‘½ vol. not relevant’: The scrapbook of Winifred Penn-Gaskell

October 9th, 2014 | RESEARCH

The scrapbook of Winifred Penn-Gaskell – celebrated aerophilatelist and collector of aeronautica –reveals a great deal about its maker and the social and political context of early flight history in Britain. It is argued here that a ‘reading’ of the book as a non-textual object offers a predictive argument for the aesthetic and cultural representation of heavier-than-air craft and pilots in the years immediately prior to the First World War. By viewing each section of the scrapbook as parts of a contingent whole, the early-twentieth century interest in performative masculinity (physical culture and boxing) becomes a part of the technological narrative of aviation development. In this paper I question the implications of branding an object such as this ‘irrelevant’ to the broader themes of the Penn-Gaskell collection, and offer some views of my own on how the notion of failure affects museological practices.


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Team Members

Caitlin Doherty, Author, Cambridge University


Identifier Type: doi
Identifier: 10.15180/140210

Publication: Science Museum Group Journal
Volume: 1
Number: 2

Related URLs

Full Text via Science Museum Group


Audience: General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: General STEM | History | policy | law | Physics | Space science | Technology
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits