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Spoon - Dessert, circa 1940 Object Reg. No: SH 850181

Summary:
Well-worn and battered dessert spoon standard size with "Vict. Govt." stamped in a scroll on the handle. Collected from a Victorian psychiatric institution during the 1950s. Dates from circa1940.
Description:
Well-worn and battered dessert spoon standard size with "Vict. Govt." stamped in a scroll on the handle. The bowl of the spoon is battered out of shape and it also seems to have been banged on a hard surface as the top of the bowl is flattened. The spoon has now been polished and is shiny. The bowl is pitted at the back.
Statement Of Significance:
An example of dining equipment used by mental health hospitals in Victoria Australia circa 1940. This is one of a number of pieces of cutlery that were collected by Dr Charles Brothers as he moved throughout the Victorian Mental Health institutions in the early 1950s, as part of his work of reforming the system. Like most of the others, this item shows extensive wear, tribute to the poverty of the system where implements were used for many years, rather than being replaced when they were worn. The spoon is marked 'Vict. Govt'. on the handle. The Government tried to keep control over equipment within institutions such as psychiatric hospitals by stamping or labelling things when this could be done. This was an attempt to control pilfering from the institutions by staff and possibly patients: a problem that was substantial during the 1930s and 1940s.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Office of Psychiatric Services, 1985
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 2.5 cm (Height), 4.0 cm (Width), 18.00 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: hospitals, psychiatric services, making history - psych services
Themes this item is part of: Psychiatric Institutions of the Past, Psychiatric Services Collection, Medicine in Society Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection, Dining in Victorian Mental Health Institutions
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: MEDICINE & HEALTH
Secondary Classification: Mental Health - Institutional Life
Tertiary Classification: food & drink consumption
Inscriptions: NYTTONS/ALLBRITE/STAINLESS N.S. engraved on back; Vict. Govt. on front.
Date Used: Victoria, Australia, circa 1940
References: oral history

Comments

Anthony R. Horn Posted on 20 Jun 2014 6:59 PM
I have found one at an old army site in Geraldton. Tablespoon marked ALLBRITE NS

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