An anvil is an important tool for any black smith. It is the object on which hot metal is struck. The heavy anvil causes the energy from the strike of the hammer to focus on the metal object being created.
Diary of John B. Weeks – January 21, 1855
During the mid-nineteenth century, farmers spent almost every Sunday in church. Many farmers recorded attending church on a weekly basis in their diaries. In 1855, John B. Weeks frequently attended church with family and friends. His diary reveals that the pastor’s sermons were an important part of the service.
Sun 21st Went to Jones Ville Church, Rev Benedict preached from Numbers 32 Chap 6 Verse. We had a verry good discourse the Funeral of Peter H Banta was given out to day 2 o clock at the church. Came home & took a lunch and went back to the Ville to the Funeral Rev Sanford preached from Thes 4 Chap 14th Verse, there were a great many people at the Funeral; Banta left a wife & some young children
Physicians often made house calls to care for their patients. Since many physicians traveled by horseback, these saddlebags allowed doctors to transport their medicines and equipment safely. The saddlebags are made of leather and could be put over the back of a horse or over the doctor’s shoulder.
Most schools in central New York did not issue report cards to students in the mid-nineteenth century. If students performed well in school, learned and recited their lessons properly, and exhibited good behavior, they received merit slips, or Rewards of Merit. The teacher wrote the student’s name on the pre-printed slip and signed it as the student’s reward.
Phinney’s Calendar or Western Almanac
Almanacs were extremely popular books in the farming community, largely because of their weather predictions. Farmers would use these predictions to help plan the planting season.
Bandboxes were made from an early form of cardboard. The pieces were sewn together, and the box was covered with wallpaper. Used to hold hats, caps, gloves, scarves and other accessories, as well as small pieces of clothing, they were often used when traveling.
This photograph shows a group of hops pickers in the nineteenth century. They are sitting on a box that holds the hops they picked. Men usually took down the poles on which the hops grew, and women usually picked the flowers from the vine.
Seneca Beaded Bag
Made by Iroquois women, beaded bags were created from scraps of cloth, silk ribbon, thread, and glass beads. Traditional Iroquois patterns were replaced by European designs, such as flowers, in the 1840’s to appeal to customers.
A trip to the general store was not an everyday event and because of this, goods were sold in bulk by weight. A farmer might purchase a few months worth of a particular item. Products at the general store were not individually packaged like they are today. The storekeeper would use scales to weigh out a particular amount, then wrap the item or place it in a jug the customer brought along.
Politicians in a Country Bar
Taverns were meeting places for the men of the village. They would discuss local politics, as well as find out about news from afar through travelers and the newspaper. The tavern was often filled with conversation and sometimes, heated arguments.