Day 300 — Cleaning Day

Wow, Day 300, only 66 more to go and I will have explained the entirety of Sweden, past, present and future. Or maybe not. Anyway, Day 300 was Cleaning Day, Swedish style.

Mariette’s maternal grandfather was a builder in the area about 30 miles north of Halmstad and developed a passion for collecting the remnants of 19th and early 20th Century Swedish life. He amassed quite a collection of stuff and these have been placed in a museum that is now run as a foundation by his children, all of whom are still alive and kicking. Each year they spend the day cleaning the museum and then have a board meeting where they discuss various things (in Swedish, so I can’t report too much on that) and then sit around eating and laughing. This is an unbelievably relaxed group and very close.

I took some shots of the activities.

This is the museum. Nondescript on the outside, but inside . . .

Mariette and I got the kitchen to clean.

Kitchen implements.


The assembled cleaning crew having fika.

Stuff is really packed into the place. Properly displayed the number of items would probably fill a space 10 times the size of this house. There are literally thousands and thousands of items, all categorized.

Early radio.

Early butterflies. Kids growing up today probably don’t even know there are such things as butterflies.

These are oil prints. They were the favored form of decoration in Swedish homes in the 19th Century because they were much more affordable than paintings. The museum has 600 of them and the walls are plastered with them in several rooms.

This is a clog making apparatus with various other misrelated tools scattered all around.

This little out of focus gizmo is a noise making machine that makes one hell of a racket to scare away animals and likely the Devil himself. You crank that handle it makes a really loud and annoying sound.

This nifty little item is one of my favorites and no doubt inspired the old bromide about building a better mousetrap, because that is precisely what this is. That block in the middle raises up on the two sticks on either side of the middle one. The block is delicately poised on the middle stick and a string attaches to a piece of cheese in the box at the bottom. The mouse nibbles on the cheese and gravity does the rest. This could be one of my favorite items in the whole wide world.

Mariette wheedled this rabbit coat out of the museum collection. Her grandmother had it but never wore it as she disliked ostentation and was a big time animal lover. She started one of the first exercise clubs for stay at home mothers in the early 1930s. Mariette loves animals too but the statue of limitations has run out on whoever did this to those rabbits. We will see if she gets any flack next winter from PETA types here.

For combing wool or flax or some kind of fibers.

This is a beautifully machined and elegant pencil sharpener.

Vacuum pump.

Photo album. They don’t  make them like this any more.

Beautiful old Bible.

Several years ago I was inspired to put together a blog about the museum and took many more (and better) that give a much better idea of the size of the collection. If you are interested you can see it at:

I don’t think you will be disappointed. Every year on the same day, the first Sunday in August, every museum in Sweden holds an open house where people can gain an appreciation of the country’s heritage. This year it is August 5, so make your plans now. Or just check out the link above.


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