Thu | Jun 24, 2021

Objects from our Past

Published:Sunday | June 24, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Jamaica has a rich history, and as we celebrate 50 years of Independence, we take a look back at how we got here. With the kind assistance of the Institute of Jamaica, 'Objects from our Past' will highlight a total of 50 objects which are part of the Institute of Jamaica's collection. Today, we feature two of these Objects from our Past. Check this space next Sunday for two more.


Mahogany candlesticks presented to the Most Honourable Hugh Lawson Shearer, former prime minister of Jamaica, by the government of Trinidad and Tobago on the occasion of his official visit to the twin-island republic in August 1968. Subsequent to the visit in October 1970, the gift and an elaborate case made of samples of Trinidad woods were presented to the Institute of Jamaica by the late prime minister. The sculptures depict the coat of arms of Trinidad and Tobago representing each island. Separately, the red ibis represents Trinidad, and the cocrico bird, Tobago.

Baby gas mask

One of the most noteworthy gas masks used during WWI was the baby gas mask. The baby was placed inside, with a strap fastened between its legs. Air was pumped in through a filter at the side, and a draw string at the bottom was pulled tight around the baby's body to keep out poisonous gases. Historians have pointed to the flaws in this equipment as the poison would surely have seeped in quite quickly.