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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Discover the secrets of Miss Porter’s Everyday Objects

Take a look around your home and you’ll find that we surround ourselves with everyday objects.

From mobile phones to toasters and hair products, these possessions tell a story reflecting our culture, time, economic status, work, leisure and taste.

They also signify what’s important to us. 

The ‘Everyday Objects’ in the Miss Porter’s House Museum, located at 434 King Street, Newcastle, divulge the tale of Herbert, Florence, Ella and Hazel Porter over a period of 90 years.

And, interested residents and visitors can view those items, from curious purchases to the handmade treasures, on Sunday 14 February between 1pm and 4pm. 

“They show how an ordinary family lived in the early 20th century and how the objects we use every day changed over time,” Miss Porter’s House Management Committee deputy chair Jean Bridges said.

“There are plenty of questions to be answered, too.

“For instance, how was life-before-electricity reflected in behaviour and possessions?

“How exactly did a butter cooler work and why was the electric fry pan a sensation?

“See how life before modern medicine encouraged some very questionable remedies and discover what an egg has to do with darning, why an iron was SAD and how trees fitted in shoes.”

Tickets for the Everyday Objects exhibit are $10 (adults), $8 (concessions) and $25 (family) while children five years and younger will be admitted free.

Beforehand, celebrate Australia Day 2021 at the much-loved heritage property as it opens its doors on Tuesday 26 January from 1pm until 4pm.

In 1997, Ms Hazel Porter bequeathed her family home and contents to the National Trust of Australia (NSW), giving the organisation a free-standing two-storey brick terrace-style urban Edwardian residence that was built in 1909.

Very little has changed since that time.

While Miss Porter’s House Museum is usually open to the public on the second Sunday of each month (from February to December), 26 January is an exception to the rule.

“We look forward to this event every year,” Ms Bridges said.

“People can see – and visit – the home created by the Australian-born children of 19th century migrants.

“Newcastle boy Herbert Porter and his wife Florence raised a family in Newcastle West.

“Their free-standing Edwardian house is now a National Trust museum containing a century of household memorabilia including many which denote their interest in the local area and all things Australian.”

Tickets to the Australia Day function are $10 (adults), $8 (concessions) and $25 (family) while children five years and younger will be admitted free.

For further information, phone 4927 0202, visit www.nationaltrust.org.au or go to missportershouse on Facebook.