Monday, January 28, 2013

THE TREAD MILL - THE WAY OF TRANSGRESSORS IS HARD

In keeping with my blog theme of teachings from transferware patterns, I must introduce you to "The Tread Mill."  It is a pattern found on a 6.5 inch plate with a molded animal border that was intended for a 19th century child.  Sir William Cubit, a 19th century civil engineer, designed a treadmill for English prisons.  A typical treadmill shift lasted eight hours.  My experience with an exercise treadmill makes the thought of such a long time on one seem extraordinarily cruel.  Of course, I found twenty minutes excessive.
The Tread Mill, c. 1840

The Tread Mill Close-Up

The sign on the wall of the above pattern says "Transported for Life" (perhaps to Australia) and the picture is of a gallows!  Children's plates were intended as gifts for good children.  Perhaps this pattern was intended to frighten the children in order to keep them good!  (Notice the poor weeping child on the bottom right).

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