Interpreting Cultural Sources Stage 1 Research – KINNEAR -08.01.15

Given that my research into the Kitson part of my family is halted somewhat since I can’t locate a Gypsy Varda I have taken my research to the Kinnears and looking at what life my great Grand-father James was involved in. I know he was a man who invented artificial limbs, had many patents to his name and had a premises in Sheffield selling them. My Grand Mother – his daughter Eliza- had stories of when she worked in the shop for him. Often the talks where full of humour at helping her clients choose which item to return if they couldn’t afford the rental on multiple items. She said eyes were the first to be returned as “folk could manage with one eye it’s the legs and arms and crutches they missed.” I thank my Grand Mother for my sense of humour. I started an online search to find any documentation of James’s inventions and found a wealth of information in the records for newspapers. I found that not only did he invent new technology for prosthetics he also turned his creative mind to other items, namely a cradle rocker and a life saving jacket. The newspapers furnished me with a glimpse into his world.

life jacket  aberdeen journal 28/04/1875

life jacket
aberdeen journal 28/04/1875

automated rocking cradle the aberdeen journal 222/11/1884

automated rocking cradle the ‘hydromotorruk’
the aberdeen journal 222/11/1884

There are hundreds of advertisements on line that he placed in newspapers to promote his wares and a huge selling point was the availability of an experienced female attendant, My great Grand Mother I assume.

From one article I found that James himself had lost a leg in an accident and I assume his work as a prosthesis supplier came from this intimate knowledge. I also found two articles which gave court proceedings for James pursuing payment for limbs supplied and one where he gives witness to a wife beating her husband in a divorce case. The search has been fascinating and addictive.

advertisement aberdeen weekly jourtnal  october 1885

advertisement aberdeen weekly journal october 1885

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