Tally Stick

Counting the days.....

National Museum of Ireland
National Museum of Ireland

This object is known as a tally stick. Each notch cut into the stick represented a day worked. This particular example was used by labourers in the Kilkee District of Co. Clare to keep track of the number of days’ wages due to them.

The piece of wood is 58cm in length with notches cut on two adjacent edges, these run the full length of the wood on one edge and 41cm on the other. The notches are in alternate positions on the edges, each notch being about 5mm wide and 4mm deep.

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