Object Highlight #24- Knuckledusters

Our Object Highlight for this week was chosen by Hannah R, our Museum Assistant


As a stand alone object there is nothing overly special about this object, it is a simple set of knuckle dusters. The oldest examples of knuckledusters actually date back to India in the 12th century but were not really wide spread until the Americans started making cast iron and brass knuckles during the American Civil War. Knuckledusters are actually illegal in as many as 26 countries including here in the UK. A brutal bit oh hardware but as you can see from the picture, not really that interesting on the face of it.

a set of brass knuckles

The thing that made me choose these is the one line description of them in our archive system – ‘knuckleduster, originally belonging to Mrs Tadd’.

The moment I read the description I knew these had to make my list because of the wealth of questions that simple line raised. Who was Mrs Tadd? Why did she feel the need to have knuckledusters? Where did she get them from? Did she ever have the need to use them? What kind of person was she?

Object Highlight
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