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Fan ornament made of Welsh slate

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C1808
Category: Personal/Personnel
Object Type: Model
Object Name: Fan ornament made of Welsh slate
Part No: None
Serial No: None
Manufacturer: Unknown
Year of Manufacture: Unknown
Dimensions: Width (mm): 160
Height (mm): 260
Depth (mm): 100
Weight (g): 579
Location: Cupboard CH (Display 3) [Main Store]



This object is made of slate. It has a fan shaped section which can be rotated and is mounted on a short engraved stand.
At the end of the 18th century, demand for slate exploded and changed the look and life of North West Wales forever.
Welsh slate was in demand not only in Britain but North America and mainland Europe as industrialisation and populations across the world gathered pace. Many new quarries opened or expanded to cater for demand that increased rapidly. By the 1870's, slate was one of Wales' major industries and Blaenau Ffestiniog had become an industrial town. The Dinorwig and Penrhyn quarries were the two largest slate quarries in the world, each employing over 3,000 people. The slate quarrymen prided themselves in their ability to handle slate and during their leisure hours they produced many beautiful and useful items. Many fireplaces in the quarrying districts feature ornate slate carvings, and ornaments such as this fan often took pride of place in the quarryman's home.

It was donated by the family of the late Ron Howard in 2019.

The Ron Howard Archive and Collection

The centre of the archive is contained in fifteen chronological ring binder files (1951 - 1993), containing photographs, programmes, news clippings, technical papers and correspondence chronicling the history of Elliott Brothers and the subsequent constituent companies of Marconi and GEC. They record Ron Howard's involvement with the development of, among others, the VC-10, Boeing 747 and Concorde, with an emphasis on automatic flight controls systems, one of his key areas of interest.  The material was sent by  the family of the late Ron Howard and received by the RAA in 2019. A description of the items and a short biography of Ron Howard can be seen in Document D0618


The Collection has a number of quite early scientific instruments and some personal items 

RAA Catalogue No. and Description

Verners Pattern Prismatic Compass VIII. Elliott Compass in Leather case

Colonel William Willoughby Cole Verner was born in 1852 and commissioned into The Rifle Brigade in 1874, retiring in 1904. He served on the staff in the Egyptian campaign of 1884-85 and during the Boer War. He died in 1922. This is a Verner Cavalry Sketch Board, by Elliott Brothers, London, c.1887

Ivory rectangular (4 1/2”) Protractor (top) made by Elliott Bros.C1716
A six-inch ivory sector dating from between 1854 and 1880 made by Elliott Bros.
A Telescope. No makers name can be seen.
A Galvanometer made by Elliott Bros London
A set of Draughting Instruments in a case made by Elliott Bros
A compass manufactured by Elliott Brothers between 1854 and 1865. #228 has a Gold spindle.
A compass manufactured by Elliott Brothers between 1854 and 1865. This one  has no serial No. but has a silver spindle and is marked L.F.Heath
Elliott Desk ornament.
SBAC Past President Badge
An Aneroid Barometer with its leather case. The double ended pocket Aneroid Barometer is signed by John Henry Steward. It has a leather case.
An Aneroid Barometer calibrated in ins Hg and Feet as an Altimeter There is no makers name. It has a gold case and a leather case.
Airspeed Indicator
Ron Howard's personal Flying Helmet with Oxygen mask and Goggles.

 A Telegraph Lineman's Galvanometer (circa 1910?) made by the India Rubber, Gutta Percha and Telegraph Works Co at Telegraph Works Silvertown, London

An Abney Level with Protractor and Spirit Level used in surveying
An Aneroid Barometer with the  dial  marked 'Compensated' and is calibrated from 15 to 31 inches of HG and 0 to 20,000feet.The case was made by J.B.Brooks
Thomas Parnell (fl. 1784-1811) was a mathematical and nautical instrument maker in London. This is a Spring Balance in a case.
Desk clock and Pen stand
Barometer in Silver case with no markings. The Barometer has a hard leather case.
Gunnery instrument, for adjusting the angle of the barrel
A Barometer/Weather Finder
Sand Timer. No makers name can be seen. A 14 second ships log timer.

A Spring Scale calibrated in Lbs made by George Salter & Co
A set of Draughting Instruments in a case by Charles Baker of 544 High Holborn est 1765.
Possibly part of another instrument and has a small optics
A Button Hook and Leather stitch marking tool.
A Marching  Compass Mk1 with a black bakelite case.  T.G & Co Ltd
Probably an Award

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