Economy, trade and technology

Current research and curatorial projects

Toolmakers represented in the tool collection

Pocket watch with key. Gilt by George Mason and Horton Kirby circa 1830-40. (SACHM5053)

The tool collection comprises more than 5 000 tools used at the Cape, mainly in the various woodworking industries, with a small collection used in leather and metalworking. Nearly a thousand makers are represented. An inventory of these makers consisting of their names, place and period of production, biography (including mergers, take-overs, and brand names) has been compiled.

The role of women in the history of Groot Constantia during its period of private ownership (1685–1885)

The research deals with the role women played on the Groot Constantia wine farm during its period of private ownership and is set against the background of the social history of the Cape during the time. Comparisons with other wine producing farms give a broader insight in the role women played at the Cape, especially as farm owners. The women farm owners were also slave owners, and this is researched, as well as their other employees.

Transport in Cape Town: The origin and establishment of the taxi service

The research concentrates on the present taxi industry, nationally employing more than 300 000 people. Taxi associations and operators are given attention to, denoted as long and short distance operators. Service areas and area control, agreements and vehicles in use are discussed, as well as the government proposed taxi vehicles. Safety and safety regulations, and government involvement on local, provincial and national level are covered in the research. These include fuel supply and the question of a fuel subsidy to the industry.

Wine Museum at Groot Constantia

New initiatives at the farm necessitated the planning of a new Wine Museum, not only discussing the history of the wine of the farm, but that of Southern Africa.

Contact details

Curator: Thijs van der Merwe

Tel: +27 (0)21 467 7201