Collections on the walls
You can see these items from Salford Museum's collections on the walls in the cafe space at Salford Museum and Art Gallery.
Birdcages have been around since man started to keep birds as pets. The Ancient Egyptians and Romans kept birds in simple cages made from wood and reeds.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries rare and exotic birds were kept to demonstrate the wealth and status of a household. Songbirds were particularly popular as they provided a pleasing background noise. Their cages were often small and light to enable them to be carried from room to room.
As keeping birds was seen as a status symbols their cages became more elaborate and a decorative feature in their own right. In the eighteenth century birdcages came to resemble miniature houses. Although these cages were architecturally beautiful they did not give a thought to the birds needs and were often made of materials that were harmful.
By the nineteenth century the cages became more important than the birds themselves. There was a fashion for cages containing mechanical birds that could flap their wings and sing. At the end of the century most middle class English parlours would be furnished with a bird in a cage.
In the early twentieth century birds and their cages were seen as a decoration to liven up the household. Keeping canaries and budgerigars in painted tin cages were popular. These gave way to brass cages in the 1920s which would hang from a tall stand. Round and square cages that hung from a stand remained popular for many years.
Antique birdcages are still popular today as a decorative feature and are generally not used to keep birds in. Modern cages are usually made of steel and more consideration is given to the health and well being of the bird rather than the beauty of the structure.
Grocers Bike (early 20th century)
This delivery bike was used in the 1950's to deliver goods from Banister's Hardware store. A box or crate would have sat at the front. From the 1890's the mounted delivery boy was a common sight, pedalling up the road with a front basket full of groceries and other goods. They provided a vital local service to those unable or unwilling to travel to local shops, often working to a pre-determined, advertised timetable and route.
Enamel Signs (Late 19th/early 20th century)
Enamel advertising signs were first produced in 1897 by a manufacturing firm in Wolverhampton. By the start of the First World War almost every small shop in Grreat Britain had a colourful display of these signs on its outside walls.
They were made by a process known as vitreous enamelling which fused coloured glass to metal plates. Patented in England in the 1870s the medium was ideal for external advertising being hard wearing, scratch free and chemical resistant.
These brilliantly coloured signs were used to advertise all manner of products from groceries and newspapers to bicycles and motorcars.
The Second World War saw their decline when metal was needed for the war effort. After the war American style paper posters on hoardings became more popular.
SS Manchester Merchant ship model
This is a model of a vessel commissioned by Manchester Liners in 1951. She mainly carried raw materials from Canada and manufactured products from Manchester Docks. Sold to Liberian flag owners in 1967 she sank in 1972 following a fire.
Manchester Liners was a cargo and passenger shipping company based in Salford Docks. Founded in 1898 it pioneered the regular passage of ocean going vessels along the Manchester Ship Canal. It was mainly involved in the transatlantic shipping trade but also operated services to the Mediterranean. All of the vessels were registered in the port of Manchester. Many of their ships were lost to enemy action during the First and Second World Wars.
The company switched from traditional to container shipping in 1968. However, this was short lived as the length of the ships were restricted by the Manchester canal's lock chambers and so they could not compete economically as larger vessels were introduced.
The line ceased in 1985.
This mounted tarpon was donated from the Kings Arms Hotel on Bloom Street, Salford in 1972.
Tarpons are large fish of the genus Megalops. They grow on average to 6 feet long and weigh about 100 lbs, but can get much larger. Found in both salt and freshwater, there are two species, one native to the Atlantic and the other to the Indo-Pacific oceans.
Tarpons breathe air and need access to the surface of the water. They have large eyes with eyelids and a broad mouth with a prominent lower jaw that juts out farther than the rest of the face.
They are considered one of the great saltwater game fishes. Prized not only because of their great size but also because of the fight that they put up and their spectacular leaping ability. They are bony fish and their meat is not desirable so most are released after they are caught. Although some, like this one, are mounted as a trophy.