Souvenir thermometer, with views of Inveraray and Dunstaffnage

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probably made in Mauchline, Ayrshire

Postcard of Souvenir thermometer, with views of Inveraray and Dunstaffnage.
© National Museums Scotland

Souvenir thermometer, with views of Inveraray and Dunstaffnage

This varnished wooden obelisk-shaped souvenir was probably produced by the firm of W & A Smith in Mauchline in Ayrshire. It contains a thermometer and dates from the late 19th century.

The transfer-printed scenes around the base of the obelisk are of Inveraray Cross, Inveraray Castle and Dunstaffnage Castle.

The firm of W & A Smith is said to have started in the early 1820s. Initially they made snuff boxes and razor strops (straps for sharpening razors). By 1841 they were selling tartan souvenir wares and in 1850 they published their 'Authenticated Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland'. From around 1860 to 1930 they produced vast quantities of souvenirs including boxes, table and desk accessories, and sewing items. The souvenirs were transfer-printed with views of British towns and cities, seaside resorts and exhibitions. Similar items, decorated appropriately, were produced for export to Europe, India, Australia and North America. The factory remained in business until a fire in 1933.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-000-078-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.MEW 146
Date: Late 19th century
Material: Wood. Inscription: Sold by John Rose. Post Office
Dimensions: 6.25" H
What: Obelisk / thermometer
Who: John Rose (Original vendor)
Where: Dunstaffnage Castle
Inveraray Castle
Inveraray Cross
Description: Wooden souvenir in the shape of an obelisk with a thermometer, with scenes depicting Inveraray Cross, Castle and Dunstaffnage Castle, sold by John Rose
  • Evans, G. Souvenirs From Roman Times to the Present Day. Edinburgh: NMS Publishing Ltd, 1999, pp 47-8. 
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