Our Victorian living history workshop is packed with learning all about the major inventions of the Victorian age and ALL of the following activities are included in each visit to your primary school.
Designed in the same manner as our extremely popular World War Two living history workshop, the Victorian workshop is heavily artefact-based and as such involves a great deal of object handling via the following activities. If you would like to see a more detailed description of each artefact please click the corresponding picture or visit our artefacts page here.
Please note that the workshop also includes a 'Victorian Millionaire's quiz' (not pictured here) with pupils competing in teams to get their token to the Great Exhibition.
We get the workshop off to a dynamic start by looking at a wide range of Victorian inventions and related events covering the full period of Victoria's reign and such illustrious inventions as photography and the magnificent Great Exhibition of 1851.
Historical enquiry at it's best as pupils investigate our wide range of Victorian artefacts. Grouped into themed sets, they represent a wide sample of the amazing inventions that appeared in the Victorian era, from the practical (the washboard and bed warmer) to the economic (the typewriter and sewing machine) through to the wonderful 3d stereoviewer and zoetrope, the pupils draw their own conclusions about inventions that are foundations of our modern way of life and the key feature of our living history workshops.
(also known as -- . ... ... .- --. . / -.-- --- ..- .-. / ..-. .-. .. . -. -.. ... / .. -. / -- --- .-. ... . / -.-. --- -.. .)
One of our most popular activities, our fully working electric telegraph set provides pupils with a truly unique opportunity to learn about morse code and to actually message their friends at the other side of the room using the genuine morse code alphabet. Prompt cards allow the pupils to quickly learn the basics of what is now called "The Victorian Internet" due to the way that it connected people around the globe.
Perhaps the greatest technological development during Victoria's reign (and beyond) was the development of steam power and the range of manufacturing, engineering and transport opportunities that it offered. Pupils experience this hands on in by powering a live steam' replica of Stephenson's 'Rocket' along a track using a stirrup pump, and by powering a working model of a Victorian factory engine, learning all about the transference of energy and how steam pistons work in the process. This is a real highlight of our workshop for many children.
Why were the old Victorian photos almost always taken in a photographer's studio with the subjects looking stiff and posed? We look for the answer by taking black and white photos through our converted brass 1888 Lancaster camera lens. Pupils dress up in Victorian clothes, and, using natural light, learn about shutter speeds and apertures while taking photos of their friends.
(SAFEGUARDING NOTE: all digital photo files are left behind with the school at the end of the day for your own use in displays etc. and nothing is kept stored on our digital camera - to view our full company safeguarding policy, please use the enquire button at the top of the page with your request).
"My favourite part of the workshop was the Victorian photos where you got dressed up. You had your own photo taken with a victorian lens but a new camera. It was awesome!"
"I liked the train track because it was fun and we won the race!"
"My favourite activity was the zoetrope because the way it works is amazing and it looks like you are watching a movie."
"I enjoyed learning the morse code".