Steel rivet from the Forth Bridge used for fastening tube steelwork.
Helen Peacock a visitor to the museum spotted this item in the Travel Section of The Guardian (30 March 2019). It is attributed to Peter Ross, author of The Passion Of Harry Bingo (Sandstone Press, £8.99).
In my palm, a talisman – a brittle dome the colour of dried blood. It is paint, flaked off the Forth Bridge, formed around one of its 6.5 million rivets during the unending repaintings. This ghost rivet, which I found one day while on the bridge for work, brings to mind the entire structure – 2,467 metres of it stretching from Lothian to Fife. The bridge has stood in the firth since 1890, and stands for how we in Scotland like to see ourselves: strong, ingenious, a pragmatic grace weatherproofing us against life’s winds and tides. It – she – is beautiful. Look at her psychedelic geometry. Look at her unyielding span. Put her on a tea towel and she loses no dignity, transcends kitsch. I love her beckoning steel.
A riveting machine used on the Forth Bridge also forms part of the collection and can be seen at 2013-019.