Cast iron stove and fireplace surround in the Cregneash museum village, Isle of Man. The large, elaborate stove and the decorated fireplace both seem unexpectedly luxurious for such a tiny isolated farming community. In particular, the fireplace’s Art Nouveau tiles strike one as quite expensive. [Click on images to enlarge them.]

The Cregneash museum village, which perches on the southern tip of the Isle of Man, preserves nineteenth-century Manx farming and domestic technology. According to Manx National Heritage, the Isle of Man heritage website, Cregneash sits on “an upland plateau, in the shadow of Meayll Hill and overlooking the Calf of Man . . . [and] was one of the last strongholds of the Manx language and customs which characterised the traditional crofting way of life.” The museum village consists of a small number of stone buildings, including homes, a church, a blacksmith's and carpenter's shop.

This equipment used for cleaning clothing and other textiles shows how cast iron and galvanized iron enabled the creation of affordable domestic technology for use in everyday tasks around the home — even homes in struggling farming communities.

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Photographs and text by George P. Landow. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL or cite it in a print document.

Last modified 10 September 2016