The Thomas Telford designed bridge that spanned the Menai Straits in Wales was the biggest suspension bridge in the world at the time. By allowing 100 feet of clear space beneath the bridge deck, tall sailing ships could pass underneath. This bridge "made a huge change to the country of Wales". As an additional bonus, travel time between London and Holyhead was cut by 36 hours and reduced to a speedy 27 hours.
There would have been numerous news articles, etchings and even Staffordshire plates done to announce the opening of this amazing structure. Lewis Carroll even included a reference in Through the Looking Glass:
White Knight says to Alice,
'I heard him then, for I had just completed my design.
To keep the Menai Bridge from rust.
By boiling it in wine.'
Nearly identical samplers commemorating the opening of the Thomas Telford Bridge over the Menai Straits on January 13, 1826 were obviously taught by one teacher in the area, and taken from a favorite etching. We know of one additional sampler in this companion group by Jane Humphreys. A small black and white photo of Jane's sampler can be found on page 117 of Anne Sebba's Samplers, Five Generations of a Gentle Craft (1979). It is the only sampler in the group to list a teacher, Mrs. Williams.
There are currently no samplers within this companion set.