This part of the collection demonstrates the change to Shetland society as islanders moved to commercial farming, and people started buying services and goods from professional trades rather than making things themselves.

A new kind of farming, called crofting, came from the 1890s. The collection shows all the aspects of change, including mass-produced implements for farmers, like scythes, lanterns or traps. Many specialised in sectors such as poultry or dairy farming, and products marketed for sale. There were new innovations in techniques, like sheep-dipping, as well as labour-saving machines such as grain threshers.

We have good collections of trades’ equipment, especially from the 19th century. These equate with tools used in the rest of Britain. There are heavier trades like carpenter, blacksmith, shipwright and stonemason, as well as lighter ones like cobbler, dressmaker and watchmaker. The tool range is huge, from crease iron (shipwright) or fudge wheel (cobbler), to flincher (cooper) or jumper (mason).