwall. Early 1900s

A young girl with a skipping rope is at the top of the steps, a lady holding a card or paper is on the right and a gentleman in a trilby is on the left. A gentleman with a white beard and wearing a cap can be seen looking out of a first floor window. The local story of this house is that it was built for an eccentric rich man. At the time when it was built, a well used thoroughfare ran beside the house and the man thought that someone might break in during the night and steal his money. So he had it built like a castle without stairs. At night he would climb up to the first floor using a rope ladder, pull the ladder up and sleep with a blunderbuss gun beside him. On the 1871 census an Edward George Spry, aged 36, lived there. He is described as a Bachelor of Arts, Landowner, Fund Holder and owner of stock in railways, mines etc. He was also part owner of the Red Lion Hotel in Boscawen Street, Truro. His housekeeper was Mary Verran. He and his housekeeper still lived there in 1881. Mr Spry died in 1887 leaving £11,000 (about £1 million today). The house is listed on the 1891 and 1901 censuses but with no occupants. Albert Sidney Labouchere-Sparling lived in the house between 1903 and 1906. In 1911, Josiah Clark (formerly of Tregavethan) lived there with his wife Olivia. It is possible that the people in the photograph are members of the Clark family. Furzuplands was home to the Brown family in the late 1950s. The property was later bought by architect Paul Bunyan and his wife, Laurence, who completely refurbished the interior. Photographer: Probably Arthur Philp.

© From the collection of the RIC

Pednandrea stamps and mine dressing floor at Wheal Sparnon, Redruth, Cornwall. 1865 Featured Print

Pednandrea stamps and mine dressing floor at Wheal Sparnon, Redruth, Cornwall. 1865

The area in the photograph is now covered by Clinton Road, Park Road and Albany Road, Redruth. According to the Ordnance Survey Six Inch map Cornwall LXIII. NE, surveyed 1877 to 1879, the mine is disused at that time. By the same OS area map Cornwall LXIII. NE Revised 1906, the whole are is covered in housing. The mine produced copper, as well as traces of cobalt and gold. Thomas Spargo states in his book, The Mines of Cornwall (1865), that "Wheal Sparnon was in the the parish of Redruth, Cornwall, in 6,000 shares. Secretary, Mr G.H. Cardozo, London. Purser, Mr W.P. Cardozo, Camborne. Manager, Captain Wm. Tregay, Redruth. Rocks, granite and clay-slate, 60 men employed in the mine, operations on the surface of which commenced in 1864. Land owner, Lord Clinton. Dues 1-20th. Depth of adit, 18 fathoms; depth under adit, 60 fathoms. A 70-inch pumping-engine just completed, also a 22-inch winding-engine. Little has been as yet been done by the Company under the surface; but it is generally believed that enormous quantities of tin will be raised after the mine has been cleared of water". Photographer: Probably Henry Opie.

© From the collection of the RIC

Joseph Tangye (1826-1902) on a velocipede, probably Wolverhampton, West Midlands. Around 1870 Featured Print

Joseph Tangye (1826-1902) on a velocipede, probably Wolverhampton, West Midlands. Around 1870

The velocipede in the photograph is very similar to the one in the collection of the Royal Cornwall Museum (TRURI : 1937.34). Tangye's Cornwall Works in Birmingham built large numbers of velocipedes, paying a royalty to the French Velocipede Company in order to make the bicycles. The five sons of Joseph Tangye senior, an Illogan miner, commenced their engineering and manufacturing business together in Birmingham in 1856. James (1825-1912), the eldest, was very skilled with the lathe; Joseph (1826-1902) was the creative engineer; Richard (1833-1906) dealt with public relations and sales; George (1835-1920) was the businessman; while Edward (1832-1909), a Quaker, soon left to found his own business. Velocipedes, also known as 'Boneshakers', due to their iron 'tyres', were one of the many things that were manufactured at the Cornwall Works. The business also provided the hydraulic rams required to launch the Great Eastern, Brunel's ill-fated steel ship in 1857-1858, and to raise Cleopatra's Needle to its present position on the London Embankment in 1878. The first direct-acting steam pumps in Europe were made at the Cornwall Works in 1867 and the firm produced James Tangye's horizontal steam engines from 1869. By 1876 the firm employed 1300 workers. The Tangyes were also philanthropists and from 1880 were founders and major benefactors of the Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum and the Birmingham School of Art. Photographer: Edward Hill, 39, Darlington Street, Wolverhampton.

© From the collection of the RIC