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I live in Ajaccio on the island of Corsica where I work as a photographer. I have also been a collector of climbing equipment for many years now, specializing in "artificial chockstones". As a history buff, I have founded and been running the Nuts Museum here in Ajaccio.

I wrote the article Nuts' Story: 2001 a Nut Odyssey published in the British magazine High Mountain Sports in June 2001 to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the first purpose designed nut ever marketed, the John Brailsford Acorn.

My second article Nuts' Story: Clockwork Friends came out in the same magazine in October 2003 (under the title Nuts' Story: Adjustable Expanding Protection). As usual, John Brailsford translated my poorly written English into good Whymper prose.

Maybe you have spotted the poster/calendar published in High Mountain Sports in December 1999 (shown above). It was my personal way to welcome the millennium. A half of a century of "artificial chockstones" were used to write 2000 on a background, ranging from the original British machine nuts to the most sophisticated camming devices, including several rare prototypes.

I have a very large collection of climbing equipment, if not the largest, but I am still looking for a small number of hard-to-find nuts and i
n spite of a great deal of research, there are still few old protection devices which my collection is unfortunately missing. If you have any of these items and are willing to part with them, I would be sincerely grateful.

The following treasures would be a welcome addition to the Nuts Museum:

BRAILSFORD John (England) Acorn (1961) medium and large:


In spite of a great deal of research, I have not yet found any samples of this typical Australian climbing protection. I believe that there is not any mention of the using of Ballraces in the British climbing literature.

I contacted John Davis about the Ballraces a few years ago. John had looked for his old Ballraces for the Nuts Museum but so far he has not found them. He sent me a couple of pages from the book “Rope and Rucksack” he published in 1969, which shows the ones he was looking for.

CAMPBELL MOUNTAINEERING (USA) Wedgefast (1976/1977) #1 and #8 and Saddlewedge (1976/1977) #1 and #8
CCH (COLORADO CUSTOM HARDWARE) (USA) long extension for Seismo (1986)
Cheetas, all sizes: In 1966/67 along with his brother Roger and a climbing companion Colin Downer, Guy Lee manufactured wedge shaped nuts, called Cheeta, and sold them on the climbing scene in the Peak District. These nuts were used by Guy Lee and various colleagues on early ascents of routes like Mousetrap on Gogarth, and Nexus on Dinas Mot (Terry Bolger who was leading the overhang on this route fell on a Cheeta and it remained jammed in there for years).
CHOUINARD EQUIPMENT (USA) Tube Chock (1973) #4 (without notches) and Tube Chock (1974) #6 (with notches)
CHOUINARD EQUIPMENT (USA) Brass Nut (1981) any sizes
CMI (COLORADO MOUNTAIN INDUSTRIES) (USA) Kirk's Kamms (1976) #1 (on the upper left in the photo)
D. BEST MOUNTAINEERING (USA) Quickie (1986/1987) #0
DOLT (USA) all nuts  
DWYER George (Wales) Scottie (1946) only one sample was made!
EWBANK John (Australia) Crackers (1969) any sizes!
FORREST MOUNTAINEERING (USA) Copperhead (1969) #1 and S-Copperhead (1969) #4
LEEPER (USA) Z Chock #1 #3 #4 #6

MOAC ( England ) MOAC n°4 on wire
(The bottom right nut on white tape is a n°4 - what is wanted is that nut on wire like the top three)

PARBA (England) Spud (1965) any sizes (on the left on the photograph).
POOL-TOOL ENGINEERING (England) Cheating Sticks (1969)

PORTER EQUIPMENT / Charlie PORTER (USA) Porter Nut (early 70's) #5

SMC (SEATTLE MANUFACTURING CORPORATION) (USA) Quick-Taper Wedge #1 and #2 on wire

18/6/11: Hooray - no longer wanted. These rare nuts have finally reached the Nuts Museum!! My friend and generous sponsor Joseph Healy bought them on eBay and presented them to me!

TROLL (England) Tee size 1 on wire
TROLL (England) Tee size 2 without lightening holes
TROLL (England) Hexagons size 6 and size 7 with lightening holes

Thank you in advance for your time and interest in my project.

With best wishes from Corsica.

Photo Hall, 18 Cours Napoléon
F-20000, Ajaccio, Corsica, FRANCE
Phone : (00 33) 4 95 21 43 31
E-Mail :

Nuts' Story: 2001 a Nut Odyssey

More Nut's Stories

Nuts' Story: Clockwork Friends

Early Equipment Catalogues

Supertopo Forum on "Mystery Gear"

Dr Gary Storrick's Vertical Devices Collection

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