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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer

4

Guillotine

Object information

Physical description

A paper guillotine with a wooden platform, moveable metal handle and blade. In the centre of the platform is an ink stamped ship's wheel and text that reads "Jay - nay" . On the reverse handwritten in pencil is "3/-".

Statement of significance

The Roland Wilson Collection represents Wilson's private hobbies rather than his long and successful position as Secretary to the Treasury. The collection includes a Vehicle Construction Kit which Wilson developed in the early 1950s, notes and photographs related to the kit, a range of drawing instruments, and a homemade radiogram and wooden cabinet that were constructed in the late 1940s. The key object within the collection is the Vehicle Construction Kit which was patented in the United States in 1956. The kit was one of Wilson's many inventions, and when assembled would form several wheeled vehicles for children. Most of these vehicles were modelled upon adult objects of industry or modes of transportation, and were possibly designed to familiarise children with adult skills and chores. The Roland Wilson Collection represents the creative spirit in Australia, and also reveals the private hobbies of a public Australian individual.

Object information

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