Friday, 1 November 2019

Ceramic Water Filter


This ceramic water filter from the late 1860s-1870s and donated to the museum collection by Elva Brain, is currently housed with the museum collection. It was used by the Brain family to provide clean safe drinking water for their needs. There are two handles and a hole at the base where a tap would have been located. Flowers in relief over the surface and a coat of arms/crest in the centre above the tap. The name J. Carder is imprinted above the crest.

Joshua Carder operated major clay works at Limeburners Bay, Hobsonville, Auckland, from 1863 to 1929. According to a Archaeological Report completed by Clough & Associates in 2008:

“Joshua Carder arrived in New Zealand in September 1863 and soon after he was producing pottery at Hobsonville, his wife and sons arriving to join him in 1865. The skills he had gained in Staffordshire set him up well for production in his new country. He had plaster moulds for press moulding ornamental pieces including sporting scenes and sheaves of wheat. He no doubt made use of these moulds as well as producing more functional wares. Joshua Carder’s sons, Walter and George, set up their own pottery in 1872.”

The filter when in use, had a layer of soft cotton in the base. If available, another layer of charcoal covered the cotton, with a layer of fine clean sand on top. Water poured into the top of the jar would filter down through these layers and when the tap at the bottom was turned on, clean water emerged. This method of purifying water is still a practical alternative in certain areas where water quality is doubtful.

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